byLizzy Youngling| Jan 27, 2017
At the 1954 Royal Agricultural Horse Show in Windsor, Jane Holderness-Roddam gifted her beloved pony, Juniper, to Queen Elizabeth II’s son, Prince Charles. At the time, the six-year-old didn’t realize that more than a decade later, her and Queen Elizabeth II’s paths would cross again.
It was 1968 when living legend Holderness-Roddam changed the world of British eventing forever, winning Team Gold at the 1968 Mexico City Games on Our Nobby and becoming the first female British Eventer to compete at the Olympic level. In addition, she won the 1968 Badminton Horse Trials, the same place where Queen Elizabeth II would meet her for a second time while presenting Jane with the winner’s trophy. Ten years later, Jane repeated her performance and won Badminton again, this time with her fierce competitor, Warrior.
Born in Dorset, England in 1948, Holderness-Roddam (née Bullen) grew up with horses in her blood. Not only did Jane’s mother, Anne, breed and train children’s show ponies all over England, she was also one of the world’s most respected writers and illustrators of children’s pony books.
Today, Jane has retired from competition, though she is still a major force in the equestrian world, where she serves as the President of British Eventing while overseeing the competition yard at West Kingston Stud with her husband, Tim. She is also a British Eventing Steward and Accredited Trainer, an FEI Technical Delegate and Judge, and—following in her mother’s footsteps—an author of more than 20 equestrian books! To honor her extensive achievements, Jane was appointed as an official Olympic torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games. She has also received the British Horse Society (BHS) Queen’s Award for Equestrianism at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Most recently, in July of 2015, Jane made headlines once again when she came out of retirement for a charity close to her heart. Aboard her veteran mount, Tiger’s Eye II, Jane competed to raise funds for the World Horse Welfare charity, where she serves as a trustee. To no one’s surprise, Jane completed a great double clear with a top-20 placing! (You can watch a portion of her ride below.)
-Images courtesy of Jane Holderness-Roddam. Left: Jane and Our Nobby winning at Badminton in 1968. Right: Jane and Warrior at Badminton in 1980 (he won in 1978).