‘If you really want to do something, you’ll always make time for it’: Gemma Owen on her return to competition

  • Gemma Owen has wasted no time in getting back out competing since her summer on ITV’s Love Island.

    Riding the 17-year-old gelding Sirius Black III, Gemma has already managed to get three shows under her belt, and has won at all three.

    Each of her victories has come at prix st georges level, and her most recent success was at Arena UK’s High Profile show (8 December).

    “It’s been nice to get back out competing and doing something I love with a bit of normality,” said Gemma after her test. “I was pleased with him even though I had two big mistakes, but it’s just one of those things – I’ve not done a High Profile show in a long time.”

    Sirius was kept in work while Gemma, 19, was on Love Island, by her trainer Sarah Higgins.

    “Sarah kept on top of Sirius’ work while I was in the villa, which made it easier for us to get back out competing. But I’ve been back in the gym to get my fitness up, because some people don’t realise how fit you have to be to ride at this level,” she explained.

    In terms of dressage goals, Gemma said that she wants to keep getting out to shows.

    “My plan is to get to some more High Profile and Premier League shows, and if I can get to a quieter international then that would be amazing. But I’ll take it as it comes and keep enjoying it.” she said. “Since coming back from the island, I’ve appreciated the horsey side of my life a lot more, because it was a long time that I was away from riding – I was itching to get back on and when I saw Sarah competing Sirius, I was thinking ‘that should be me’.”

    Since appearing on Love Island, Gemma has secured a number of exciting new contracts, including a lucrative deal with clothing company Pretty Little Thing.

    “Obviously it’s a little bit challenging being here, there and everywhere – I’m so lucky to have a lot of new amazing opportunities,” she said. “It’s hard to mix those with my riding, but I think if you really want to do something, you’ll always make time for it.”

    Gemma Owen, the daughter of former England international football player Michael Owen, was accompanied at the show by her mother Louise.

    “Mum comes with me everywhere – she’s my groom, driver, everything and I couldn’t do it without her,” she said.

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