A PRIVATE CHAT WITH...
When was your very first equestrian competition?
I went to pony camp in England when I was 9 years old, only having ridden once or twice before! It rained everyday and I remember thinking this is awesome…horses, rain, and mud!! I must have fallen off 5 times over the span of the weekend which was great news to me since I was told "You have to fall off 9 times to become a real rider!”. When I was 10 I got my first pony named Tina, Flygirl. I didn't ride her until I was 11 because she was such a rocket! We won the West Coast Pony Finals when I was 12.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I would say there are two main events that stand out. The first one would be winning the overall Global Champions League title and standing on the podium with John Whitaker and Bertram Allen. This was an amazing moment for me because I was one of the youngest riders on the teams, it had been my first season competing in the 5* shows, and I had very little experience with a team. The second highlight for me would be going double clear and finishing 7th in my first 5* Grand Prix. It was my horses', Hilfiger Van De Olmenhoeve, first 5* Grand Prix as well so I went in the ring with no expectations and when we went clear in the first-round I didn’t think I could be much happier… until we went clear in the jump off! It was the best feeling, especially knowing we had accomplished this first together. We finished 7th against some of the top ten riders in the world and it felt like all the hard work had finally come together.
If you had not gone into horse riding, what would you like to have done?
My best friend Kylie asked me when we were young what I wanted to do as a career. I told her I wanted to be a famous singer. She said I hope you have a plan B. I never thought singing would end up Being my plan B! When I was 14 I had to make a choice between pursuing a singing career or riding horses. I have never been one to do things half way so I wanted to choose one thing to devote all my time to. I have been singing since I was a toddler and I still love it today, but there is something special about how I feel about my horses that I couldn't walk away from.
You travel a lot. What is your favourite city?
My favourite city is without a doubt London. I love everything about it, the weather, the shopping, the whole vibe and the energy of the city...and of course the nightlife! I always feel really happy there.
Which object do you always keep with you?
I have 3 necklaces that my mom gave me that I never take off. One is just for fashion, the second one has a tiny diamond 6 on it, as a reminder of a very special horse to me, and the third has the coordinates to the centre of London, my happy place.
Who is your favourite athlete?
My favourite athlete would be Max Verstappen. He is a Formula one racing driver the same age as I. I admire people who work hard and achieve their goals against the odds. He's my favourite because he is my age and already won his first Grand Prix.
What is your favourite piece of music?
I love all music. I don’t really have one favourite song. It is always changing because I am always looking for new music. I don't like listening to what is playing on the radio. My family friend is a DJ and he calls me for music advice! My favourite type of music to listen to would probably be electronic/dance music.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I am fortunate to get to travel for my competitions. The global champions tour takes us to some of the most beautiful cities in the world! I am probably the opposite of most people in that a holiday for me is being at home! My favorite place to be that feels like a holiday would be California, which is now a home to me. I do love a staycation.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite place to eat is a restaurant in London called Yauatcha. I never miss a chance to go when I'm in London. I couldn't choose one specific favorite thing-It's more like my favorite meal is their whole menu!
What is your favourite movie?
My favourite movie is definitely Transformers. I love every one of them. The special effects are incredible and I love the action and the personalities of all the transformers. I'm a sucker for a happy ending.
What is your favourite TV show?
My favourite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.
What is your favourite cocktail?
I don't really like fruity drinks but I have recently discovered a love for good red wine. If I have to choose a cocktail, I'd go with Vodka Red Bull.
How do you spend your ideal Sunday? (When you are not in a show jumping?)
I very rarely have Sundays off because I am either showing or at home riding. When I do have the occasional Sunday off I really like to just relax and organize things around the house or the barn, take the dogs for a walk, and have a movie night.
What is your everyday car? and your dream car?
My car in America is an Audi SQ5 and my car here is a Porsche Macaan. My dream car has to be Bumble Bee from Transformers!
INTERVIEW & PHOTOS BY JESSICA RODRIGUES