The doors of the academy open at 9pm, Sunday 12th June, when our eight finalists compete to be crowned champion in the show that has been described as a mix between The Apprentice and Pony Club camp.
Filmed at Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire the show also features some of the leading names in the sport, including Pammy Hutton, Charlie Hutton, Olympic event rider Ludwig Svennerstal, top show producer Jayne Ross, event and dressage star Daisy Coakley and Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester.
– Meet one of the stylish Stars Rhianydd
of Rhi Lee Jones Eventing
Photo Credit: Jon Stroud
Tell me a little about yourself?
I grew up in South Wales and stayed there until I was 18 when I moved across the border to England, where I went to Birmingham to attend university. I thought it would be a great experience to go to a multi-cultural city after growing up in the countryside in Wales, but I was only there a couple of weeks when I missed my horses like mad, and needed an excuse to bring them to Birmingham with me. A flatmate and I started a student polo club which really took off and gave me an excuse to bring my four horses to university. Safe to say I did a lot more riding than studying! After university I helped manage a polo club for a season before moving to London for three years. Now I’m back in the Countryside in South Wales, this time with four different horses, including my first foal that was born at the beginning of June, and couldn’t be happier!
How did you get started riding?
I’ve been riding since I was 3 years old and had my first pony when I was 7. I was mad about showjumping for a number of years until I found polocrosse and absolutely fell in love with the adrenaline of the crazy sport! I played polocrosse for over 15 years and represented the UK at under 16, under 21 and under 25 level. Unfortunately 3 years ago I broke my hip which ended my polocrosse career and I nearly gave up riding all together until I found eventing. I was absolutely devastated at the time, but figured when nothing goes right… Go left! I’ve absolutely fallen in love with eventing and have got a whole new set of goals that I’m currently working my butt off to achieve. I love to retrain ex racehorses for the sport as I love their athleticism and forward thinking mentality. This takes a lot of time and patience but is so incredibly rewarding when everything starts coming together and the hard work pays off.
Tell me about this Blue Chip Academy Show you have filmed:
I couldn’t believe that I was selected to be a part of the Blue Chip All Star Acadamy. The show is like big brother meets Pony Club Camp for adults! Filmed as a reality show by Horse and Country TV, I was one of 8 finalists who competed to get sponsorship from Blue Chip Feed. As Blue Chip is arguably the best feed on the market we were all pretty keen to win the sponsorship! We also were spoilt rotten by other sponsors of the show, including Easibed Bedding and Point-Two Airjackets. To compete for the prize, we had numerous lessons with top trainers and took part in various tasks off the horse, too.
I was all set to bring my eventing mare to the All Star Academy, who I have owned for three years and retrained myself off the racetrack. Unfortunately, just as filming was due to start she got a foot abscess which meant I was unable to take her. I was determined not to miss out on the competition so took my new horse, Bob instead, who had only been off the racetrack for two weeks! The other competitors were on their best competition horses, so it was a very different experience for me, as my priority was keeping Bob calm and relaxed, and making it a positive experience for him in a very high-pressured environment. You’ll have to tune in to see how I got on!
Be sure to follow Rhianydd of RLJ Eventing on the Blue Clip All Star Academy and on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
I am hugely active on social media and love to keep my followers updated on my equestrian journey. Whether it be dishing the goss about the All Star Academy, my training experiences, competition results, mucking out thoughts or cute pictures of my newborn foal, it’s all on there! You can follow me on facebook on www.facebook.com/RLJEventing, and instagram and twitter on @RLJEventing. The Blue Chip All Star Academy is a brand new television series which premieres on Sunday 12th June 9pm on Horse and Country TV. Horse & Country TV is available in the UK on Sky channel 253 and online via the H&C Play app.
PART 2 Coming Saturday! Find out Rhianydd’s Fashion sense and style!