Gemma Owen enjoyed watching the jumping during her first visit to Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), but concluded that “dressage is definitely the safer option”.
The international rider, daughter of former top England footballer Michael Owen, was at the NEC with Holland Cooper, for which she is a brand ambassador.
The 19-year-old, who finished second with Luca Bish in ITV’s Love Island this summer, had been watching yesterday’s (6 October) showjumping action, which included the pony newcomers final and the pony showjumper of the year.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Some of those kids, the way they went round on those ponies; dressage is definitely the safer option! But it’s nice to see different disciplines at a big show like this.”
Gemma said she jumped a bit when she was much younger, but “I had a few bad falls, and thought dressage is the way for me!”
Gemma has had a successful international career in the youth ranks, including representing Britain at last year’s junior European Championships on Sirius Black, but has not competed at FEI level since then, and said she is keen to get back inside the white boards.
“This winter I’ll probably knuckle down and get competing again, hopefully,” she said. “British dressage is incredible at the moment, with so many amazing achievement, and being away from it for so long has made me hungrier than ever to get back competing and training, and to big shows.”
Gemma Owen described Sirius, now 17, as her “horse of a lifetime”, adding that she has her sights set on representing Britain again in future.
“That’s the goal,” she said.
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