Although 16 year-old Jessica Mendoza from Chippenham, Wiltshire is no stranger to competing at Olympia, this year she will be rising to the challenge of being one of the youngest competitors in the jointly sponsored Team Murka/World Class Programme U23 Championship Final.
After six qualifying rounds, held throughout the UK (where points were awarded for the top ten placed riders at each qualifier), Jessica is top of the points table after winning two qualifying competitions and coming second in another on her new horse Classic Highfly. She will line up on Friday 21 December against twenty-three other young riders to compete for a prize fund of £15,300, with a 1st prize of £5,100.
For the last three years Jessica has been combining her very successful pony career, which includes two team gold medals and an individual bronze medal at Pony European Championships, as well as a host of other titles, together with progressing to senior competition.
Is she nervous about competing in this prestigious class, “This class will be one of the biggest courses I have jumped” said Jessica “and I am looking forward to it”.
When asked what she thinks of her chances of lifting the trophy, Jessica replied, “It all depends on how the course rides and how technical it is, but as this is a Championship Final I fully expect it to be a test”.
Jessica has her sights set on representing Great Britain at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016; even though this St. Mary’s Calne schoolgirl, may be juggling this with her studies as a University student, as this is the path she intends to take before embarking on her career as a professional show jumper.
Through the increased and generous support of Team Murka, there is a greater total prize fund of £1650 in each of the six qualifiers in the series, with the winner of each qualifier receiving £550 in prize money, together with £200 in value of Training Vouchers, which are awarded to the first six prize-winning riders who are currently eligible for British Team Selection.