This week I’m chatting with young British international Grand Prix dressage rider Chloe Vell. Chloe has represented Team GB many times beginning at the age of twelve and is also a UK British Dressage level 2 coach. She runs her own riding and coaching business as well as enjoying a successful modelling career. Read on to discover more about this highly talented young lady, her horses, her ambitions, and her top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
I’m a 24 year old international Grand Prix dressage rider also with a degree in Psychology! I have been competing for Great Britain since the age of 12 and I have competed at 2 European Championships, have two regional titles and one national title. I also have had a modelling career on the side for many years.
I’m lucky enough to have 10 horses at my own private yard from young to old with 4 main competition horses:
My own 13 year old Danish Warmblood gelding Ted who I’ve owned for 5 years and have trained myself from elementary to Grand PrixMy own 5 year old KWPN mare Cara who I bought and backed myself now working at elementary/medium level at homeDebra Dockers 9 year old Hanoverian mare Missy who I have been lucky to have the ride on for a few months and have trained her from elementary to advanced medium scoring up to 75%!
My own and Sian Thomson- Howitt 5 year old KWPN gelding Teddy who is working at elementary level at home.
Then I have my mum’s horse, two homebreds, my retired competition mare and two Shetlands.
How long have you been riding?
My parents took me for my first riding lesson when I was 3 and the rest is history.
When and where do you ride?
I’m lucky enough to be able to run my own business riding and teaching full time so I’m riding all day every day. I ride the horses of mine at my own private yard but I have many clients that I ride for off site including doing the flat work for a local international eventer.
How did you start riding?
I started at a local riding school at age 3 and then my parents managed to get me a pony who was from one of the local farmers fields!
What you and your horses currently working on?
Ted is working on getting ready to campaign for U25 Grand Prix this season and senior level too
Cara and Teddy are going to be doing the 5 year old classes as well as novice level regionals
Missy is going to be doing medium/ advanced medium and working towards a PSG debut.
What do you love about riding?
First and foremost I have a large passion and love for just simply being around horses and spending time getting to know them and being in their company. I’ve always had a love for competing as I’m an ambitious and driven character so I love striving for my personal goals so to be able to combine the two really is a dream for me. I am also UKBD level 2 coach and love to teach clients young and old.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
In the future I’d love to continue doing what I’m currently doing and building my business as much as I can. Obviously my goals and dreams are to compete at the highest levels for my country at some of the biggest competitions in the world.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Throughout my career, I’ve never really struggled with nerves because I always ride to try and perform at my best and I feel at home when I’m in a competition environment with my horse. The most nerve wracking is selection as you can’t control that.
How do you deal with them?
I have been on several world class programmes throughout my career which have provided me with breathing techniques to help and I also of course have a degree in psychology.
Your Top Tip
Live for every moment and never take anything for granted and never forget where you started.
Down the Centreline
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
It’s very hard to narrow down to just one horse! But I definitely would love to ride the passage and piaffe on Desperados!
Who is your equestrian hero?
It will always be Carl Hester who I have idolised from the very beginning of my career and I am very lucky to be able to train with him which I have done for 7 years.
If you could have five people to dinner who would they be?
HM The Queen, we could talk horses
Richard Branson, potential investor
Emmeline Pankhurst, girl power!
And best friend so we can both enjoy it
Favourite colour horse?
Of course black always seems to be the favourite but in my stables, orange is the new black.
Favourite horse event?
It has to be Olympia, the world equestrian games, or of course, the Olympics! But also Burghley, as I go to watch every year and Royal Ascot as spectators.
Cannot beat a huge Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings.
Favourite way to relax?
This is definitely something I need to do more of. I love spending time with family or going for a lovely country walk with my dog, and a massage when I can.
Anything that’s based on a true story. Les Mis is up there too!
If you enjoyed meeting Chloe you might like to view more dressage rider chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Chloe’s progress and check out her instagram page here