May/June Featured Rider: Jennifer Mattell
DATE OF BIRTH: May 10, 1998
HOMETOWN: Milton, Ontario
BASED OUT OF: I am currently renting stalls at Top Meadow Farm in Wellington, Florida.
FAVOURITE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE:“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? I hope to have medaled at NAJYRC (North American Junior Young Rider Championships), to be in the top ten of the Under 25 Program, and to be competing in the U25 final at the Royal. As always, I will be working everyday to improve both my riding and my horsemanship skills.
When I was five, my parents made the terrible mistake of bidding on a package of riding lessons at a charity auction. If only they knew what would come as a result of winning those lessons! From then on, all that I wrote, drew, and spoke of surrounded horses. By the time I was eight, it had become clear that this was not just a phase, and so I began to take weekly lessons at a nearby farm.
After a few of years of taking occasional lessons, participating in camps and in fall fairs, it became apparent that to further advance, I would need to have my own pony. At 10, I was lucky enough to welcome Shrunk in the Wash, also known as ‘Mister T’ into my life.
I spent several summers trying out different disciplines and learning more about horse care and horsemanship, before, at 12, I began showing on the ‘A’ circuit in the Small Pony Hunters. It was then that I found my passion for competition. After a couple more fantastic years with Mister T, it became clear that I had outgrown him. Although saying goodbye was tough, I found him a great home at Windrush Therapeutic Riding Centre.
I decided to follow my passion for jumping, and after a year of competing in the 1.10m jumpers on a leased horse, at 15, Quaker de Kreisker came into my life. Quaker is a very special horse who has taught me so much. In our two years together, we advanced from the 1.20m to the 1.30m division, finishing OHJA JR/AM 1.30m Champions in 2015.
Last April I was very fortunate to begin my partnership with Cherokee, an incredibly talented young horse. I tried him in March of 2015, and knew from our very first jump that he was perfect. In our short time together we have really clicked, finishing with some great results both last summer and this winter.
This year was my first season in Florida, and it has been a fantastic learning experience for both Cheeky and I. Competing in some of the Open classes here, like the 1.40m Speed Challenges, has been very educational and it has been an honour to place top 12 in some of these classes, with fields of 100+ top professionals!
While here at WEF, we were also lucky enough to compete for Canada in the Junior Nations Cup. Cherokee and I had some great team and individual results, but I think that the experience in itself was the true take-away. Over the six days, we stabled in FEI, worked in a team format, competed against a very tough inter-national field of horses and riders and completed a round under the Saturday Night Lights. There are few opportunities that can teach you so much in such little time! I hope I will one day be able to use this experience to represent Canada on an even bigger scale.
Horseback riding has taught me so many life lessons and I can only imagine how many more I’ve yet to learn. I’m not able to say exactly what my future may hold, but I know for certain that horses will always play a large role in my life. And I can’t wait!
CHEROKEE aka CHEEKY
BIRTHDATE: May 15, 2007
PEDIGREE: KWPN (Cardento x Creool)
HEIGHT: 16.1 hh
LOVES: His stuffed animals, going for long hacks and socializing with other horses.
HATES: Puddles, rubber mats and luckily for me, touching jumps!
IF HE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, HE WOULD BE: Definitely a People-Pleaser! He tries so hard to make everyone happy.
QUAKER DE KREISKER aka QUAKER
BIRTHDATE: July 17, 2004
PEDIGREE: Selle Français (Heartbreaker x Moon Mountain XX)
HEIGHT: 16.3 hh
LOVES: Fresh shavings, anything edible and jump-offs!
HATES: When he is not the centre of attention.
IF HE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, HE WOULD BE: A drama kid. He has a huge personality and loves when all eyes are on him!