The showjumping daughter of Microsoft magnate Bill Gates has formed a new “training partnership” with world number one Harrie Smolders.
Jennifer Gates, owner of Evergate Stables, announced the partnership with the 2017 European Championships individual silver medallist yesterday (21 June).
Jennifer, who graduated from Stanford University this June, plans to focus on her riding full-time until she starts medical school next year.
Her plans for the coming 12 months include “competing in several grand prix events on the Global Champions Tour and other high-level show jumping competitions”, a spokesman said, adding: “Gates is excited to elevate her competition through this new partnership with Smolders.”
Jennifer, 22, has been enjoying international success up to five-star level.
“Harrie is incredibly talented, and I’m looking forward to training with him. It’s an exciting time for me to be graduating from college and shifting my focus to training and competing full-time this year,” she said.
“Harrie is not only a world-class competitor with an unparalleled ability to shape great riders, but also a wonderful horseman. I am eager to learn everything I can from him.”
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Harrie recently took the number one spot in the Longines world rankings for the first time. The Dutch Olympic rider had been close on previous leader Kent Farrington’s heels for some time, after a very successful 2017 during which he also helped his country secure a Nations Cup final win in Barcelona.
“I’m looking forward to working with Jennifer to help channel her ambition, passion, and work ethic to reach the highest level in our sport,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun year and I’m excited to see the success she achieves as she focuses full-time on riding.”
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