Wymeswold showjumper Holly Gillott finds her feet with GB Nations Cup elite

Hollie Gillott and Dougie Douglas EMN-150306-122431002
Hollie Gillott and Dougie Douglas EMN-150306-122431002
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Show jumper Holly Gillott and star mount Dougie Douglas are in prime position to fulfil an Olympic dream, but she is refusing to look too far ahead.

The Wymeswold horse and rider combination have established themselves within the top rung of British show jumping after breaking into the international arena last season.

This weekend they compete for Britain’s elite team in their third consecutive five star Nations Cup in St Gallen, Switzerland.

Just a few weeks ago she found herself competing alongside two of the sport’s national statesmen, Michael and John Whittaker.

“You are jumping with people that you have looked up to all your life,” said Gillott.

“They can give you such good experience and advice and it’s great to work around them.

“I’m inexperienced and he (Dougie) is inexperienced so we have to take these chances and make the best of them.”

They made an instant impact after making their Nations Cup debut last June at three-star level and were soon promoted up the ranks to five star second division level.

They then made the elite squad as reserves for the final Super League round in Rotterdam, and Nations Cup final in Barcelona.

This season British team selectors decided to give them their chance, drafting them into Five Star Super League action at Lummen, in Belgium.

The pair impressed with just one fence down in two rounds, but were blighted by dreadful conditions at the next round in Rome.

Gillott said: “There was torrential rain for an hour-and-a-half which stopped just before our round.

“The ground conditions were terrible with standing water everywhere and Dougie didn’t like it.

“We had three fences down and 12 faults, but only three scores out of the four riders counted and luckily the other team members went well.”

But with improved weather and arena conditions, Dougie went clear in the second round.

She added: “By the time of the second round it had improved a lot and he was much happier and jumped a great round. He is the ultimate professional.”

And the best could yet be to come. At 10-years-old, Dougie is still two years away from what is considered a show jumper’s prime age.

The 2016 Rio Olympics could be the biggest step in his development if everything goes to plan.

But the British team must first qualify through the European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this autumn.

Gillott is also determined to keep her focus firmly planted in the present and let the future take care of itself.

She added: “Things change very quickly in this sport with horses’ form going on and off.

“Currently we are on form so all I worry about is preparing well and keeping the horses happy.”