Meet Jessica Burnham

1. Name – Jessica Burnham

2. Age - 14

3. Nearest Store - Richmond

4. Where are you based – I’m very fortunate to have my horses at home in Piercebridge, County Durham.

5. Disciplines – Eventing is my passion but I also love dressage too!

6. Describe yourself and your team – I love all sports but sadly due to the demands of eventing, county hockey, tennis and swimming have now all been put on the back burner, I tried to juggle everything for a while but it was impossible. 

About me, I am a very laid back but focussed and quietly competitive individual and have a great support team built around me.  Mum (Charlotte) takes care of the organising (you should see the big whiteboard in our tackroom – it’s a piece of artwork), sorts all the entries, training and doubles up as a great groom and Dad (David) drives us everywhere, is in sole charge of studding up the horses at events and walks great lines on our cross country course reckies. 

7. Who trains you if anyone – Tanya Buckingham-Lloyd has been my Coach for over six years now, she’s honest and frank with me and helps set my goals as part of my plan.  I also receive specialist coaching from others, in particular Susie Gibson for show jumping together with the U18 Northern Coaches, Jane, Sue and Will.  

8. Greatest Equestrian achievement so far - Its got to be being selected as the First Reserve on the Northern Squad for the 2018 BE100u18 National Championships at Frickley Park and my earlier days in Pony Club being on the winning teams for all disciplines with my one in a million pony, Kayla.

9. Goals for this year – Its all change for me this year, I have a new addition called Duffy so this season is about finding our feet together and hopefully go up the levels of eventing together.  Then there’s Max, who appears to love the dressage and after much preparation will also event this year.  Watch this space….

10. Long term Equestrian career goals – To make my dreams become a reality through hard work and determination.

11. What competitions/events will you be attending this year – Great Witchingham International, Floors Castle International and many more, we travel some miles during the eventing season but I have to admit I favour the Scottish events.

12. Highest level you have competed to – BE100u18 Eventing and Novice British Dressage.

13. Favourite competition and why – Like my Coach, I love all the Scottish events, the cross country is always a real test of the horse and rider partnership!

14. How did you get into horses – I guess there was the expectation I would ride, even before I was born as it is in my mum’s genes.  Thankfully to my mum’s relief and my Dad's despair, I share the same passion.

15. How many horses do you currently have/ride – I have two horses of my own and if honest its quite a juggle running the two, riding before school and on an evening in readiness for competing at the weekend. I can’t imagine putting a third into the mix.  Not just yet anyway.

16. Favourite horse you’ve had or have – Its got to be Kayla, who I sadly outgrew last year and is now in Dorset with her new family.  We achieved so much together, way beyond our expectations through the amazing partnership we shared.  They say a great horse will change your life and the truly special ones define and this is so so true, I miss her a lot. 

17. Who do you admire in the Equestrian world – It’s got to be my Coach, Tanya Buckingham-Lloyd, she has been there and got the t-shirt and always puts the horses first, that I ADMIRE!  If anyone deserves a gold medal, Tanya does.  Then there’s Laura Collett and Mr Bass, I loved watching the pair at Badminton this year – they are pure class together.

18. Favourite Equestrian brand and why? - This isn’t easy, firstly I like Ariat and love their riding boots and Le Mieux clothing, in fact anything that’s purple, as its my team colours, oh and I’ve just recently discovered Holland Cooper.

19. One product you can’t live without and why? - Its got to be blue shampoo with having the two grey horses!

20. What would you say your life motto is – Never give up because great things take time!

21. Have you competed abroad and where – I’ve been over the scottish borders competing but competing abroad is definitely part of my plan!