Boxer takes the reins as event patron

Former professional boxer Johnny Nelson riding Chopin
Former professional boxer Johnny Nelson riding Chopin
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FORMER champion boxer Johnny Nelson swapped his old sport for the more refined charms of the showjumping arena as he took the reins of his new post as ambassador of a new international event in Sheffield.

Nelson, who was cruiserweight world champion for over six years, cleared the hurdles at Upper Cumberworth, near Huddersfield, with help from leading showjumper John Whitaker.

Showjumping legend John Whitaker MBE on Catwalk gives advice to Former professional boxer Johnny Nelson on Chopin in the arena  at Heyside Farm Equestrian Centre, Upper Cumberworth.

Showjumping legend John Whitaker MBE on Catwalk gives advice to Former professional boxer Johnny Nelson on Chopin in the arena at Heyside Farm Equestrian Centre, Upper Cumberworth.

The pair joined forces on horses Chopin and Catwalk to launch the Yorkshire International Showjumping Event, taking place at Sheffield Arena from April 22 to 24.

Sheffield-born Nelson, who has become a keen rider after quitting boxing, is an ambassador for the event on behalf of British Showjumping.

The sportsman now has a programme on Sky as well as commentating on boxing.

Offering a top prize of £150,000, the showjumping event is set to include amateur and national championships, as well as international classes.

Promised attractions include the Double Harness Scurry, where pairs of ponies race around a twisting course, pulling custom-built carriages at top speed.

Day tickets cost £22, while three-day passes are £61. To book call 0114 256 5567.