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Little one star Lilly Aspell jumps at Horse of the Yr Present

  • Many young showjumpers have to fit their riding around school – not many also have a budding film career to squeeze in.

    Lilly Aspell, 14-year-old niece of Grand National-winning jockey Leighton, was spotted in London and invited to audition for the part of the young Diana in the 2017 film Wonder Woman. Having played her once, she did so again in the 2020 follow-up, appeared in TV series, and has another film due to be released next year.

    She also jumped in both the pony newcomers and Foxhunter finals at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), on her “superstar” Legends Rock (Bailey).

    “I’ve always loved horses from a young age; I was born in the saddle,” Lilly told H&H, adding that, although both her parents, Paddy and Donna, were jockeys, racing was not her choice.

    “I’d always seen the toll racing took and how difficult it is,” she said. “I thought, if I do showjumping, I can eat – and I love food!”

    Lilly was eight when she starred in Wonder Woman, and 10 for the follow-up.

    “I was spotted in London,” she said. “They saw me and I looked like the girl, so they wanted to see if I could act, and I went to an audition.”

    Lilly says she enjoys the acting – her school is “very good about the time off” – and her plan in future is to be “on the horses most of the time, and maybe get an acting job here and there”.

    “Acting to keep horses – that’s the mindset!” she said.

    She added that she would love to jump on pony teams with Bailey, whom she has had for two years.

    “He came to us on sales livery – from Carol Henley who’s really helped me with him – and we didn’t really see a showjumping future for him at first, didn’t see that much potential, but then jumped him and loved him. He’s a real superstar, and so lovely.”

    Lilly Aspell is not working on any films at the moment, but stars alongside Liam Neeson in Retribution, which will be released next summer.

    “He’s lovely, so amazing,” she said. “I was telling him all about Bailey and he loved it, so I’ll tell him all about HOYS too.”

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