Jessica Mendoza sets her sights on the Olympics

By Candice Krieger, February 17, 2011

British pony showjumper Jessica Mendoza has had a pretty good 12 months.

The 14-year-old has picked up many top awards, breaking records along the way. Last year, she won several Grand Prix, the British Open Showjumping Championship and Olympia - plus a number of European honours.

She holds the John Whitaker International Winter JA Classic title and is the British Showjumping Association's under-16 leading pony jumper of the year, for the second year running.

Jessica, who lives in Lyneham, Wiltshire, has been riding since the age of two. She tells People: "I love showjumping. It's fun and it's something to do. Instead of sitting at home bored, I can go out at ride." She says she loves "going fast against the clock and sitting on a pony that gives you everything."

Jessica, a pupil at St Mary's School, Calne, owns six ponies which her parents help her look after. "Mum keeps them fit and gets them to the show looking a million dollars. Dad has trained me since I can remember and we work together every day."

Jessica won her first competition aged three, and at aged eight, she was voted the youngest ever showjumper of the month.

Titles that have followed include National Schools Individual Champion and Pony of The Year Talent Spotter Grand Prix.

So, what else is there left to achieve? "I would love to ride at the Olympics one day."

Last updated: 11:02am, February 17 2011