Jodie Hall-McAteer gcglobalchampions win

We’re all celebrating Jodie’s first CSI5* win with her horse Kimosa van het Kritahof at the Longines Global Champions Tour, Valkenswaard this weekend. Congratulations!

Jodie says

“It felt amazing to win my first 5* class in Valkenswaard last weekend.  It’s been a huge step up for me, and a massive learning curve, so putting in a good performance, especially for the team on Friday gave me a lot of confidence.  I’m super excited for the rest of the season and can’t wait to get back in the ring in Stockholm!”

We recently spoke further with Jodie about all things equestrian.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your horses?

“I’m a 20 year old showjumper from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. I’ve been riding my whole life and competing internationally since I was 12. I was debating whether to go to university to read history but following a gap year I decided to pursue showjumping full time. It’s been hard work these last few years with lots of ups and downs but on the whole it’s been quite successful, and I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am. I’ve got a great string of horses at the moment. My best horse is 12 year old chestnut gelding Salt N Peppa who I’ve had for two years now. “

With fewer competitors and no crowds of spectators, has this made any difference to how you mentally prepare/compete?

“It’s definitely better competing in front of a packed-out crowd, especially when you’ve done well… I wouldn’t say my mental approach to competing has changed though. I just try to focus on getting the job done in the ring! However, after the break from shows during lockdown, I’ve noticed I get a lot more enjoyment out of competing now and never take it for granted.   I’ve learnt to take things day by day and not plan too far in advance. I’ve just tried to get my horses in the best shape possible and not be tempted to over jump them so early on in the year. “

What are your goals for this year, and have you got any longer-term bigger ambitions and goals in place?

“It’s hard to plan with all what is going on right now, but I’d love to jump on another team for Great Britain in the not too distant future too; there’s nothing better than wearing the flag for your country.  I’m extremely excited about being part of the Global Champions League team. I’m looking forward to stepping up and getting more experience at the top level. It’s also going to be amazing competing in such beautiful locations all over the world. Of course it’s going to be a huge challenge so I’m anxious to do my best. I have a lot of expectations for myself but it’s important to remain realistic… to make the most of it all and try not to be too nervous about the added pressures!”

Other than your 5* win and GCL team selection, what are your other biggest achievements to date?

“I won individual silver and team gold at the Pony European Championships in 2015. Coming 8th in the King George 5* Grand Prix at Hickstead back in 2019 was an amazing day, along with jumping on my first senior teams in Lisbon and Vilamoura. Winning the Under 25s British Championship at Olympia also. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Rolex Young Riders Academy last year which was a special achievement for me looking to the future in the sport.”

What is the hardest lesson you have had to learn in your career so far?

“The certainty of failure that comes with being a showjumper. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and can get annoyed with myself when I’ve ridden badly. You’re going to make hundreds of mistakes every day and the minute you realise and accept this the better off you are. All you can do is try your best, every day. “

You were part of the 2017-18 AASE programme and so over the last 2-3 years are there any lessons you learnt whilst on the programme that have stuck with you?

“I remember having a really interesting lecture on the ‘Chimp Mind Management’. It was about externalising the little voice inside your head that makes you nervous or doubt yourself when you’re in the saddle. The mental side of sport is so important and needs working on just as much as every other aspect.

For me, it encouraged me to think about the whole package needed to be a showjumper. From managing a stable, dealing with sponsors, veterinary information to your own nutrition and fitness. These are all important factors to consider going forward in your careers.”

What was your favourite/most memorable part of the AASE programme?

“Definitely the team building camp in Wales. I’d never experienced river gorging before and it was great to get out of my comfort zone. The friendships you make on the course and the relationships you build with your mentors during your time on AASE are extremely invaluable. “

What advice would you give to those on the AASE programme in order for them to progress as equestrian athletes?

“Always be willing to learn. Showjumping is a humbling sport in as much that you will never stop learning in your entire career. You’re not a finished product and you never will be. If you make the most of all the opportunities available to you, work hard and take pride in what you do anything is possible!”

We would like to thank Jodie for taking the time to catch up with us and congratulate her on all her hard-earned success!  We look forward to seeing what Jodie does next!

If you would like to know about our apprenticeships contact us, or find out more about the AASE programme, click here.