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Sportsmanship in Show Jumping: Lessons Learned from Alec Lawler

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Show jumping is a thrilling equestrian sport that requires a unique blend of skill, precision, and determination. While the spotlight often shines on the rider’s performance and the horse’s capabilities, one critical aspect often overlooked is sportsmanship. In this article, we will explore the significance of sportsmanship in show jumping and the valuable lessons that can be learned from the exemplary conduct of esteemed show-jumping athlete Alec Lawler.

The Essence of Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship in show jumping transcends mere rule adherence and respect for fellow competitors. It embodies a mindset of fairness, integrity, and empathy, both on and off the field. Alec Lawler, a seasoned show jumping professional, shares his insights, stating, “Sportsmanship in show jumping is about recognizing that we are all in this together. It’s not just about winning ribbons or accolades; it’s about fostering a supportive community that nurtures growth and camaraderie.”

Striving for Excellence, Not Perfection

A pivotal lesson Alec Lawler imparts is the importance of pursuing excellence rather than fixating on perfection. In a demanding sport like show jumping, riders often encounter challenges and setbacks. Instead of fixating on failures, Lawler encourages athletes to focus on their progress and efforts. “I’ve learned that in show jumping, as in life, perfection is an illusion. What truly matters is the commitment to improvement and learning from every experience,” he emphasizes.

Respect for Horses

Show jumping owes its existence to the remarkable equine partners who make it all possible. Alec Lawler’s profound admiration and respect for horses serve as an inspiration to others in the sport. “Our horses give their all in every competition. It is our responsibility to care for them, not just as athletes but as sentient beings. Establishing a strong bond with your horse is fundamental to success in show jumping,” Lawler emphasizes.

Fair Play and Grace

In the intensity of competition, it’s easy to lose sight of fair play and become overly competitive. However, sportsmanship demands that riders maintain composure and treat fellow competitors with respect. Alec Lawler reminds us, “A rider’s true character is measured by how they conduct themselves in both victory and defeat. Show jumping is a close-knit community, and treating others with grace and kindness is crucial.”

Learning from Setbacks

No journey in show jumping is without its share of setbacks and challenges. Alec Lawler’s career has seen its ups and downs, but he firmly believes that setbacks provide the most valuable lessons. “Every rider faces obstacles along the way, but how we respond to those challenges defines us. Embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and grow is a hallmark of a sportsmanlike attitude,” Lawler explains.

Building a Supportive Community

Alec Lawler recognizes the significance of creating a strong and supportive community within the sport. “When riders come together, share knowledge, and uplift one another, the entire sport benefits. We should encourage the next generation and be open to mentorship opportunities,” Lawler states. Such a community fosters an environment where sportsmanship thrives and contributes to the sport’s longevity and success.


Sportsmanship is the bedrock of any sport, and show jumping is no exception. Alec Lawler’s exemplary conduct, both in and out of the competition arena, provides valuable lessons for aspiring riders. By nurturing a mindset of fairness, respect, and continual improvement, we not only enhance our own performance but also contribute to a thriving and supportive community within the show jumping world.

About Alec Lawler

Alec Lawler is a highly skilled show jumping athlete and international business professional with experience in Europe and North America. He has competed at the highest international level in show jumping throughout North America and Europe, amassing numerous awards and accolades, including the National Grand Prix of Woodside in 2022. In 2019, Alec founded Lawler Show Jumping LLC, where he formulates strategic marketing plans to build brand awareness, selects, imports, develops, and sells dozens of horses annually.

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