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Rachel Gredley wins CSI2* leaping class

  • Irish TV presenter Rachel Gredley, who is married to British showjumper Tim Gredley, won Saturday’s CSI2* 1.15m speed class at the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) with the family’s 10-year-old home-bred mare Jalanna.

    The mother-of-two, who stepped back from her role as Sky Sports presenter last year, shaved fractions off a superb round set by Tony Pearson on Berlin to claim the 500 euro top prize in the Total Waste Management speed class.

    “It’s my first time jumping here and it’s a real honour,” said Rachel.

    Jalanna is out of Tim Gredley’s former ride Fabriana, by Jalil, and both Tim and his sister Polly and their stable jockey Joe Clayton have competed her. Rachel, who only made her international showjumping debut at the end of 2020, took the reins on the mare earlier this year.

    “She’s a real warrior and will take off on any stride – I definitely had a few wild ones in there!” said Rachel. “When you go in after Tony Pearson, who set a time like that, it’s all or nothing really so I knew what I had to do – I just wasn’t sure if I could do it. She helped me out a few times, she’s definitely my little hero today.”

    Tim and Rachel got married in 2019 and they have one child who is two, while their youngest is eight months old.

    “I rode a bit between having the two babies, but over the past six months I’ve got up and running again, starting on the Sunshine Tour,” said Rachel. “Jalanna is a lovely horse to ride but without Joe [Clayton, who trains Rachel] I wouldn’t have won today. He has the patience of a saint and he just knows how to make things very simple.

    “I have a lot to learn but when you have a nice horse like that under you, it does make it a lot easier. She’s as brave as a lion and it’s quite spooky in that arena but nothing seems to faze her.”

    Rachel finished second behind victor Aisling Byrne in the previous day’s 1.15m at the London LGCT, with sister-in-law Polly in fifth.

    “Myself, Joe and Polly kind of knew after yesterday how fast it was going to be today so it was very early to bed last night!” said Rachel. “It’s also nice to be competitive against riders and horses that are very strong.”

    Rachel will be doing a few more shows over the summer then it’s “back to mummy duties and music books!”

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