Tuesday 23rd of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Katie Jerram

October 2014

Top Showing competitor, trainer and judge Katie Jerram is one of the best known, most successful and sought-after names in the business. Ahead of HOYS, Katie shares her Pro Secrets with us and tells us about her rides for this years’ competition as well as her inspirations and what it feels like to be under the famous HOYS spot lights.



Jerram first sat on a pony aged 5 and competed at her first HOYS aged just 10. Since then she has competed every year winning on hacks, hunters, ladies hunters (sidesaddle), small hunters, riding horses and coloured horses (hogged and plaited).


Katie also rides and produces for HM the Queen and has several of her young horses, which is a deep honour for her. These include Tower Bridge (heavyweight),Testimony, which is new for 2015 and is a Show Hack and also Barbers Shop, which competes in the Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) classes.



What have been your standout moments of your career so far?
To ride and produce horses for HM The Queen is an enormous honour. Also being Supreme Champion at HOYS in 2010 and Supreme Champion at Royal International in 2011 are big moments for me.




Who are you riding at HOYS?
I have got a wonderful line-up this year:
– Tower Bridge (owned by HM the Queen) in the Heavyweights
– About Town in the Ladies and Middle Weights
– Gortelas Rinarinca in the Lightweights
– Astrobrava in the RoR and Small Riding Horse classes
– Bronte in the Large Riding Horse
– Night Prayers in the Hacks
– Barbers Shop (owned by HM the Queen) in the ROR class
– Copycat in the Heavyweight Cobs
– Liscsker Streak in the Lightweight Cobs
 Plus I am also judging the Search for a Star Competition from Thursday to Sunday so it’s quite a jam packed week !
What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? Past and present.  
I train with Ruth McMullen and she inspires me not only because of with her phenomenal record of training youngsters but also as a show rider in the ring.  Ruth also trains many top names including Pippa Funnell.


Is there an all time favourite competition that you’ve been to? And why?
Horse of the Year Show is definitely my favourite although most people say its jolly hard work, but to me it’s the end of the season, everyone is there, it brings back tremendous memories going back to when I was 10 years old riding my 13.2hh and I can still remember the day I did that on a 4 year old and I came 4th!


Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?
Ireland for breeding, England for showing…I’ve judged in Ireland, South Africa, England and Australia so I ve been around and we are streets above in our ability to produce for the show ring but Ireland is the breeding ground.


What would you like your legacy to be?
I hope that my legacy, and I hope it sees me through, is that I love to train young riders and amateurs and help people to strive to where we are today and that’s where I have my heart
JohnFrancombeMM_203x150Do you have an equestrian hero?
Yes, Johnny Francome because he has succeeded in so many ways.  He came out of racing at the top and didn’t go on longer than his time, he knew when to come out and has his TV career as well.  Whatever he has done, he has been a huge success. For success you have to work hard and he was an amazing horseman that was brave. In my day when I was point to pointing I aspired to be him.


What is the quality that you most like in a horse?
My horses are my best friend.  I love all horses and I need to be able to get in to the horses way of thinking in order to get the best out of them.   The horse and I need to function and work together as a team and in doing this, you know that when you ask the question,  they will respond. When they don’t respond, it’s upsetting as I’m sympathetic to quietly get a strong bond without rushing.


Do you have a favourite horse – past or present and why?
There have been lots of horses that I have adored and so it is a hard question to answer.
Dun Beacon has been amazing for me. He’s not easy, quite tricky and it has been hard to get into his way of thinking but I have won all the main events with him. But that’s not why hes my favourite…he is my favourite because he was so difficult to understand and he is still here with me today and is my soul mate. He’s 14 now.


If you weren’t showing and producing, what would you be doing?
I wasn’t very good at school mainly because I am dyslexic but I am good with my hands and quite arty.  I was keen to work in interior design if horses didn’t work out. 


Can you share any of your top grooming secrets for impressing the judges?!
You have to work from the inside out with an animal. We use vitamins from Science Supplements and are very hot on our worming regime and have wonderful support from Virbac. We then use Arena products once everything is healthy.



Can you describe the feeling you get when you come out at HOYS under the spotlights?
It is amazing and that is why HOYS is so special.  No other show has it and if you are ever lucky enough to ride under the spot lights it is the best feeling ever.


What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?   Who gave it to you?
My parents have always been a great part of my success and have always encouraged me to believe in what you put in is what you get out and that’s what I have always done. You put in 200% you get out 100%.


004What advice would you give to someone starting out in showing?
Watch, ask questions and observe. Aspire to your seniors, go to clinics, never think you know it all, always think the can is half empty and you will always learn and that goes through life in general – we are always learning.


What would be your message to the equestrian world?
We are incredibly lucky and I feel I am very lucky to have been bought up with horses. The equestrian world is very lucky to have horses in our life so we must be appreciative of what we have. They will only give us what we can give them.


magpieDo you have a secret superstition before a competition? 
I like to see magpies on the way to an event. For one I blow a kiss and for two I smile and I feel it is going to be a good day.


What are your top indispensable pieces of kit?
I am paranoid about my old showing kit and tatty as I am, I use it the whole time.  At the British Show Horse Association Championships last month I ‘lost’ my special showing cane and I feel lost without it.
My lucky bridle from Dun Beacon, which I now use on all my lightweights, is really old and lovely and feels part of me. When I retire and stop riding, I have said to my head girl, who has been with me for 11 seasons, that she can have it along with my main side saddle as I know it will be loved.
I am very lucky to be sponsored by Gatehouse who provide strapped hats for myself and staff. They are very comfortable, light and safe hats.  And also by Equestrian Surfaces, whose winning surface has helped my horses way of going and gives them confidence with every stride. 


After HOYS, do you get a break?
Well I am taking Barbers Shop to parade side saddle in front of HM the Queen at Windsor along with Tower Bridge and Testimony for her to see their progress through the year and discuss the 2015 season, which is such an enormous honour.


Against The Clock…


Hickstead or Olympia?  


Sand or Snow?  


Tea or G&T?  
I’m a wine drinker!


Bay or grey?  


Jilly Cooper or Dick Francis ?
Jilly Cooper…I’m a romantic


Keep up to date with Katie’s news on Twitter @katie_jerram – see below for details of Katie’s book and future clinics.


We hope you enjoyed our interview with Katie. Keep up to date with future Pro Secrets guests by hearing about them first – simply LIKE our Facebook page and follow The Gaitpost on Twitter. Just click the social media buttons on the left hand side of this page (you may need to scroll up a bit).
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Fox Pitt  on Gaucho Gat 2010 Carl Hester (GBR) & Uthopia - Dressage Grand Prix Special - London 2012 Olympic Games © Jon Stroud Media




Visit our Pro Secrets page to see a full list of interviews


Katie’s book ‘Katie Jerram on Showing’ is available here.  Covering everything from finding the right horse or pony to schooling and management methods, it’s a mine of information for every rider, at any level.

Katie’s approach ensures a happy, healthy and confident horse and an equally happy and confident rider, and her wide-ranging equestrian background gives her a unique perspective and depth of understanding.

Whether you are starting from scratch with a young horse, want to make the breakthrough to the big time or even need to solve a problem, Katie has the answers.

Illustrated with specially taken photographs, this title will be a must not only for every showing enthusiast, but also for anyone wanting to build a solid partnership with a horse and improve their way of going.



Look out for Katie’s new books due out in 2015 ‘Horsemanship by Katie Jerram’  and her Autobiography.


Katie will be holding winter clinics up and down the country so keep an eye on her website for dates and venues. Katie is also heading to South Africa in January to teach.


Go to www.hoys.co.uk for ticket information, competition timetables, official merchandise and all the news from “the world’s most exciting horse show.” 



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