Jumping for joy

PUBLISHED: 18:17 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 February 2013

Jumping for joy

Jumping for joy

Ricki Hill, international show jumper, talks to Emily Pascall, about his ambitions of being an Olympic gold medallist, Benfleet and his very special spaghetti Bolognaise...

Ricki Hill, international show jumper, talks to Emily Pascall, about his ambitions of being an Olympic gold medallist, Benfleet and his very special spaghetti Bolognaise...

Where do you live?
I live and train from my yard in Benfleet.

How long have you lived there?
My family moved to the farm 15 years ago.

What do you do for a living?
I am an international show jumper.

How old are you?
24 years old.

Tell us about your family
My parents are Rick and Jackie Hill - they own and run R J Hill Ltd from their offices in Hadleigh. I have a sister named Jemma who also competed at international level, but now has a career in Equine Therapy - everything from spine manipulation to massage - she makes sure my horses are in top form.

Do you have any pets?
We have three family dogs - two German shepherds called Buddy and Rocky and an Alaskan malamute called Ruby.

What do you love about your job?
I love the competition which allows me to travel - another reason I love what
I do. The international show jumping calendar is worldwide and I get to see many different parts of the world. I also love working with the animals, creating a partnership with each one to achieve success.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Winning two gold medals at the European Young Rider Championships, under 18 and under 21, was a massive achievement, but I think my greatest Grand Prix win has to be the Monte Carlo - it was a spectacular show for me professionally and the hospitality, atmosphere and, of course, the win made it a fantastic weekend for my team and owners.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I hope to have been privileged enough to have competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games; to be given the opportunity to try and win an Olympic medal for my country would really mean a lot to me. I also hope to have a strong string of horses to maintain my success.

How do you relax?
I really enjoy going to a restaurant with my family and friends.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I've been told I cook a mean spaghetti Bolognese, if that counts.

Which five guests would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Michael Schumacher, because he is my sporting hero and a true professional; Gordon Ramsay, so he could cook the dinner, although I might let him taste my Bolognese if he's lucky; Joan Rivers, I think the woman is hilarious; Jonathan Ross because I love his sarcasm; and Oprah Winfrey because if I could get her to be my owner I would have some serious horse-buying power.

What is the best view in Essex?
When I'm looking into my Rossi's ice cream on Southend seafront - it's the best ice cream in the world.


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