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Sophie Jenman

Sophie Jenman

Profile

  • Age: 23
  • Favourite Horse: Geronimo, who has taught me a huge amount and has given me the best experiencesl taking me to my first Europeans for GB in Young Riders and competing at Burghley twice, plus Badminton.
  • Greatest Moment: Coming through the finishing flags at Burghley in 2014, clear at the age of 22; it will be a moment that never will be forgotten. Also winning the 4yr old British eventing championships at Osberton on Ballycanu, a horse we bought as an unbroken 3yr old.
  • Words of Wisdom: Determination and hard work will make your ambitions come true!
  • Star Sign: Libra
  • Essential Piece of Kit: Neck strap - wouldn’t dare get on anything without it!
  • Aim for 2015: I have an exciting string on youngsters coming though so I hope they progress well in age class championships at Osberton. My dearest wish is to see Geronimo fit and well and back competing.
  • Hero or Heroine: William Fox Pitt, as I have always admired his stylish and effective riding and his ability to produce so many different horses to the top level.

Biography

I have always lived in the Rochester area in Kent, I got my first pony just before my second birthday so riding became a way of life from a very early age, mum used to lead me up to nursery school on my pony Folly. My mother Kay evented to 4* level and has always been there encouraging me in my riding career. My sister and I were keen members in the pony club and participated in all the teams but eventing was my favourite discipline. I competed at the PC Championships on a number of occasions my best result being 2nd in the Open eventing class in 2008 on Happlebrook.

School wasn’t for me and I was more than happy to leave at 16 and began as a working pupil for Lucy Wiegersma. It was a very beneficial experience; I learnt a lot and rode some amazing horses. It was great fun and I made some fabulous friends. I left Lucy’s in 2009 and have been working from home ever since.

I run a livery yard with my mother. We have 19 liveries, plus 5 of our own and no staff, so mum and I work hard! But we do have some lovely liveries who help us when I’m away competing. Alongside running the livery yard, we have horses sent to us to be broken in, schooled or sold. I find I am teaching more these days and if that wasn’t enough, I work in the local pub twice a week as well.

Geronimo (Al), my 4* horse, came to the family as a rising 5-year-old for my mother, Kay, who competed him up to Novice level. At the time, I was riding a 16hh mare Happlebrook, who unfortunately needed 3 months off, so I borrowed Al just to tide me over for a little while… 3 months has turned into 6 years, and what a great 6 years they have been. I had to learn a lot to get the best out of such a big powerful horse but now we have an amazing partnership and really understand each other well. In 2011 we were selected for the Young Rider European Championships and at Blair Castle, finishing 24th. I have done three CCI3* on him and I have been 7th twice (Bramham under 25 and at Blair Castle). We have also done three 4*s (Burghley twice and Badminton). I feel very lucky to have ridden such a talented horse at my young age and realise I owe a lot to him. Unfortunately, last November he injured himself in the field and he is now on the long slow road to recovery.

The last few years we have been to Ireland buying a few youngsters which I have enjoyed bring on with the view to sale but somehow we seem to keep more than we sell, Ballycanu being one of them!

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