British rising star Jessica Mendoza has added to her already impressive horsepower and showcased her new talents at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) last week (7-11 October).
The 19-year-old showjumper, who helped the British team to an Olympic qualification at this summer’s European Championships riding her mother’s mare Spirit T, has been riding the two new horses for just one week.
Jessica’s boyfriend Michael van den Bosch previously rode Atilja, a 10-year-old mare by Guidam (pictured top). The Belgian rider enjoyed success with the mare at this year’s young rider European Championships — they were members of the gold medal-winning team.
“I’ve always liked her and Michael rode her for about three years before, but he has now decided to concentrate on the family business and is riding less,” said Jessica.
“We were placed at HOYS so I was really happy with her. We’re not quite there yet but it was interesting to see how she responds, so I can make it better next time. We now have a really exciting group of horses at all levels and I am really looking forward to the next few months.”
The Brit, who is based in Holland, collected further placings in Birmingham aboard Wan Architect (pictured above), having recently taken over the ride from Eric van Vleuten. The Dutch rider had triumphs in Nations Cup teams and also at five-star level with the 12-year-old gelding.
Jessica will be campaigning Wan Architect internationally under the new private ownership of Julia Hammond.
The horse hasn’t been seen on the European circuit since 2013, having competed in both America and Canada last year under Brenda Riddell and Francie Steinwedell-Carvin.
Jessica jumped the gelding in both the 1.35m and 1.40m classes at Opglabbeek in Belgium ahead of HOYS. Their best result in Birmingham came during Saturday (10 October) evening’s Naylors Equestrian Accumulator, where they picked up the £3,300 prize-fund for third place.