Joe Stockdale continues his father's considerable showjumping legacy with a Team GB bronze medal at the World Equestrian Championships earlier this month. The last time that Britain won a team medal at a World Championship was in Rome in 1998!
Long term sponsor of Team Stockdale, SPILLERS took the opportunity to get the inside scoop on Joe’s first senior championship experience…
Firstly, let’s talk about your amazing mare, Equine America Cacharel. I understand you’ve had her since she was 4? Tell us about her personality and how it must feel to be jumping at this level on a homemade horse.
We have actually had Cash from a 3 year old, I was with my Dad when he bought her at a local auction. She knows she is special and is a bit of a princess. She loves people and lots of attention. My Dad felt she had the qualities to be a top horse, she is very quick to learn and doesn’t usually need reminding. We have brought her on slowly as she is a big mare and needed time to grow into herself.
For those of us not in the know, what did you have to do to qualify for this Championship? And what was the selection process like?
I have been aiming her at the Nations Cups this year which gives Chef d'equipe Di Lampard the opportunity to watch us perform in a team and at this level.
Who have you been training with in the run up to Championship?
I train regularly with Will and Pip Funnell who have been crucial to my success at this level. There are also training sessions organised by the World Class Programme..
With three rounds of jumping in the team competition, how did you cope with the pressure of jumping on consecutive days?
It is intense jumping and the fences are very big with technical tracks. However, both horse and rider have to be at peak fitness to be able to give their best each day. There is a lot of help available from BE & BS as part of the World Class program, I have access to many professional specialists.
What was the team atmosphere like?
It was fantastic to have the experience of Ben Maher, Scott Brash and John Whitaker as travelling reserve. Obviously the focus was to Qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics but we always knew we were capable of coming away with a medal. The support for everyone was amazing.
We understand that the final day’s jumping would prove to be a crucial round and was made even more poignant because it was also your dad’s 58th birthday. How did that feel to secure the Team Bronze on such a special day?
Having a counting score in a team competition is always a good feeling and i just stayed focused on doing the job.
Team GB also earned themselves a spot at the 2024 Olympics in Paris after their performance at the Championships in Denmark. Are you hoping to be on that 2024 team too?
As a part of the World Class program to Paris 2024 it is my plan to aim for team selection and the experience that I gained at the World Championships is invaluable.
Finally, can you share with us what you are feeding Cacharel both on a day-to-day and when travelling and competing?
We try to keep all of the horses on the same feeding routine wherever they are and keep things as simple as possible. She has Cool Mix, Alfalfa-Pro Fibre and High Fibre Cubes then we adjust the amount to her workload along with her grazing and hay/haylage intake.
Thanks for taking the time to share your insights with us. At just 22 years old, we are all so excited to see what the future holds for this talented young showjumper.