As the daughter of rock royalty, Jessica Springsteen is used to the spotlight. However, in equestrian circles she’s known as much for her showjumping skills as for her famous father, Bruce.
So how much do you know about the 23-year-old rider? H&H brings you the low down on this rising star.
- Jessica got her first pony when she was six years old.
“Every little girl loves ponies. I was obsessed with mine,” she says. However, he wasn’t the easiest. “He would throw me off every chance he got. I could not ride him at all,” she adds.
- She can’t imagine her life without horses.
“What I really love about it is for that one-two minutes that you’re in the ring, you’re just completely focused on that one thing,” she says. “There’s nothing else going on around you and to have that connection with a horse, that bond, I think it’s really special and it really is unlike any other sport out there.”
- Jessica recently moved to Holland, where she is based with Global Champions Tour (GCT) supremo Jan Tops and his wife, Australian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander
The international showjumper left the US yard of Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton in May. She had been training with Laura for five years, but is now settled in The Netherlands, where she is guided by Edwina and former Olympic rider Jan.
- Until recently she combined showjumping with her studies, but has now graduated from Duke University.
- Her famous parents are very supportive, and are often seen at shows.
“They have gotten so involved in the sport and I’m really lucky to have parents who support me,” says Jessica. “To have someone really pushing you when it gets tough. It can be really hard, so I’ve been lucky to have a family that supports me and helps me follow my passion.”
- Jessica is best-known for her partnership with Vindicat W, Olympic gold medal-winning ride of Team GBR’s Peter Charles, who she bought shortly after London 2012.
- She most recently won a five-star class at the Chantilly GCT with one of her top horses Davendy S, and has been a frequent competitor on the circuit this season with him and Lisona.
She says: “I’m really happy. I’m jumping a lot of clear rounds in the grands prix which is exciting for me. When I first came here, you’re jumping right in with the best in the world so it’s kind of a shock to the system but it really makes you take your riding to the next level and every time you go out there. To really concentrate and do your best and I’ve just learned so much over the past years.”
- She wants to promote horse sport to a wider audience.
“I feel like over the past couple of years, it’s definitely been getting more attention in the US and being viewed more as a sport,” she says. “I know a lot of people don’t really realise how much work and athleticism goes into it. The Longines FEI World Cup jumping North America League is just starting this year and I think it’s going to be really exciting.”
Quotes and video from CNN Equestrian