Tag Archives: young show jumper

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AP McCoy on being a dad, sporting idols and why he is coming to the Liverpool International Horse Show

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The rider line-up for the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show is always a star-studded one. It’s popular with the Whitakers, Harry and Peter Charles and Scott Brash is a regular. But this year, we can expect to see the whole McCoy family there. That’s AP McCoy- perhaps one of the best known and most loved jockeys of all time, plus wife Chanelle, daughter Eve and son Archie. Horse Scout’s blogger Ellie Kelly was lucky enough to interview AP and Chanelle recently and this is what they had to say…

 

“I was told I had to be in Liverpool by the 30th December by my daughter Eve. It just shows you how things change in your life when you start getting bossed around by your eleven-year-old daughter” says twenty times Champion Jockey, AP McCoy. Now retired from National Hunt racing, despite being one of the greatest figures in sporting history, he now finds himself “being dragged to shows and mucking out ponies!”

 

Eve who is an avid young showjumper and clearly a chip off the old block will be competing in the mini-major competition, together with a number of young riders competing alongside celebrity showjumpers. The mini major will feature approx. 14 pairs of kids paired up with top professionals all in fancy dress. Previous pros that have competed in this class include the very fast GB rider Matt Sampson, John Whitaker, and the UK’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick.  The class will be the feature of the afternoon performance on Sunday 30th December.

 

“Eve is mad excited about going to Liverpool and I was told I had to be there so I’m flying back from Leopardstown especially” says AP. “She really loves competing and she’s got plenty of bottle which you can’t teach a kid. I see certain traits in her as I have- she’s not a great loser and she gets upset with herself. Even when it goes wrong or I shout at her, she comes back for more. No matter how much a parent gives their kids they can’t give them nerve and desire, that has to come from within. You can feed it and nurture it but at the end of the day it has to come from the kid.”

 

AP talks about the importance of having sporting idols and watching those riders in order to improve.  For Eve, Nick Skelton is her hero.

 

“I took her and a friend up there last year and Nick and Laura Kraut gave them a riding lesson. For her, it was the best thing ever, she was more interested in him than she was in me.”

 

“We’ve planned the Christmas around it” says an excited Chanelle. “We have no expectations, Eve does of course. But I think it’s a brilliant experience for kids to feel the pressure of the big day when they are young. It really prepares you for the later in life and when you do go into the working world, it helps if you know those emotions already.

 

“She’s very conscious of impressing her dad which is nice but we had to sack AP as an instructor because of that clash of personality” she laughs. “AP and I were very relaxed as to whether she was into ponies or not, it had to be something that came from her but she really loves it and she wants to be the best. It’s lovely that she is so ambitious. It must be in her DNA that she is not satisfied taking part, she wants to win.”

 

“Nick Skelton is her hero, she once asked me if Nick was too old for her to marry. She was so in awe of him when she went up for a lesson. She had lots of questions for him and I thought well isn’t it great that she’s got an icon like Nick rather than some social media influencer.”

 

Chanelle talks about the differing emotions she feels when watching her daughter show jump in comparison with watching AP race.

 

“Watching Eve, I feel excited. With AP it was a different emotion because with being a jump jockey, injury was very much part of the course, so you’re always worried. Watching my daughter showjumping is so enjoyable and I get quite emotional when she does well.”

 

Even though I don’t miss AP riding because I’m so grateful that he has retired in one piece and he doesn’t have any severe injuries but I think we would miss the buzz if we had nothing. Whereas now, there is not a nicer weekend for me where we load up the lorry and head off to show.

 

www.liverpoolhorseshow.com

 

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Horse Scout Real: Yazmin Pinchen

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Horse Scout Real: Yazmin Pinchen

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In our first edition of “Horse Scout Real”, Horse Scout Advocate Yazmin Pinchen reveals the trials and joys of motherhood; her Olympic dreams and the reasons why she would never date a showjumper.

 

At the age of 24, Yazmin Pinchen has achieved more than many women double her age. By 14 years she had won team gold and individual silver at the Children on Horses, European Championships. As a teenager, she quickly scaled the ranks of Senior showjumping and at 18, she moved to Belgium and based herself with Ludo Philippaerts. She was competing at 5* level and in Global Champions Tour competitions, all before the age of 20 and after winning several Grand Prix, Yazmin impressed the selectors enough to be selected for British Nations Cup teams. So far Yasmin says the highlight of her career was beating Scott Brash and other showjumping stars, to take the Bolesworth Grand Prix in 2016.

 

At just 22 years the world was at her feet: a serious string of horsepower, some great sponsorship and enjoying the demanding but jet set lifestyle showjumpers are now accustomed to. After dating showjumpers in the circuit including Joe Clayton, she had rekindled a flame with her childhood sweetheart Nick. Soon after, Yasmin fell pregnant. “My career was going really well and my best horses were in the peak of their careers so in hindsight it wasn’t ideal” she says with a smile. “But you take what life throws at you and I would never get rid of a baby. As soon as I had Harry, I was so thrilled and realised it was the best thing ever. Showjumping and horses can be so intense and I really love being a mum.” she says.

 

Harry is now one and Yazmin reveals it has been hard juggling motherhood with riding and getting back to top level. “It has been tough. I don’t have anything like the horsepower now and I have been out of it at top level for two years. You don’t realise how good you have it in life, until it is gone. I had a full yard with 11 horses in work, lots of staff and horses competing every week. You get a taste for the big shows and the excitement. Now it’s just seven horses, my groom Marie, me and Harry. I wanted to go on the Sunshine Tour but didn’t feel I could take Harry away from his dad for five weeks. But on the other side, I feel there are advantages to being a young mum. I can get it out the way and then get back to my life and my career. It’s also probably easier to get back into shape.”

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Yazmin and Nick first met when they were 16 and living next door to each other. “He was my first boyfriend” she says. After several years apart, where Yazmin dated mostly showjumpers, they bumped into each other again and the romance blossomed quickly. “Nick is an electrician and not all horsey. He isn’t that interested apart from watching me which has it’s challenges but actually it’s great. He is normal and I come from a very normal background, where we all do normal, everyday things and have interests outside of horses. I think that has always helped give me a more balanced perspective.”

 

So what is it like dating a showjumper? “Oh I will 100% never date a showjumper again” she laughs. “I don’t want to end up with a broken heart for starters and the lifestyle is crazy. You can end up being a lamb following your partner around at shows. I could never have taken a back seat, I would have been far too jealous of missing out. In fact, a lot of my girl friends who are with showjumpers, say they can feel quite lonely at times” she says.

 

A typical day for Yazmin involves feeding her son and then getting to the yard for about 8.30 to start riding. “Harry has a nap at about 10am which is perfect timing. My groom Marie is amazing and can often be seen walking up and down pushing the pram with one hand and a wheelbarrow with the other. I ride until about 1pm and then do a bit of teaching but I try to have most of the afternoon to spend with Harry which I love, we go swimming and do normal things that mums do with kids and I feel so lucky that I have time to do this as so many mums have to get straight back to work. It is important for me to do my best as a mum.” There is not much time for hobbies but Yazmin loves cooking and watching cookery shows. “I have watched all the international Masterchef’s and I enjoy it so much that I’ve asked for a cookery course for my birthday.”

 

Despite her emphasis on leading a “normal life”, do not be fooled into assuming Yazmin Pinchen has lost her burning desire to win. In fact quite the contrary. “Having a baby has made me want it more and pushed me on. Not just because I want to get back and compete at top level but because I want to make a living out of it to do the best for my son. I was riding three weeks after giving birth and won a big class at Hickstead when I was five months pregnant and I can’t wait to tell Harry that. I want to make him proud and I’m certainly planning to get to the Olympics one day. That is my big goal”.

 

“I am looking forwards to getting out there with some young horses and finding new sponsors and owners and I think Horse Scout can help this. They approached me about working together and when I looked at their website, I was really impressed. There are so many contacts on it and with that sort of database, not only can I find other professional services in my area but by creating my profile, it should be a good way of finding owners. Horse Scout is so forward thinking and could be the place where people find riders for their horses as well as things like physios. I am very keen to do more with them.”

Written by Ellie Kelly