British young rider Gemma Owen has found a new horse to ride in the U.K. after the tragic loss of her 2021 British junior team ride, Sirius Black. Owen will continue her sport career with MSJ Florenza.
MSJ Florenza is an 8-year old Oldenburg mare by Furstenball out of the British Hanoverian bred Diaz (by Dimaggio x Galant x Wendepunkt). She is bred and owned by Emma Blundell.
The grey mare was born and raised at Blundell's Mount St. John stud in Felixkirk, U.K.
She was first competed as a 4-year old in 2019 by Aimee Gascoigne.
In 2020 the mare was sent into training with Amy Woodhead, who piloted her to the reserve champion's title at the 2020 British Young Horse Championships at Keysoe n the 5-year old division.
Woodhead showed the mare through 2021. They finished 11th in the first round of the 2021 British Young Horse Championships.
A year later in November 2022, MSJ Florenza returned to the arena under Jennifer Martell at Sheepgate and Vale View. Back in the saddle after giving birth to her first baby, Amy Woodhead returned to the arena with the grey mare at the Winter regional championship, winning a medium level test.
MSJ Florenza has now been leased by British young rider Gemma Owen.
"After the sudden loss of Siz, I’ve missed having riding as a part of my daily routine - a routine I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I have felt like a massive part of who I am was lost and mentally it’s been quite a challenging month," Owen explained. "I am never going to be able replace Siz but I can take all he taught to my next chapter… on a brighter note meet MSJ Florenza (Faye), who I’ll be leasing until the end of the year. I can’t wait to get to know her and have some fun with her, she’s a little pocket rocket."
Owen started her international dressage career on ponies with Der Kleine Lord in 2015. In September 2019 she premiered as a junior rider at the CDI Waregem with Sirius Black. In 2021 they were nominated on the British team for the European Junior Riders Championships in Oliva Nova, Spain, where they finished 46th in the individual test. She was 8th at the 2021 British U21 Championships in September 2021 and last showed in March 2022 before taking a break from riding to make an appearance on the reality tv-show Love Island. Gemma returned to the arena in October 2022 and showed Sirius Black at Prix St. Georges level through January 2023. He suddenly passed on 3 February.
Photos © MSJ - Astrid Appels
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