This week I’m excited to be chatting with Australian international Grand Prix dressage rider, Jessica Dertell. Based at the family owned Future Farms in Victoria, Australia. Jessica is an incredibly talented rider, horse breeder and trainer and was one of the youngest Australian National Dressage Team members ever. She has been riding and competing Grand Prix level dressage since she was 15 years old and enjoys considerable success. Read on to discover more about Jessica, her ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
I’m very fortunate that my family at Future farms have many good horses and, also an amazing breeding program to match. My favourite of our horses would be our breeding stallion ‘Kilimanjaro’ who is Darabel x Bordeaux who I have trained through the levels. He is currently competing as a junior’s horse although is starting to train Grand Prix movements at 7!
I’m also lucky enough to get to ride and compete for many clients such as Sabble Farm. Sabble Farm have what I would classify as some of Australia’s best dressage horses along with top show horses and Arabians.
I’m currently riding many amazing horses of theirs a few are Cennin, an international Grand Prix horse, Eskara de jeu, a beautiful jazz mare that has just stepped up to Grand Prix, Gladstone MH who has been excelling on the young rider stage, Gleniph Tiramisu, a buckskin Arabian part bred pony mare who has taken small tour by storm! And my others.
How did your horses come into your life?
I’ve been extremely fortunate that my family run a training and breeding facility which was mostly focused on Arabian horses until my legs kept growing and I started wanting warmbloods. Now we have a wide variety of breeds and horses. I was born into horses and it’s a passion for myself and my family.
How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding before I could walk.
When and where do you ride?
I train horses full time at our family farm “Future Farms” we are located in Bolinda, Victoria in Australia which is about 30/40 minutes to Melbourne.
How did you start riding?
I started riding before I could walk. Mum stuck me on a beautiful Arabian pony and turned my love of horses into a lifelong passion.
What are you and your horses currently working on?
Myself and my horses are currently working to improve in every aspect. I believe there is always room for improvement and dressage just goes to show how much knowledge is in the horse industry. We never stop learning and improving
What do you love about riding?
I love that you can see a difference in your horse every ride. It’s so rewarding when things finally come together and you and your horse work as one to achieve one goal. Whether it be teaching Grand Prix movements or as simple as teaching a young horse Trot in a frame.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
In the future I hope to represent Australia on the international stage and one day hope to go to the Olympics.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I’m very lucky that I don’t get super nervous when competing. I believe it’s because I’m confident in myself and horses and even if something does go wrong in a test the best thing about dressage is that you can try and get those marks back in a different movement.
How do deal with them?
If I ever get nervous, I take a second to stop and pat my horse as it calms me down and my family also are a great help just talking to me and reassuring me.
Your Top Tip
My top tip would be to ignore everyone trying to pull you down as the people that are trying to build you up mean the most!
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I’m super lucky that the horse I ride are a dream themselves although I really loved watching ‘Total US’ at the Olympics for such a young horse and new to the level he is truly amazing
Who is your equestrian hero?
My coach Mary Hanna. She does an amazing job with all her horses and, it’s incredible how many Olympics she has completed as well as her international scores
If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?
Mary Hanna, Charlotte fry, Catherine Dufour, Isabel Werth, Edward Gal. I believe they all have so much knowledge to share
Favourite colour horse?
Well, I love a good black with some bling, but I seem to have a team full of chestnuts!
Favourite horse event?
Willinga park dressage by the sea. Terry snow has done an amazing job with his facility and running of competitions it’s truly incredible at Willinga
I love fruits. Watermelon, dragon fruit, raspberries, mangos you name it.
Favourite way to relax?
I like to unwind by going out to a movie or dinner with my family, friends, or partner
I could watch avatar or any of the marvel movies on repeat
If you enjoyed meeting Jessica you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here You can keep up with Jessica’s progress and check out her instagram page here