Jessica chases Olympic dream

Jessica Dertell with stallion Cennin.

Jessica Dertell will be the youngest dressage rider in Australian Olympic Games team history if selected for Paris 2024.

The 19-year-old from Bolinda has already met all qualifying criteria for the 2024 Paris Olympics in dressage, riding Sabble Farm owned stallion Cennin.

The pair flew to Europe last Tuesday to continue their qualifying campaign in the hope of making final selection. They will be based at Krom Stables training with Annemieke Vincourt Krom.

“This is an opportunity for selectors to see how we and our horses perform and handle being in the spotlight,” Jessica said.

“I am very determined and excited to see where the journey takes us.”

Three riders will be selected for the Australian Olympic Games dressage team as well as a fourth reserve rider. Final selections are expected to be announced in late June.

“It has been one of the biggest years for Australian dressage in recent times with more than 10 riders qualifying for the Olympics this year,” Jessica said.

“I am very lucky to be where I am in my career and dressage, and I am grateful for the support of everyone along the way.”

Jessica has spent her life around horses and currently works full-time at her family’s Future Farms in Bolinda.

Last year was Jessica’s international debut representing Australia in dressage. She rode Sabble Farms’ gelding Gladstone MH (now owned by Mia Heinrich) at the Future Champions Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany, placing in the top 10 in her classes.

In February, Cennin and Jessica won all tests entered at the Willinga Park Dressage by the Sea CDI in the Open Grand Prix section, as well as all classes in the Under 25 Grand Prix sections.

Jessica went on to win the CDI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle riding Cennin at PSI Dressage and Jumping with the stars in Werribee for the second year running, as well as the prestigious Aachen Challenge for the second year running.

Jessica is the youngest dressage rider to ever be named Australian Big Tour Grand Prix Champion. She has also been Under 25 Australian Grand Prix Champion, CDI Y Australian Champion (16-21 years old) and CDI J Australian Champion (14-18 years old) on multiple occasions.

Not only a dressage rider at the highest level, Jessica has also been extremely successful in show horse competitions winning championships in open and hunter hack classes, also rider classes at Royals, HOTY events, Grand Nationals and EA Nationals.

Jessica has also represented Australia in the Middle East riding endurance horses.

She has been working steadily toward her dream of representing Australia at the Olympic Games and is entering final selection “with confidence and determination”.

The 2024 Olympic Games will open in Paris on July 26.

Jessica Dertell with stallion Cennin.