Monday 22nd of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Jenny Rudall

Jenny Rudall is best known for her work on every equestrians’ favourite channel, Horse & Country TV (SKY 253). We caught up with her before the London International Horse Show and turned the interviewing tables on her.

After starting out as a Zoologist, Jenny joined the H&C team in 2010, presenting and reporting for the channel at all the top equestrian events. From this, the show ‘Rudall’s Round-Up’ was born in 2011. Each fortnight Jenny attends a different show or competition, reporting from backstage to bring viewers insight into the event and interviews with riders from grassroots to the very top of the sport.

How has this year been for you? 

Hard work! It has been non-stop from a work point of view with the build up to the World Equestrian Games, the actual Games and H&C getting more and more coverage. It has been the hardest year ever but WEG was amazing and H&C achieved so much during the 16 days with non-stop coverage. I have loved producing Yard Talk and The Masterclass series. It is an excuse to go and learn the from the pros. On a personal note, I got engaged and so all round 2014 has been a big high.

What has been your favourite place you have reported from?

Definitely Badminton as this year was really great with all the thrills and spills and the unexpected winner Sam Grffiths, who I love. For all round excitement the British Dressage Team Quest finals at Bury Farm were hard to beat. It was all about the fun, as an instructor and presenter, you have to always keep it fun. I loved meeting the teams and hearing their stories. It really was a brilliant event with the competitors all being amateurs from Intro, Prelim & Novice. One team was raising money for friend with breast cancer and one group all shared a pony, the teams were all good friends.

Any stand out moments?

Getting engaged has to be up there but interviewing Zara Phillips after her clear XC at WEG was a big moment. She was on such a high.

I also interviewed her after her show jumping double clear and it was a real vindication for the rail she had down at London 2012. It definitely put some demons to bed and vindicated her place on the team.

Zara is fabulous and High Kingdom is a great horse. Another magic moment was watching Charlotte win gold as well.  It has been an amazing year for the sport.

Tell us about your horses.

I have always ridden and produced for owners. I have never been in a position to own due to work commitments but I sat on a very quirky horse for Kate Tarrant, the eventer, and within a couple of minutes, we were jumping 1.20m!  

My fiancé was there and saw how we clicked and we spent our wedding savings there and then on him. He’s called Finn and is an Irish sports horse. He has competed at 1* and is an allround star and I’m looking forward to learning how to ride him. I am going to spend the winter learning where the buttons are and aim for some pre-novice eventing and hopefully progress to novice once we know how we are getting on.

You are also a qualified trainer, what is your training ethos?

I teach all levels but first and foremost it is all about the horse. If you don’t understand what you are doing, you cannot expect the horse to know what to do. And I think it is really important to remember that if it is not fun, why are you doing it. I teach all round Surrey, 7 days a week at all hours to fit in around filming.

What have you got planned for Christmas, are you getting a break?

In the run to Christmas I have got 7 days solid work at Olympia, which is always great fun but you get to Christmas exhausted. I’m not getting a proper break but have just been away for a rare 10 day no computers holiday running in a marathon in Las Vegas !

What is coming up on Horse & Country TV this Christmas?

We have a jam packed schedule for Christmas with lots of new shows including the Rolex Grand Prix Live from Geneva and a brand new Yard Talk and Masterclass with Harriet Nuttall. 

(See the bottom of Jenny’s interview for a list of all the new shows and times as well as details for H&C TV Everywhere, the new service that lets you watch wherever you are without the need for Sky)

What advice would you give to someone wanting to present? 

First of all know your stuff and research everything. Start by making videos and create a personality. Be prepared to work very hard, long hours and try to have a few strings to your bow. I produce and teach as well as present.

What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? Past and present.

You’re not supposed to meet your heroes but Carl Hester is unbelievably wonderful, as is Lucinda Green. She is my hero and the best instructor I’ve ever had. Lucinda is always so lovely and so encouraging. She sent me an email having spent a weekend working together saying what a pleasure I had been to work with, and that she thought I could one day be the next Clare Balding! I keep thinking I might print it off and frame it in the loo. She is such a wonderful person.

Do you have a favourite equestrian possession?

My horse Finn and my dogs. When I am out hacking, and the horse spooks, my dogs lead the horses through and at the yard, they are my company. They are my pals and always come on the truck with me. They are both rescue dogs.

Is there an all time favourite yard/stables that you’ve been too? And why?

Badminton House stables are amazing but Carl’s yard is homely without being over the top and is seriously impressive.

Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?

Probably not us…I would say the Germans. Their yards are amazing, they produce beautifully and they don’t do mud !

What would you like your legacy to be?

In equestrian terms, I always said when I first set out working that I just wanted to be good at what I do, whether teaching or presenting and if people think I’m a nice person then that makes me happy.

Do you have an equestrian hero?

Murphy Himself, ridden by Ginny Leng and then Ian Stark…that horse made me want to ride. He used to bounce 2 strides around Badminton! When I was 12 I went to Badminton for the first time and ran up to Ian Stark with my autograph book when he was riding Murphy Himself, but Murphy sneezed on the book and I said to Ian that that will do, so I never got Ian’s as I was so happy to have Murphy’s ‘snortograph’!

What is the quality that you most like in a horse?

A good brain and they have to want to work. There is nothing worse than riding a horse that doesn’t want to do it.

If you weren’t a presenter, what would you be doing?

Living a life of luxury! I would have loved to have been an eventer if I had the money and the balls but my ideal job would have been to live in a jungle and watch animals with my zoology background.

The dream was always to be a zoologist and at Uni I actually worked as a doorman and paid my way through my studies but jobs were few and far between so I went to Ireland to do all my BHS exams and learnt to produce youngsters.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given? Who gave it to you?

Harry Meade always told me to never trust a naked woman!

The best advice I was given and can’t remember who gave it to me is that there’s no such thing as luck, it’s opportunity mixed with preparation. I love that and I live by it. It’s my motto.

Tell us something about yourself that only you know?

When my fiancé is not here I still sleep with Poodilare…my teddy!

What would be your message to the equestrian world?

Hold on to the mane and kick!

Do you have a secret superstition before an event?

Not really but I ring my mum a lot especially before big events, half a day doesn’t go by without me talking to her. When I feel a wobble, I always call her and she tells me I can do it.

What are your top 5 indispensable pieces of kit, for you or your horse?

1. When I am filming my Ariat coat keeps me very warm as do the boots and I love them.

2. I love my Voltaire eventing saddle that I ride in and couldn’t live without it.

My Voltaire saddle

3. When its cold, I can’t be without my Annabel Brock head warmer. It is so amazing and is a brilliant Christmas present…everyone is getting one from me!

4. Hawkins Organic dog shampoos: they are just delicious and when the dogs get a bit smelly, lemongrass wafts around rather than wet dog and it stops everyone thinking I’m a mad dog woman.

5. Its not a current piece of my kit but I have aspirations for an Alexander horsebox.

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?

I don’t make them as I never stick to them !

Against The Clock…

Dick Francis or Jilly Cooper?

Jilly Cooper

Royal Ascot or Cheltenham Festival?

Cheltenham because I can get my tweed out

Badminton or Burghley?

Badminton

Sand or Snow?

Sand definitely

Tea or G&T?

Prosecco

Bay or grey?

Definitely bay as I don’t like washing horses 

H&C TV Christmas Viewing Schedule:

Monday 8th December

2030

Rudall’s Round-Up: 2014 – a look back at some of the highlights from across the year

     

Tuesday 9th December

2000

2100

FEI World Cup Driving: Stockholm

FEI World Cup Jumping: Madrid

     

Wednesday 10th December

2100

FEI World Cup Dressage: Stockholm

 

 

 

Friday 12th December

1930

Rolex Top Ten IJRC Final LIVE

 

 

 

Saturday 13th December

2000

The AHT UK Equestrian Awards 2014

 

 

 

Sunday 14th December

1300

Rolex Grand Prix Geneva LIVE

 

 

 

Tuesday 16th December

2100

FEI World Cup Driving: Budapest

 

 

 

Sunday 21st December

2130

Gucci Paris Masters 2014

 

 

 

Friday 26th December

2100

Emma Massingale: No Limits ((By the way, Albert and Ernie from the H&C TV Christmas advert are in this!)

 

 

 

Monday 29th December

2100

2130

Yard Talk: Harriet Nuttall

H&C Masterclass: Harriet Nuttall

The schedule is always subject to change. Further details and details of repeat broadcast times can be found at www.horseandcountry.tv/tv

 

H&C TV Everywhere is the new service from Horse & Country TV that lets you watch H&C’s award winning channel at a time and place convenient to you, and without the need of a subscription to SKY. For more information about H&C TV Everywhere service, follow this link.  

 

If you like your Twitter feeds, you can keep up to date with Jenny by following her here and Horse & Country TV here.

 

You may also like to read:
Carl Hester (GBR) & Uthopia - Dressage Grand Prix Special - London 2012 Olympic Games © Jon Stroud Media

© Jon Stroud Media

(c) Matt Nuttall

(c) Matt Nuttall

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Carl Hester MBE Francis Whittington Ben Hobday
     
showbiz_paralympic_ball_grosvenor_house_12 EverywhereXmas Ad pic8 _79233988_index-image-award-vers2_624
Sophie Christiansen OBE H&C TV Christmas Advert Charlotte for SPOTY 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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