Tag Archives: Olivia Oakley


The lowdown on eventing history-maker Mollie Summerland


Mollie Summerland is the name on everyone’s lips right now. That’s because the relatively unknown 23 year old has just become the youngest ever winner of a CCI5*, when she led from start to finish at Luhmuhlen last week. 

Speaking after her show jumping round Mollie said “I don’t ever want this day to end, It’s been the most amazing experience. The first people I want to thank are the organisers. With all the things going on in the world right now, it’s amazing what you have achieved. It’s hard to sum up how I feel right now, but this horse has changed my life.”

She came to the event without a coach and navigated huge logistical hurdles to get there because of a German ban on travelers from the U.K. due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would rather have ridden dressage or cross-country again,” she said. “I don’t feel so experienced in show jumping and was a little nervous, but my horse is simply amazing. I’ve never won a three-day-event, that’s something I used to dream about.” It was only Mollie’s second 5 star, having finished 10th at Pau in 2020.

Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross-country proved to be very influential. Fifteen of 24 starters completed. (The original entry list of more than 70 was decimated by a mass withdrawal of British riders due to the German travel restrictions.) Four riders finished clear within the time allowed. Mollie was one of them, hanging onto her dressage lead.

Mollie Summerland

Horse Scout caught up with Mollie to find out more: 

Now you’ve had time to let it all sink in, how would you sum up that winning feeling?

I find it so difficult to put it into words. I am sitting here trying to write a post about it all and I don’t know what to say. It was truly special though.

What were your expectations?

I wanted to get another 5 * under my belt. There was part of me that wanted another top 10 finish but really I wanted a bit more mileage. So to win it was totally unexpected.

How did you feel before going into the show-jumping, knowing you didn’t have a fence in hand?

I was pretty nervous. It has always been the weaker phase for both of us and don’t have much confidence. I have started training with Jay Halim. Consistency with trainers really helps and I have never got into a proper system with one trainer before I started using Jay. 

I videoed the show jumping and sent it to Jay on Sunday morning. He believes that the goal for the show jumping warm up should be to send the horse in with confidence, he wants the rider to also believe in themselves before they go in. Fine tuning things is what it’s all about and when you make those small changes it can be the difference between having a rail and jumping a clear round. 

Who else do you train with?

I use Robin Dumas for the cross-country at Rosamund Green Farm. For Dressage I use Carl Hester and Olivia Oakley. It’s my favourite phase and I was actually a bit disappointed he missed one of the flying changes. It was 34 degrees that day so it was really intense to work a horse in that phase. Some horses really felt the heat and actually we hadn’t considered that element. 

What did you think of the cross-country phase, which seemed to cause alot of problems?

It was a proper 5 star track. My trainer Robin said when you’re going around a 5 star you can’t expect it to be pretty all the way around. You just have to get round! He was fantastic and he didn’t take any mistakes that I made personally. 

How did you find Charly?

I found him in Belgium as a five year old. I looked at 200 horses and he was the last I saw. I was meant to be looking at another one and just saw him over the stable door and liked the look. He hadn’t even jumped under the saddle so I tried him on the flat and they sent me a video of him loose jumping. He had his first jump with me in the UK.

You met the breeder at Luhmuhlen- what did he say?

I always try to stay in contact with the people I buy horses off. We had to use google translate to communicate. He was so proud. He was even in a newspaper in Germany and he said that it was the greatest achievement of his life having bred Charly.

I have a three year old stallion out of Charley’s full sister. He is at Caunton Stud where he will stay until early next year. 

You’ve had to move yards several times in the last year, that must be pretty unsettling?

I had to move all my horses several times. It’s really difficult when you don’t own your stables. I am now at Julia Norman’s which is great. I was even living in my horsebox at stages.

How do you make it all work?

It’s not easy. I have some lovely owners but my parents don’t have the finances to consistently help me. As the money comes in it goes straight back out. 

It was pretty tough and expensive to get out to Luhmuhlen so it was lucky to have some prize money to come home with. I won £33,000 so that is a life-changing amount for me. 

How did you negotiate the logistical problems presented when Germany refused the entry of people from the UK?

We went to Tim Lips for 10 days to do our quarantine in the Netherlands. Together with Tim and Jonelle Price, who were also competing. So it was a really fun atmosphere.  

How did you start riding? 

I went to a riding school. My parents aren’t horsey at all, although Mum is supportive and can muck out but she wouldn’t feel confident enough to tack him up or anything. 

What is the plan from here?

Charley will have a holiday and then we will make some plans. I will speak to Dickie Waygood (Team GB Performance Manager) and see if we can work out an autumn goal.

The Horse Scout team would like to wish Mollie every success for the future.

Interview with Mollie Summerland conducted by Horse Scout journalist – Ellie Kelly.

Olivia Oakley

Profiled Professional Dressage Riders: Olivia Oakley


Olivia Oakley, is one of Horse Scouts’ profiled Professional Dressage Riders.

She is an International Dressage Rider and has been a British Equestrian Federation World Class Squad member since 2010. Olivia Oakley has represented Great Britain in 5 European Championships since 2010.

As a top ranked dressage rider and a UKCC accredited level 2 Instructor, she regularly holds clinics all over the UK and is available for weekly lessons from her base in Breadstone, Berkely. We have a link to her profile page below.

One of the most valuable things for  professional dressage riders, or any professional rider, is to secure sponsorship which helps increase their profile and that of the sponsor. Recently Olivia Oakley gained a valuable sponsorship from Caldene. Their Marketing Director, Rachel Bowles, was not short of the mark when she described this rising star (who is still under 25) as “a true British Talent” who “shows great strength of character, passion and a true dedication to the sport”.

Olivia is competing at this weeks Hartpury Festival of Dressage on her handsome DiMaggio gelding Donna Summer. Donna Summer, whose stable name is “Rio” was born in 2001 is out of the State Premium mare Belinda stands at 15.3hh. Owned by Kate and Olivia Oakley he does not let size make the slightest difference to his big presence in the arena.

You can see Olivi Oakley compete on Donna Summer in the Baileys Horse Feeds BD Intermediate II (Supported by Monarch Equestrian) at 13.57 on Sunday the 12th July 2015.

Horse Scout is pleased to sponsor the Horsescout.com FEI CDI Prix St George on Friday Morning at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage.

Olivia took on Donna Summer (Rio) as a very green 5 year old and has used this as a learning curve to produce this lovely horse as an established master of the ring in just a few short years.  They established their competitive relationship in 2007 in the affiliated arena with 140 odd outings since 2007. Olivia says he (Rio) is not past sulking if her attention is not focused on him. He has a big personality; something which makes him a crowd pleaser in the arena, with the judges and with “his Public”! And on occasion he is undoubtedly a bit of a clown!!! (have you ever seen the bloops from Carl Hester at Home!) If not…. Well you definitely should. Donna Summer looks every bit like he’s auditioning for River Dance…!!

Donna Summers’ Sire DiMaggio (by Weltmyer) is a hugely successful Hanoverian Sire his progeny are in the record books consistently across all years since his first crops with 45 qualifying progeny in the BEF rankings placing him 2nd in the All Time Sire Rankings with the British Breeding Federation (2007 – date) DiMaggios’ own averaged Score comes out at 9.36 from his top 5 scores.

Of Dimaggios’ progeny namesakes Dimaggio Chillis Dino has been campaigned by Lord Leo Cornford. Last year competing at Novice, now with 4 points, and only once out of the top 4.  Who, on his 4th  British Dressage  event has qualified for the Sheepgate Tack & Togs 2015 Championships! Dimaggio Delight competed by Rebecca Whitcombe taking 1st place at AM in the last five outings.

And Keystone Dimaggio a very successful eye catching black 7 year old stallion bought by Janet Gee, with Suzanne Lavendera, scored the highest marks of the Hickstead Dressage Masters Championships in West Sussex with 76.38% and 75.43%.

Dimaggios’ performance progeny carry his stamp and are well priced in the market for the potential they hold in their genetics.

Horse Scout has a Dimaggio Mare listed on its horses for sale pages.  She’s a nice looking animal with a good write up who would fit well with a rider aiming to compete.  Her profile can be found under Domonique Dancer

Olivias other top horse is of course Don Carrissimo on whom she has been hugely successful. Taking the ride in 2014,  Don Carrissimo is a 16.2 hh Don Crusdaor x World Cup III gelding owned by Anne & Steve Keen. With 15 wins in 23 starts its an impressive record and an indication of just how strong this partnership is.  Olivia Oakley has achieved her personal best score of 74.39% on Don Carrissimo in the FEI Inter 1Q in May this year. They have also qualified for the Premier British Dressage League National Championships in September following their win in the FEI Inter1Q at Wellington, and now have 3 Regional titles. With impressive results at in the Charles Owen AMO Winter Championship 4th (69.87%) on Don Carrissimo and 5th in the Superflex FEI Inter I Freestyle Winter Championship 5th with Donna Summer (72.29%) with a captivating performance which matched the score from Matt Frost with AMD Don Rosso II.

Her other three rides are Eclips, and two fairly new additions to the stable in Lordswood Gently 16.2hh 2010 Lord Leatherdale x Vaya Condios (Negro) owned by Mel Worgan & Lucy Fawcett and the newest addition, Lordswood Givenchy 16.1hh 2011 Chameur x Special D Alice Whitefield (Lordswood Dressage) and Heather Stack (Larkhill Stud) who came over from Holland in March this year will be aimed at Young Horse Classes.

Horse Scout wishes all the best to Olivia over the coming weekend and of course for the rest of the 2015 season with all her horses.

Click here to follow Olivia Oakley on Horse Scout

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