‘Crack on, with no drama’: Meet Jess Wilson

  • Horse & Hound catches up with Jess Wilson from Kent to find out more about her Albion medium restricted ride, the British-bred stallion Santo Hit

    Name: Jess Wilson
    Based: Dressage Inc., Kent
    Horse at Hartpury: Santo Hit (Sandro Hit x Weltruhm)

    What’s Santo like at home?

    He’s really chilled out — he lives in a barn with his son next to him, and another stallion the other side. He spends half the day in bed. He’s a real sweetheart who will happily just stand and be cuddled.

    What made you decide to keep him entire?

    My partner Jamie bred him here in Britain, and from birth he’s been really, really lovely and a nice type. He always looked to move well, and as we were setting up the stud we wanted to stand our own stallion. He’s never been a problem as a stallion — he’s always been easy.

    Has he got any foals on the ground?

    He’s got quite a few now — the eldest are five-year-olds. We’ve got three of his under saddle and they’re just like him; really nice through the back, and easy. They crack on with the job with no dramas.

    What are your plans with him for 2015?

    We’ll finish qualifying for the summer regionals, and I’d like to do the Dressage Masters [at Hickstead] again this year so we will get out and get more points for that. And pushing on with the advanced work — confirm his changes more, and work on the passage, and more sit in the canter.

    How did you get started in dressage?

    I just rode generally — that’s how I met Jamie. Santo was the reason I got started in dressage; I rode some youngsters at home and then started competing him two years ago.

    Have you ever scored a 10?

    I’ve had plenty of nines, but never a 10 yet. I had one judge wobble on a 10; she came and told me afterwards. I think I would rather not have known!

    What’s your favourite event?

    I really like Merrist Wood regionals; it’s really well run, the horses are relaxed there, and obviously this time was a really great year for us as well [Jess and Santo were regional champions at medium restricted and freestyle]. Of course it’s always nice to qualify and come here [Hartpury] as well!

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