Five minutes with British showjumper Will Fletcher *H&H Plus*

  • The showjumper on failing French, teaming up with the great eventer Persimmon and cooking up some cordon bleu cereal

    British showjumper Will Fletcher won gold as part of the young rider team at the European Championships. The 21-year-old son of Tina and Graham Fletcher has represented Great Britain on senior Nations Cup teams, and he also hosts a weekly showjumping podcast.

    What is the last book you read?
    I’m not a big reader but when I was younger, I read the Harry Potter books over and over again.

    What are your favourite tunes for a road trip?
    My music taste is very random. But anything to sing along to during the graveyard shift helps.

    Which famous person would you invite to dinner?
    Whichever famous person would like to buy me a horse! Seriously, though, Thierry Henry was my absolute favourite football player and I would love to meet him.

    What was your first pony?
    I wasn’t much of a rider when I was younger, but my first pony was a Shetland called TomTom. We didn’t do much but we did nail some of the local gymkhanas.

    If you weren’t a rider, you’d be…
    Ideally something to do with sport but the most likely outcome would probably be something boring in an office, so I’m delighted that I’m riding full time.

    Do you speak any other languages?
    I wish! I failed my French year eight exam so many times that I was told to give up. But I did manage an A in Spanish.

    What’s your favourite country?
    I love going to Vilamoura in the spring before the season starts, so Portugal would be one. Everyone is so relaxed and the weather is great so that’s hard to beat. I’ve only been to America once when I was 13, but I would love to compete there one day.

    What’s your most annoying habit and your best trait?
    I’m incredibly forgetful. I’m great at recalling stats and results from years ago, but if you ask me to remember something right now I’m hopeless. My best trait is that I’m very honest. Maybe that’s a bit of a disadvantage at times, but I will always tell the truth.

    Give us the lowdown on your current top horse
    We were very lucky to get Persimmon as he was a top eventer with Kitty King, winning team silver at Blair in 2015. But he didn’t fancy doing dressage any more, although loved jumping. Since I got him, we’ve jumped on senior Nations Cup teams, two young rider European Championships and been placed in grands prix up to four-star level. He is very sharp and opinionated. We have a few fillers at home which we can’t use because he will throw a tantrum and not go near them, but he never spooks in the ring. You just have to let him do what he wants to keep him happy.

    What is the best dish you cook?
    I’m very lucky as my dad is a great cook, so I haven’t had to fend for myself much. Does cereal count?

    If you could have any horse in the world, which would you want?
    I feel you’d be lying if you didn’t say Ben Maher’s Explosion W – that horse is just a freak of nature. But when I saw Big Star, I thought I’d just love to sit on him to see what he felt like.

    Your favourite tipple?
    I don’t have much variety in alcoholic drinks – beer is usually my only choice; Doom Bar is my favourite.

    How many pets do you have?
    I have a dog called Harry. He’s my companion and travels with me to every show, but he is so sad when he’s left at home.

    What got you into the most trouble as a child?
    When I was in year six, I pulled a friend’s trousers down in the school playground and unfortunately everything came down – it’s fair to say my teachers weren’t best pleased.

    H&H 13 August 2020

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