Jenny Rankin is one of Ireland's top international showjumpers. She finished an amazing season in 2022 as the best female Irish showjumper in the Longines Rankings - which is no mean feat! Jenny is based and has been working at Barry O'Connor's Stable in Malahide Co. Dublin for the last three years.
1). In a few words describe yourself and what you do:
I am 26 years old and a full time Showjumper working at Barry O'Connor's Stable in Malahide, Co. Dublin. I compete on the national and international circuit. My goal for the upcoming seasons would be to compete more regularly at 5* Nations Cups. Last season we were successful at 3* level.
2). Briefly - how did you get started in equestrian life?
I have ridden from a young age, starting the pony club at the age of 5. It was a fantastic social experience and well as learning all aspects of education regarding the horses.
I played all sports while at school hockey being the most competitive.
I started showjumping as a career directly after school at the age of 18. I went to work for Deirdre and Richard Bourns in Galway for the summer and stayed there for five and a half years.
3). What has been the most rewarding equine moment of your career so far?
My most rewarding equine moment so far was placing in the 5* Grand Prix in Geestern on Benny’s legacy. This was only my second 5* GP in my career and the last show I rode this horse before being sold to Adrienne Sternlicht in America.
4). And your proudest non-equine achievement?
My non equine achievement was playing hockey at a regional level. Being part of the Ulster U16 squad. At this point I had to choose between riding and hockey as both required a lot of commitment to reach the next level.
5). In your opinion what is the biggest challenge being a female in the Equine industry and how did you/how can this be overcome?
Being a female can be hard some times in the industry due to the traditions of society. It’s often physical work outside which is often considered more a male type lifestyle.
As long as you are committed to the sport I don’t think being female is a disadvantage.
6). How do you balance your passion for equestrian life and other responsibilities?
To be honest at the moment the equestrian industry is almost my whole life. Most of my friends are involved in the industry. When at home I try to take time to visit family but for now my full focus is in the industry.
7).How do you maintain a positive relationship with your horses in and out of the competition field?
I enjoying working with the horses being involved in their routine at home and at the show. From their feed, health work routine and show schedule.
8). How do you stay motivated and focused during training and competitions?
To be honest I am always motivated to improve myself and the horse. The more talented horses are obviously more motivating when you have the chance to ride at more prestigious shows.
9). Any advice to young or not so young female equestrians looking to get into the competition world?
My advice to females is that don’t be intimidated by any stereotype assumptions that males are at an advantage. If you really want to achieve something in the sport keeping working towards it.
10). If you could change one thing in the Equine industry what would it be?
One thing I would like to change in the industry is the working conditions of grooms. They play a vital role and it’s becoming more of an issue to keep good grooms working in the industry.
Thank you to Jenny for taking time out of her busy schedule to give the Equitas followers an insight into her world.
If you would like to support and follow Jenny you can at this link:
Jenny is proudly sponsored by @kingslandequestrian @fabbriboots @antaressellier