An Interview with International Showjumper Jessica Mendoza
Catherine Mills: What are you looking forward to the most on the London Global Champions Tour 2017?
Jessica Mendoza: Being back in my home city. I think the setting this year is going to be fab. It's so central and has real wow factor. Selfishly, it'll also mean that I can meet up with my British friends who I don't get to see that often, now that I'm based in Holland and travelling so much. I also have some lovely British sponsors who are London-based, like Ettinger and Taylor Morris, so it will be great to support them.
CM: The Global Champions Tour has been held in a great number of world-class locations. Which is your favourite?
JM: I love sunshine and beaches, so it would have to be Miami Beach every time!
CM: Do you think the changing face of showjumping over the last few years has broadened the sport's appeal?
JM: I hope it has. Certainly at international level, it's glitzy, glamorous and exciting, which is attracting new owners to the sport, along with a younger following. I hope that doesn't price too many out of ownership altogether, which is why share initiatives like Elite Horse Owners are a good thing.
CM: Tixylix was the 'pony of a lifetime' when you were in juniors. Now you are in seniors, have you found the 'horse of a lifetime'?
JM: All being well, I hope to have a good few years ahead of me in the sport and a number of 'horses of a lifetime'. Once you find a horse that really makes all the effort for you, they hold a special place in your heart. For me so far, it's been Spirit T, who took me to The Europeans in Aachen and who really kick-started my senior career.
CM: What has been the most challenging moment of your showjumping career so far?
JM: The Europeans in Aachen 2015, I would have to say. I hadn't encountered such a stiff track or such team pressure before that, but we won through in the end to help Britain gain qualification for Rio.
CM:In 2016, you were the youngest British rider in 40 years to get onto an Olympic Squad - an amazing achievement. How do you top that?
JM: I take each event and each class one step at a time, but having been so near and yet so far at Rio, I would like to go one step further and represent Great Britain at Tokyo 2020.
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Photo courtesy of Sam Churchill Photography/Taylor Morris Eyewear and Ettinger of London