Over the next few weeks, we’re championing the people who are dedicated and passionate about training to reach their own greatness. Giving their lives to a sport they love, not always to win a medal, but for personal satisfaction.

Joanne Whitaker, 29, Show jumping


What do you love about what you do?

I love show jumping for many reasons – You can’t beat being outside and training with these beautiful animals. I love creating a special relationship and understanding with my horses, training together everyday to make improvements, trying to get the best out of each horse, setting goals and trying reaching them.

Have you had to make sacrifices to get to where you are today?

A few sacrifices have to be made as I train almost every day, or I’m away with the horses at competitions. If I’m not training with the horses we are usually looking after them in one way or another – even on Christmas day the horses still need to be fed and looked after. It’s just become a natural part of life to be involved with horses every day!

What happens on a bad training day?

Like people, horses also have bad days, training doesn’t always go to plan when working with horses as they do have minds of their own! If I have a bad training day just have to try and learn from my mistakes and move on tomorrow is always another day!

How do you stay motivated to train every day?

I find it quite easy to stay motivated when I love what I do – I’m always to improve and try to better myself so that keeps me motivated, no day is the same when training with horses.

How often do you you train?

I train everyday with the horses I usually ride around 7 horses a day – we usually train during the week and then have competitions throughout the weekend.

How did you get into your sport?

The majority of my family are into the sport I think I was probably sat on a horse before I could walk. I have been training and competing with horses since I was about 10.