This was my first time in America. Normally I’m not mad about travelling so far for one competition in case it doesn’t go my way, but for the World Cup final you have to go wherever it’s taking place. Molly Malone V has only flown once before — to Shanghai last year, which was even further away, but it doesn’t bother her.

I expected it to be different and for the arena to be small, and I was right on both counts. But the arena size is the same for everyone and the tented stables — which were cool despite the heat — and warm-up all worked well.

I love atmosphere and so does Molly. A lot of shows in Europe could learn from this — things
like the music between rounds were great.

The format here is different to anything I’ve experienced before, but it’s definitely exciting and means there is everything to play for on the final day.

I didn’t change my approach after the win on the first day — I knew coming out here I’d take each class at a time and do my best in each one.

I don’t think much about the age difference between me and the other jockeys or about competing against the legends. I know most of them quite well now and I don’t get wound up about it. But at the press conference I did feel honoured to be sitting with these riders at such a young age.

Molly will return to my base in Germany now and have an easy time. This week, I go to Antwerp with some other horses — it’s the busy part of the season and I’m not sure when I next have a week off, but I’m looking forward to it.

Ref: H&H 23 April, 2015