Gemma Owen: learn more about the dressage rider in the Love Island villa

  • Gemma Owen is the 19-year-old dressage rider set to star in the opening episode of Love Island 2022 this evening (6 June). Gemma, daughter of former England footballer Michael Owen, now a racehorse owner and breeder, hails from Cheshire and has headed to the Love Island villa in Mallorca in a bid to find love this summer.

    Gemma has enjoyed a highly successful international dressage career in youth ranks, representing Britain at the 2021 European Junior Championships in Oliva, Spain, riding her own 17-year-old Stedinger gelding Sirius Black. The team, also featuring Annabella Pidgley, Mette Dahl and Holly Kerslake, finished sixth.

    Nationally, Gemma Owen and Sirius Black have competed up to inter I level, and scored a personal best of 73.53% at prix st georges (PSG) in January this year. Gemma’s last competition before entering the villa was Myerscough Premier League in March, where she finished third in both the team and individual young rider tests, having stepped up to the level this year.

    Before teaming up with “Siz” as she entered juniors, Gemma competed Der Kleine Lord in international pony ranks.

    Gemma Owen: entrepreneur and dressage rider

    “I’ve travelled all across Europe competing in big arenas in big competitions. I would say I’m very competitive. [When it comes to relationships] I will always go for what I want. But at the same time, I’m not going to mess up something for someone who is in a proper relationship or get in the way of a couple if they have a genuine connection. I wouldn’t do anything to another girl that I wouldn’t be happy with her doing to me,” says Gemma – who has described her biggest turn-off when it comes to love as men who wear socks with trainers.

    As well as her dressage career, Gemma is also a fashion entrepreneur and launched luxury swimwear brand OG Beachwear in February 2022. More recently, she opened media representation company OG Promotions in May 2022.

    “I am open to finding love. I’m wanting to have a really fun summer. I was seeing someone and then that didn’t work out so I thought, ‘Why not?’,” says Gemma.

    “I would say I’m fun, flirty and fiery. I think I’m good at giving advice, I’m a good person to talk to, I’m very honest. If I want the same guy [as someone else], I’d do it but in a nice respectful way.”

    Gemma will be the youngest of the 11 starting contestants in the ITV show, now back for its eighth series. The show begins at 9pm on Monday, 6 June, on ITV2 and ITV hub.

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