Interview Laura Renwick – The flying amazon

01. Jun 16 | 14:06 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

1 June  2016

Laura Renwick is currently Great Britain´s strongest female rider in show jumping. She is a competitor for the Olympic team this year in Rio. Laura Renwick is a former flight attendent and now mother of a young son and better than ever at the show grounds around the world. With me she spoke about travelling with and without horses, about her best horse Bintang, her family and how she became a better rider…

With Bintang you qualified for the World Cup Final in Gothenburg. But then you could not participate because of an injury. Have you been very disappointed?

I’m happy to say Bintang is absolutely fine now and was fine a couple of days after Gothenburg but was just really bad luck but no lasting damage so we look forward to the rest of the year.

You were the only British rider having qualified for the final. Was this a big step forward for you maybe qualifying for the Olympics? How does the qualification of GB look like? Is Rio your major goal for this year?

It was very special for me to qualify for my first World Cup Final and to be the only Brit felt like even more of an achievement and something I and very proud of. Bintang was extremely consistent during the qualification season competing at only 5 qualifiers and gaining points in 4. GB is keen to emulate the success of London and for sure as a rider the Olympics is always an aspiration but for me my horses are still quite young so would not be disappointed not to go this year.

What will be your next big shows?

Bintang was to Shanghai GCT as his first show after the injury. Now I plan to go to a lot of the GCT events as I am lucky enough to to be part of the new Global Champions League as part of the team Rome Gladiators. We even just won the League at Madrid.

Bintang is your very best horse at the moment. What makes him special for you? Which are his major talents? How is he like at home at the stables?

Bintang is a very special horse. He is super talented, careful and scopey. I have had him since a 5 year old and he is a little awkward to ride but always wants to try his best for you and has always been the same since a young horse. He’s very moody in the stable and although he always puts his ears back when he sees you he really loves attention and is very spoilt.

You have some other wonderful horses at your stables as well. How many do you ride at the moment?

I am very lucky to have some super young horses at the moment – Bintang is only 10 and just coming into his prime and I also have a super 9 year old Heliodor Hybris, by Diamant de Semilly he also is very competitive, scopey and careful. I have three 8 year olds MHS Washington Irish Bred by OBOS Quality who has stepped up to 5* level this year and Ulievka de Breve by Toulon. Rembrandt Blue 11 year old by Mr Blue who wins a lot including last year the 5* Dinard Derby.  I have some nice young horses too including a 7 year olds, Shiraz II, by Vagabond de la Pomme and Top Dollar by Dollar du Murier.

You have been involved with horses all your life because your Mum had a horse riding school. When did you sit on a horse for the very first time? When did you go to your first shows?

Yes I have always been around horses and my sister showjumped too. I started riding in all disciplines and chose showjumping when I was about 11 years old.

You´ve been a successful rider since you´ve been very young. Maybe you can tell us a bit about the earlier years of your career?

I showjumped with 138 cm ponies from the age of 11 and went into 148 cm competing on Hime International teams and having success at Hickstead and Royal International Horse Shows. I then started on horses but took a break from competing and worked in other industries for a few years and didn’t come back to show jumping until I met my husband John in 2000 when I was 25 years old.

You became pregnant with your son, Jack, and then returned to the show jumping arenas better than ever. How did this happen?

I have to say Jack is the biggest achievement in my life, and I’m so lucky to have him. I don’t know why but I seem to have become more determined to succeed and hungry for success since having him. He’s my biggest supporter and also my biggest critic – he really knows his stuff!!

How would you describe being a mother and a successful show jumping rider? Does it always work well? How does it work when you are travelling all over the world?

We are very lucky to have great support from our families that have helped all the way through with Jack. My mum and her partner Keith look after Jack when we are travelling and he cannot accompany us. Johns parents are also a great help when we need them.  It means that I can concentrate on my job knowing that Jack is with family and happy. We try to take him to as many places as school allows!!

Is your son Jack having fun riding as well or does he „just“ want to play football like I read in another interview?

Jack is not a rider, he can ride but doesn’t want to compete. He is a talented footballer and this is his passion – he recently scored a hat trick in his teams Cup Final securing them a victory. We live to go and support him and watch him play as often as we can and really hope he gets an opportunity to boils on his talent.

Do you have an idol in your sport? If yes, who is it and why?

My idol would have to be Marcus Ehning. He is such a brilliant rider who is just a joy to watch – his horses are so obedient and balanced, he makes it all look so easy.

Is there a horse from another rider you would certainly ride if it would be possible?

I would love to ride Fit For Fun from Luciana Diniz.

How does a typical day at the stables look like for you?

When I’m at home a typical day is getting Jack up for school, start riding about 9am then after lunch do any paperwork that needs doing, housework and walking the dogs!

What do you like to do when you are not riding?

I like spending time with family, visiting my mum and grandfather. Watching sport and obviously supporting Jack! Going to nice restaurants and catching up with friends.

I read you were a cabin crew member for British Airways for about three years. Why did you take this job? Did you like travelling around a lot then? Do you still like it now? Going on vacation and seeing the world while riding at shows?

Working for British Airways was great fun. I’ve always enjoyed travelling and seeing different places and this job helped me do this while getting paid at the same time. I’m lucky now my job involves travelling too!!

As a rider and former flight attendent you have for sure a hint for the readers which shows are really worth travelling because they are also surrounded by really interesting locations and being worth a weekend trip?

Having just returned from Mexico City I would have to recommend this venue – obviously not for a weekend trip!! Looking at European cities my favourites would be Rome, Barcelona and Vienna.

What is so fascinating about show jumping for you?

Showjumping is fascinating because there are no guarantees. Differently riders win each week and although there is an elite in the sport there is always the opportunity for younger and more inexperienced riders to compete alongside the top riders at so many different events around the world.

What do horses mean to you?

Horses mean the world to me and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They are truly magnificent animals and when you build up a good relationship with them they really will try to do anything for you.

Do you have a special philosophy in your life?

Not really a philosophy but I try to always be positive and not dwell on the mistakes and bad days just try to keep working harder and learning more everyday!

Is there a wish on your bucket list you really want to be fulfilled one day?

Certainly to win a GCT Grand Prix! And a championship medal!

Interview: Alexandra Koch

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