DOB: May 30, 1989
International Dressage Rider
Jessica’s passion for horses first started at the age of 5 when she volunteered with her mother Andrea at a local therapeutic riding facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She spent her time grooming and caring for the horses and ponies. When Amy Small outgrew her spirited, 20 year old, grey, Anglo Arab pony named Faro the Small family gave her to Jessica. Faro was a wonderful teacher and provided Jessica with the opportunity to experience the world of equestrian competition, hunter/jumper, western and dressage events. At the age of 12 Jessica participated in a Dressage outreach clinic by Equine Canada and this opportunity allowed her to travel to Ottawa to meet her most influential coach, Ruth Koch.
The purchase of Allende, a 7 year old, Danish Warmblood gelding marked the beginning of Jessica’s competitive Dressage career. Allende was stabled in Oxford Mills, Ontario with Jessica’s new coach Ruth Koch. Jessica traveled for training on long weekends and summer holidays while continuing to complete her junior high and high school education in Newfoundland. Throughout this time Jessica and Allende were very successful in the competition ring; winning multiple Canadian FEI Junior Championships and Reserve Championship titles, member of the Canadian contingent at Mexico CDI3*, Mexico City 2005, member of the silver medal team at the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, Lexington Virginia 2006, Canadian representative at the FEI Young Rider World Cup, Frankfurt Germany 2008.
Jessica was accepted into Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Physical Education program from high school. In her second year of university Jessica took a ‘gap year’ to pursue her dressage aspirations. In 2009, partnered with her new horse Santorini, she moved to Frankfurt, Germany and worked and trained with Ellen Bontje and Conrad Schumacher.
When she returned from Germany, Jessica was fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Robert Dover and Canadian Olympian David Marcus. Jessica successfully competed Santorini until he was retired due to an injury.
Jessica currently runs Champion’s Gate a boutique style, full service dressage facility in Wellington, Florida. She coaches’ adult amateurs and Para-equestrians, trains young horses and competes. Jessica currently seeks the expert coaching of Oded Shimoni, as she strongly believes in continuous improvement.
Jessica never forgets her home, Newfoundland and her roots at the Therapeutic Riding Facility that started her career. She continues to coach Para-Equestrians. Her students have included Robyn Andrews who Jessica coached until 2011; they teamed together from Robyn’s start in Newfoundland to international competition in Ontario, U.S, and the United Kingdom. Jessica is now the personal coach of Jody Schloss - a member of the Canadian Team at the 2012 London Paralympics. Jessica also continues to clinic in Newfoundland whenever she has time to go home and visit friends and relatives.
Jessica aspires to compete on the Canadian Dressage team at the Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. She will continue to operate Champion’s Gate and offer clients individualized attention that will focus on achieving their equestrian goals. Jessica’s goal is for Champion’s Gate to be a development center for FEI dressage competitors in Canada and Florida. Jessica is currently finishing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland by distance and plans to graduate in April 2014. Jessica successfully graduated May 2015 while still pursuing her equestrian goals!