It’s every young rider’s dream to one day compete for their country in the Olympics and for Camilla Speirs that dream may come true.  Camilla and her horse, Portersize Just a Jif (at 15.1hh he’s only just a horse) are Ireland’s very own International Velvet duo!

Today FM are currently running an Ireland’s ‘Olympians’ series of interviews where they are interviewing various personalities aiming for 2012.  In this extract from 22 year old Camilla’s interview with the exuberant Ray D’Arcy, she reveals the background to her very straight path to becoming a top event rider.  Set to become the youngest rider on the smallest horse, which is usually the case every time she competes, she progressed very quickly from trials to junior to young rider (I think she only spent about a week in that category, such was the speed of her success!) to competing against seniors, to being placed 14th out of 80 riders at Badminton in her debut there 2 years ago.  Before you get to thinking that she is a one trick pony – she has a yard full of other secret weapons that have had her winning formula applied to them.

I’ve been privileged to work with Camilla and Jiff since Camilla was fifteen and Jiff was five.  Jiff could barely see over the top of the stable door when I first met him and my first impression of him was that he was quintessentially cool – just like any other little jumping machine!  I worked on developing his posture so as to maximise his hind limb leverage and optimise loading through all limbs to keep him at his mechanical best.  Camilla remarked in her original testimonial that he had ‘turned inside out’ with vitality soon after I began treating him but at that time none of us knew that he was soon to become a jumping freak!

Camilla went on to compete for Ireland in the European championships, then Badminton which he qualified for during his first season at 3 star level after only a handful of qualifiers to finish 14th when Camilla was only 18!  He then went on to compete at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year and now her next goal is London 2012!

I’m nipping over to Ireland next week to check and tweak him for Tattersall’s, one of eventing’s final leg stretch to showcase skills before the final selection of who gets to compete there.  I’m so looking forward to the buzz at Camp Speirs……..