Jane comes from a non-horsey family and started to ride aged seven, going once a week to her local trekking centre in Cornwall. “I went every Saturday at eleven. We would go hacking around this headland, seriously close to the edge of the cliff. The horses knew when to walk, trot and canter and, if we had time, we were allowed to play cowboys and Indians for ten minutes. The highlight was to ride the horses bareback to the field to turn them out.” Jane didn’t have her first riding lesson until her godmother, Sheila Duvollet, bought her a part-bred Connemara for £175 when she was 12. She joined the North Cornwall Pony Club and won the junior section of the pony club eventing championships in 1976. She also hunted with the North Cornwall and Monmouthshire and continued to event and show jump until she started to work for David Hunt. This came about through meeting dressage judge Janet Poulden when she lived in Wales. She used to teach Jane through her riding club. “Janet somehow arranged for me to be the novice guinea pig for the national convention, which David was running that year. It was a truly humiliating experience. He said it was a nice horse but that the girl needed lots of help. I ended up in the loo in tears, but it was the best thing that ever happened. I trained with him for two years and then asked if I could work for him.” Jane started work for David in 1981, staying for 11 years and working her way up to become headgirl. In 1992, she left to set up a yard with Suzie Cumine, the owner of Cupido, the horse that took her to international stardom. Then, in 2001, Jane and her partner dressage rider Aram Gregory set up their own yard. Aram, who rides for Hong Kong, and Jane married in 2006 after a 20-year courtship. Current competition horses: • Lucky Star, a 16.2hh Danish-bred gelding by Lucky Light out of Twinny, born 1992 and owned by husband Aram Gregory. • Piet, 17.3hh Dutch-bred chestnut gelding by Jazz out of Belinda, born 1997 and owned by Aram Gregory. • Soul Sister, a 16.1hh German-bred bay mare by Sandro Hit out of Classica, born 2001 and owned by Aram Gregory. • Samira, an 18hh German-bred bay mare by Sion out of Lara, born 1999 and owned by Aram Gregory. • Dances With Wolves, an 18hh German-bred liver chestnut gelding by Donnerschwee out of Waldfee, born 2002 and owned by Aram Gregory First competitive experience: “I remember it clearly. I was competing at a gymkhana when I was about eight and had borrowed a horse from my local trekking centre. I hadn’t tightened the girth properly, the saddle slipped and I fell off and cried. I was not a good loser!” Trainer: Top German rider and trainer Ulla Salzgeber. Superstitions: “I’m always ecstatic if we drive under or over a railway bridge when a train is passing as I believe it’s lucky and seeing two magpies means joy. Also, I never wear anything new during competitions; I don’t know why.” Most admired riders: “Oh, there are loads. The Anky [van Grunsven] and Isabell [Werth] battle is so inspiring as they keep on scoring higher percentages. I’m learning so much from observing my trainer Ulla and her rider Frank Freund, who is so naturally gifted.” Qualities looked for in a dressage horse: “A winning mind, natural energy and a sense of humour. A dressage horse has to want to work; it’s like going to the gym, you have to love it.” Favourite dressage venues: “I dream of riding at Aachen CDIO in Germany and England’s equivalent is Dressage at Hickstead, which has an amazing atmosphere.” What other career would you have chosen: “I would love to have been a vet as I am dotty about animals. The convent I went to encouraged me to be artistic. Things might have been different if I had gone to a science-based school.” Favourite meal: “Something simple such as grilled chicken with herbs, baked potato and salad.” Favourite drink: “Cloudy Bay wine from New Zealand and I’m hooked on peach juice and lemonade.” rider Aram Gregory set up their own yard. Aram, who rides for Hong Kong, and Jane married in 2006 after a 20-year courtship.