Tales from Hartpury: ‘It made me dream’ – meet the rider inspired by the magic of Olympia *H&H Plus*

  • It was watching Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin at Olympia that inspired Jenny Lo-Vel to take the plunge and follow her dream.

    Jenny and the five-year-old Lanuvio, by Ghandi, took the runner-up spot in the hotly contested KBIS prelim gold at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

    Less than one percent split the top three combinations in this, the opening class, of the five-day fixture at Hartpury (28 June – 2 July), who all finished on +71% scores. Jessica Williams and Sir Leonardo made their eye-watering 7.50am start time worth the alarm to win on 71.95%, with Jenny and Lanuvio close behind on 71.69%.

    “It was pretty even, all of it was flowed nicely. He was very obedient and very focused. I’m really looking forward to upping it a bit now I’m doing the higher movements and levels,” Jenny told H&H.

    “I bought ‘Lando’ aged three from a dealer. He’d just come over from Holland 24 hours before. So I hadn’t tried him and hadn’t seen him – I’d just seen videos – and I emptied my whole bank account!

    “I’d had livery horses before I competed and I decided I wanted something bred to do the real business.

    “Shortly after [I bought him] I gave up doing liveries. I’m now a waitress and I work very, very hard to fund my horse. He’s utterly amazing.”

    Jenny explained she has always done “a bit of everything”, but her dream has always been to have a dressage horse.

    “Going to Olympia and watching Charlotte and Carl doing piaffe, passage and tempis and I thought ‘I just dream of this – this is what I want to do’. It’s as much of a thrill as jumping a cross-country fence, and I think I’ve got a horse that could be very good,” she said.

    “He’s a cheeky monkey, he likes to chew and bite in places that hurt! He’s incredibly brave. We’ve got a huge trust and respect for each other. I did fall off him when I was backing him and I did think ‘what on earth have I bought here?’ I’ve worked very hard on building a bond and trust together. Now, I know I can take him anywhere, ride him anywhere, and he won’t be scared. That’s a wonderful feeling.

    “He’s got a super temperament, super movement. I couldn’t ask for a better horse, so off we go!”

    She has since found Lanuvio’s breeder and the rider who competes his sire at grand prix.

    “They are following him, which is nice and he’s quite popular breeding at the moment – there’s a lot of [related] horses up and coming showing massive talent,” she said.

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