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Olivia Wrennall and Disneyland her dressage horse
British international dressage rider (under 18 team) and recent PSG Silver Regional Champion, Olivia Wrennall is a rising star worth following. Having competed at all disciplines from a young age Olivia works as a yard manager at the family yard and is working towards competing at Small Tour and U25 Grand Prix in the near future. Read on to learn more about the hard working and very talented Olivia, her ambitions and top tips for success

Tell us about you and your horses

Olivia Wrennall and Disneyland her dressage horse
Olivia and Disneyland (Dinky) winning their Area Festival Inter I Bronze with 69.51%
My name is Olivia Wrennall and I ride my 15-year-old Hanoverian dressage horse Disneyland, stable named Dinky because he only just touches 16 hands. At the end of 2023, after much saving, I purchased a rising three-year-old bright chestnut Dutch colt called Romance Time, stable name Ron. I will aim to back him in the summer of 2024. I work full-time as a self-employed livery yard manager under the guidance of my mum. When my sister graduate’s university, we will aim to run the business together as a family doing what we have always done from a young age, looking after peoples horses, riding horses, training students, and hopefully successfully competing our own horses.  


How did horses come into your life?

Olivia Wrennall equestrian
Olivia and Mayflower Magic (Jerry) placed 3rd in the Working Sports Pony Championship final at Burghley Horse Trials.
  My mum always rode because her mum, my granny Margaret, was a riding instructor. My mum grew up on my grandad’s dairy farm, breaking in ponies and eventually riding to novice level eventing and elementary dressage. She took over the dairy farm when he retired and turned it into a livery yard. She loaned my sister and I our first pony when we were both born a year after another, and the rest is history really.

I always showed a passion and interest in the dressage; at age eight, I used to win against all the adults at the unaffiliated local dressage on 80% with my 12.2 hh working hunter pony. I mainly competed in BSPS working hunter ponies up to the age of thirteen until I started campaigning our own homebred FEI pony, Donna Schuflo. I was selected for the pony prime squad in 2016 and competed in 10 internationals for Great Britain at age under 16 level, resulting in a win at Keysoe International in 2018 and being selected as a reserve for the 2018 under 16 European championships. Whilst I was doing this, I successfully qualified for and completed at the Royal International Horse show, Horse of the Year Show, Burghley horse trials, and at the BSPS Championships on my amazing 14hh WHP.
Olivia and her Durham team mates. BUCS Reserve National Champions 2023
Olivia and her Durham team mates. BUCS Reserve National Champions 2023
Dinky was purchased for me by a friend in the autumn of 2018 as a junior horse when I decided to solely focus on dressage and in 2019, we won Keysoe CDIJ, was third on a nations cup team in France and was long listed for the European championships. COVID-19, and my attendance to Durham University in 2020, slowed down my equestrian career but it helped me train dinky and focus on his big step up to PSG. The importance of my final year at university also allowed him to recover from a field injury he incurred in the summer of 2022 at his own pace.

I couldn’t stay away from riding, and at university I competed on the equestrian team which consisted of competing riding school horses in a combined training style competition. I adored the experience and my teammates, winning a BUCS Trophy league Team and Individual National title in 2022 and achieved a Team Reserve National title in the Open Championship league in 2023. Since graduating from Durham University in the June of 2023, Dinky and I have placed fourth at the BD National Championships in the Advanced Medium Silver class and met our ambition to compete successfully at PSG, gaining 70% scores and above. He has gone above and beyond all expectations, dubbed by many as only talented enough to be a Junior horse; we first competed at Inter I together at the end of 2023. This is a level I never thought we could reach, but we recently won an Area Festival Bronze title a few weeks ago with just under 70%.


When and where do you ride?

 I ride at home with my mum and my sister.

Who do you train with?

Olivia and her homebred pony Donnaschuflo (Flo) at the U16 Europeans in 2018. Riding as the Guinea Pig rider they gained 70.4%
I have always been trained by my mum really. After a test I always look towards her gaze to see whether she approves or not; she really is the person I aim to impress as well as myself. I trust her opinion implicitly and she is my eyes on the ground to check the feeling matches the ‘look’. I have also trained with international judge Clive Halsall who gave me priceless knowledge on test riding and training.


What you and your horses currently working on?

Dinky and I will always be working on the canter pirouettes – it’s something that has haunted us since the moment we moved beyond Advanced Medium, but they are becoming more established daily. We have also been working on strengthening the steps in the passage which we are in the early stages.


What do you love about riding?

  I was initially tentative about horses when I was three or four; I think I was nervous as I can be a little bit of an over thinker. Even though I loved the animals themselves and wanted one I was just unsure about riding forward, which I deemed as too fast. However, what first truly hooked me was when, at about five or six, I discovered that riding well could win you and your pony a rosette. The proceeding idea that I could then win something as beautiful as a sash perhaps turned the riding into an obsession. I’ve always had this competitive streak where I want to win and do well, even if it means I am succeeding in comparison to my old self. I think from there as I entered my mid to late teens and my knowledge grew, the love for training the animals to become the best they can be and meet their full potential is what will keep me riding for forever; there will always be periods of time where we can’t compete, but we can still nurture their growth.


What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

  My short-term goals (which are still fairly large) would be to do a small tour international in the next few years, perhaps an Inter II and potentially an under 25 Grand Prix. I’d love to produce an international Grand Prix horse of my own one day. Of course, I would aim to go to the Olympics with the realisation it’s very difficult to do, so, even if I never met that goal but came close and was successful at Grand Prix dressage, I think I would be beyond happy.  


Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?  

  I was always quite a nervous child when it came to the jumping, but thankfully my mum and my sister help me through this. My sister has competed to 3* level eventing so is far bolder than I, and I guess she inspired me to not overthink. I was always told I’d never jump, but I jumped up to 1.15 m courses by the age of sixteen. Therefore, dressage doesn’t make me particularly nervous unless I want to do well.


How do you deal with them?

  I often deal with nerves by listening to music or watching Netflix; just something to distract me from thinking too much.

Do you have any rituals before competing?

Mum always plaits my horse, her plaits are superior and I can’t concentrate properly knowing she hasn’t done them.

It takes a team to do dressage, who is in your support team?

  I think it’s obvious my number one supporter is my mum, Sue Wrennall. My sister Katie supports me 1000% and I have many kind friends who believe in me. That’s all I need.  

Your Top Tip

  The key to success is patience, determination, and consistency, but with the ability to be open to new ideas and be creative with your riding.


What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

  Ride forward.  


Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

  Valegro, he is just such a legend.


Who is your equestrian hero?

  I think it would have to be Carl Hester, he came from a small island off the coast of mainland Britain and practically made British Dressage into what it is today.


If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?

  Elizabeth II, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Freddie Mercury, William Wallace  

Favourite colour horse?

  Liver Chestnut  

Favourite horse event?

  Royal Windsor Horse Show  


Favourite food?

  Danish pastries and coffee


Favourite way to relax?

  Watching TV with dressage on the laptop simultaneously  


Favourite film?


Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Olivia you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here .  You can keep up with Olivia’s progress and check out her instagram page here    

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

Country & Equestrian Blogger

Hello My name is Sharon Howe and I am horse mad. This site is my place to scribble away my…


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