Rise of footballers’ children in equestrianism

  • Two footballers’ daughters are carving out their own international careers — in the equestrian world.

    Chelsea Pearce, daughter of former England under-21 manager and former England captain Stuart, has been longlisted for the pony eventing team.

    At 14, she is the youngest on the list, but her 17-year-old mare, Catherston Nutsafe, is a veteran of three medal-winning appearances for Britain.

    “‘Snoopy’ is an awesome teacher and she’s 17 going on seven,” said Chelsea’s mother Liz.

    “This year was supposed to be for gaining experience, but Chelsea’s like her dad — just taking part is not enough, she wants to win.”

    Chelsea trains with Annabel Scrimgeour, Richard Ramsay and Darrell Scaife, and wants to event professionally.

    “She’s very dedicated, but has her feet on the ground,” added Liz, who used to work for showjumpers Ted Edgar and Nick Skelton.

    “Stuart can’t usually come to events, but when he does he’s totally different from how he is at the football. But he’s great at giving sporting advice — to work hard and not get carried away.”

    Chelsea, a member of the Tedworth branch of the Pony Club, also rides Little Indian Feather, who finished seventh at the Europeans last year. The final trial for the six-strong squad is at Barbury (4-7 July).

    Meanwhile, former England striker Michael Owen’s eldest daughter Gemma is set to represent her country for the first time in dressage.

    Michael tweeted: “I’m a proud dad today. My 10-year-old daughter Gemma has been selected for the Welsh under-12 dressage team.”

    The Owens own and breed racehorses at their home in Cheshire. Gemma’s mother Louise is involved with the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre at Halton, Lancs.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (20 June 2013)

    You may like...