This week I’m chatting with British Grand Prix dressage rider, Jessica Dunn. Jess is a freelance rider and trainer based in Lancashire. Read on to discover more about her journey so far.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I’m Jess Dunn, I’m based at white hill stud in Lancashire and I’m a Grand Prix dressage rider.
I currently ride Grand Prix horse Alicante Valley (chello) and small tour horse Hokita (dreamy), along with a couple of lovely 3, 4 & 5yr olds for white hill stud. And then I have long term lodger Woodcroft Ferdinand (Ferdi) owned by Georgie Newton who is currently at small tour and working towards Grand Prix.
How did horses come into your life?
I got my first pony for my first birthday. And never really looked back! My mum worked in racing and hunt yards, so it was in my blood to ride.
How long have you been riding?
I think I rode before I walked!
When and where do you ride?
I’m a self-employed freelance rider but currently based at White Hill Stud in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire.
How did you start riding?
Through my mum.
What you and your horses currently working on?
We are just steadily working away towards the next levels. I’ve two horses moving up to small tour this year, so they are just consolidating their PSG work. The young horses are working on having fun and strengthening up at their own pace
What do you love about riding?
I enjoy the process of how a horse learns. I love seeing their development in strength and understanding and it’s just so incredibly rewarding.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I just want to carry on enjoying my horses; Teaching and competing. My long-term goal would be to get onto a nations cup team with Chello at GP.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
No, I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from nerves that hinder me. Just good butterflies and adrenaline!
How do you deal with them?
I have had help from sports psychologists in the past to really get the most out of my thought patterns.
Your Top Tip
Use more leg. Always!
And also, to stay in your own lane, run your own race. No one is on the same journey as you, so you are not comparable.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I used to ride my dream horse, Fyona, unfortunately injury stopped her career. But currently it would have to be Jovian (ridden by Eva Muller)
Who is your equestrian rider hero?
Wolfram Wittig & Matthias Bouten
If you could have five people to dinner who would they be?
Jonny Wilkinson (my absolute hero)
Gary Barlow (I’ve loved him since I was 4!)
Hugh jackman (so he can sing greatest showman tunes to me)
Lance Armstrong (as I just have so many questions!)
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event
Dressage: Frankfurt as it’s at Christmas and always snows.
For a bit of both: Olympia in England has been magical the past few years!
Salmon. Pretty much on its own.
Favourite way to relax
I love reading. So, a good book in bed is heaven for me!
Oooh! I have a few that I can’t choose from.
The Fault in our Stars
Lord of the Rings Trilogy