Gemma Owen on her riding goals and why she won’t miss this week’s National Dressage Championships

  • Gemma Owen has confirmed she will be making an appearance at the Lemieux National Dressage Championships, which get under way at Somerford Park in Cheshire tomorrow (15 September).

    The international youth dressage rider, who finished as runner-up on ITV2’s Love Island with partner Luca Bish this summer, will be heading to the nationals on Thursday and Friday to support her trainer, Sarah Higgins, who is competing Gemma’s horse Sirius Black.

    Sarah will ride the 17-year-old Stedinger gelding in the Fairfax Saddles prix st georges (PSG) on Thursday, 15 September, at 4.29pm, and in the Saracen Horse Feeds inter I on Friday, 16 September, at 9.30am. The grand prix rider has taken over the ride on “Siz” this summer while Gemma has been in the Love Island villa.

    “I’m going to be at the nationals – I’m going on Thursday and Friday to watch Sarah on Siz,” said Gemma Owen, who rode the horse at the 2021 National Dressage Championships herself, finishing eighth in the under-21 championship, and second in the young riders section. 

    Despite “things being a bit up in the air at the moment”, following the conclusion of her Love Island experience, Gemma has said she is planning to continue her dressage career, and “can’t wait to get back into a normal routine”.

    “It’s something I have been training for forever, so I’m not going to stop [dressage],’’ she said.

    “My goals for the future with my riding – I’d love to carry on competing internationally again.”

    Before she appeared on Love Island, Gemma enjoyed a highly successful international dressage career in youth ranks, representing Britain at the 2021 European Junior Championships in Oliva, Spain, riding Siz.

    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.

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