Meet Jessica Williams & Sir Leonardo

Many congratulations on your win in the first ever KBIS Preliminary Gold Championships! Tell us about the horse you won with, Sir Leonardo…

Thank you very much, and thanks to KBIS for their generous sponsorship. Sir Leonardo, or Lenny as we know him as, is an 11-year-old gelding. I was gifted him by his previous owner 2 and a half years ago, he was a birthday present. I have known him since he was a foal as I used to ride for his previous owners and still do. I have been riding for her for quite a while now and so after he was kindly gifted to me we just began bringing him on. He hadn’t done a lot prior to me owning him so we just got started.

Oh wow, what a birthday present! How was the road to the 2021 Winter Championships for you both?

Last year, due to everything that went on, he was supposed to be doing everything he’s doing now then, but we couldn’t. So, we’ve started this year properly and it has worked well so far! He is a good boy, really well-behaved. He can be a bit lairy at times but that’s horses! I think we qualified for the Winters at the end of last year. As competitions were so on and off because of changing covid restrictions, our qualification rolled on to the rescheduled dates.

Did the restrictions make it a more challenging Championships to prepare for?

It wasn’t too bad, because really as soon as we were able to have our trainers back out, I started getting my trainer Kim Ratcliffe out, as well as going to her to get Lenny out and about as well. As mentioned, we hadn’t done a lot prior to the Championships, I think probably about 4 or 5 shows, so we just concentrated on getting him out as soon as we could, as that’s all we could do really.

Had you experienced the Winter Championships before to know what was in store?

I had been before, I think it was a couple of years ago and it was with another of my horses, but I have never been this successful! It was Lenny’s first big proper Championship, before this Regionals would have been his biggest show so he really stepped up.

He certainly did! How did you feel the test had gone as you did your final halt and left the arena?

I thought the test was okay. I tend to pick faults in what could be done better. My mother would say I always say they feel terrible! But I thought it was a fairly good test as he delivered everything I asked of him when I asked him so I was happy. There are always things I think can be improved on, but that’s how we’ll get better.

What else does Lenny get up to other than dressage?

He’s not a very brave horse so he does a bit of pole work, but certainly not any jumping for him!

What are your plans for him now?

We’ve got summer regionals to do in a couple of weeks which he’ll do at Novice now. Then we’ll go from there really and see how far we can go with him. We’ll just keep pushing him and see what he can do.

Well, best of luck with all that’s to come! Huge congratulations once again.

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