Meet my newest sponsored rider - 13 year old dressage rider, Jessie!
Tell me about the ponies!
Grayswood Orlando (“Ginge”) is like an old man in a smoking jacket and is way too cool for school! Ginge does things on his terms and if he wants a scratch he will hound you until you give in – pulling you over the stable door! Ginge is my FEI pony and we compete at premier leagues and internationally for GB. Golden Amber (“Jack”) is in touch with his feminine side and just wants attention all the time – he just wants to be loved all day. He is 6 now and will start competing next year and just wants to please.
I went and saw Jack at his first show and he was such a dude! He is very handsome too, a proper Barbie pony who is a definate poser!
What’s been your biggest achievement to date/what are you most proud of?
My biggest achievement to date has been my first international for GB in Belgium in the summer of 2016 where I had two placings – Orlando looked after me and showed me how its done. I am most proud of being selected for BD Pony Prime Squad 2016/2017 and can’t wait for winter training to start.
Giles, who runs the Huntercombe yard with Mr C, trains Jessie on a day to day basis and is well known locally as an excellent trainer and is influential within the riding club:
Huntercombe Horses is a special place and its calm for the horses and the support team are second to none. It takes a whole team to keep us on the road. Everyone has their jobs including the grandparents (boot cleaning!). Mum and Giles are amazing and work very hard to help me achieve my dreams. Giles helps me break everything down into small chunks and put processes in place to ensure I do things correctly from the start. We spend hours in the arena so its important to work as a team and be honest and understanding.
There's a great commeradery between the whole team and they're a pleasure to be around, making you feel like part of the family!
What got you in to riding, and particularly dressage?
I started riding aged 7 when mum took me for some riding lessons – she always rode so it was inevitable. I got the bug for dressage when I had a special pony called Mojo and I started schooling him – he was just awesome and we went to Pony Club Championships at both Novice and Intermediate with placings. Charlotte Dujardin (who I am now lucky enough to train with) is a huge inspiration to me as I saw her and Valegro at Olympia when I was about 8 and decided I wanted to do that.
It does take a team and all the support from other sponsors is invaluable because every little bit helps… Michelle Murray of Equine Sports Massage keeps the ponies soft and supple and free from aches and pains with regular massages Dan of Crendon Farriers ensures they have the most up to date jimmy choos James of James Turner Saddlery ensures that their tack is comfortable and saddles fit at all times.
What’s your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to compete internationally as a senior. I want to be able to train my own horses to Grand Prix in the future.
What’s your short term goal, riding wise?
My short term goal is to gain as much experience as a pony rider to enable me to move into Juniors and Young Riders on horses.
Elementary Restricted Regional Champion 2016 Two top 10 placings (Medium and Elementary) at the Winter Nationals 2016 Two top 10 placings Internationally for GB 2016
I'm really excited to be following Jessie's journey - it's so nice to be starting with them almost from the beginning and to be working with such a lovely, friendly and humble bunch of people who have already set up some fantastic opportunities. I can't wait to share more about the team over the next few months and hopefully, years!