We spoke to Jessica Mendoza, our very first Brand Ambassador about the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Olympics and why she has her sights on Japan and about becoming an Ambassador for Ettinger.

Were you looking forward to the Royal Windsor Horse Show?
Yes. It’s lovely to come home to Britain and for British based owners to see their horses compete on home soil. We are based in Holland now (in Eindhoven, one of Europe’s biggest show jumping hubs) and I was also lucky enough to have been able to base myself in Florida for the first three months of this year to dodge the European Winter. I love the sunshine, so Britain’s summer shows like Windsor, are the best time to be in the UK.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show 2017: Photograph by Sam Churchill

What makes the Windsor show stand out as a highlight of the season for you?
It’s definitely one of the highlights of the British season and now hosts 5-star international show jumping, attracting some of the best riders in the world. It is steeped in history and tradition and it always feels like an honour to compete there.

You started your career very young. Was this the only thing you ever wanted to do?
My father show jumped and both my parents love the sport, so I got the bug very early on and started showing ponies from the age of three! However, I also enjoyed running and hockey at school and could see myself following one of those paths professionally if I ended up being good enough. I also enjoy drawing and painting but that’s probably an even harder profession to choose!

In a hugely successful career what is the next achievement you have your eyes on?
At our level of the sport, your mind is already on Tokyo 2020 because it takes years to produce a horse to Olympic level. But I always take each competition as it comes and there are plenty of other opportunities this year to be part of British teams competing against other nations before then – including the Nations Cup series and this time the major international championships are The Europeans in Sweden later this summer.

Photograph taken by: Julie Priestley

How did you first become aware of or involved with Ettinger?
I had seen their range in fashion magazines and love the fact that it’s a British brand and the quality of the leather and craftsmanship.

What are your favourite pieces from the Ettinger collection?
I love their weekend bags with the personalised tags. My boyfriend, Darragh Kenny, ( also an international show jumper) and I have ‘his’ and ‘hers’ bags which are so smart and brilliant for carrying our gear round the world to the different competitions.

Jessica Mendoza with her horse Horst Van de Mispelaere at the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2017
Photograph by Sam Churchill

Other Ettinger items I use all the time are my jewellery box because again it’s both classy and handy for carrying around my favourite items as I travel and, of course, my passport cover which gets a lot of outings!