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Belgian Show Jumper
Judy Ann Melchior
Date of birth:
Number of horses in the stable:
Around a 100, but 6-7 sport horses that Judy-Ann rides.
Which are your current top horses, and could you tell us about them?
“I have Levisto Z – or Levi as we call him. Levi is like a prince! He knows he’s a superstar and acts like one. Levi always works with me. Although he is a bit of a stallion, I can always handle him,” Judy-Ann says about the beautiful grey stallion.
“Then I have Cha Cha Z. She is very small, only 1.57 meters high – but she has a big heart! Cha Cha rides like a big horse though, and has a big canter. She is also a real character,” she says.
“As Cold As Ice Z is also one of my top horses. She jumped some Nations Cups in 2011 with good results. Ice also has a foal by Air Jordan Z, and it will be seven years old in 2012 so that’s exciting!”
Which horse is your favorite through the times?
“Levisto Z,” Judy-Ann says quickly with a big smile on her face.
When and how did you start to ride?
“I started to ride when I was nine as I had always loved horses. I started off riding ponies, and began competing at regional shows. When I was 12 years old I competed at my first European Championships for ponies. In 2002 I went on to junior classes and in 2004 to young rider classes. As a young rider I competed in many Grand Prix’s with the seniors as well,” Judy-Ann explains.
When did you decide to become a professional rider?
“That was in 2006. I was at university studying bio medics. I was picked for the Belgian team, and decided that I couldn’t do both the riding at top level and study at the same time – so I decided to stop my studies and ride full time instead.”
Could you name a person that has been influential for your showjumping career, and explain why?
“I need to name more than one,” Judy-Ann replies. “First of all I have to say Jos Lansink. He used to be our home rider at Zangersheide, and I started riding with him when I was 13 and continued doing so until I was 17 – he has had a huge influence on me. Then there is my dad [Leon Melchior] of course; he brought up Zangersheide where I started to ride and that has meant everything to me. I also have to mention my boyfriend Christian Ahlmann with whom I work a lot together with; actually we do almost everything together. It really helps me to have Christian as he is so professional.”
Which personal quality has served you well in this sport?
“I’m very stubborn, which has been of great help on many occasions! Like when I fell off seven times at my first European Championship. My pony kept on stopping, and I went off every time – two times in each class actually,” she laughs”. “But I kept getting back on, and when I got home I jumped courses build of small cross-jumps until everything was working again!”
What have been your career highlights?
“Well, I have won the Sires of the World twice with Levi at Zangersheide – which was great! I have also won the Falsterbo Derby on Espoir Z. In addition I have a bronze medal with the Belgian team from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, as well as a team silver and individual bronze medal from the European Championship for young riders in 2004. I also won the Belgian Championship as a junior.”
And on the other hand; what has been the most embarrassing moment in your career?
“That must have been when I fell off seven times at the Europeans – without doubt,” Judy-Ann laughs.
What are your goals for the 2012 season?
“My main goal is the Olympic Games in London. I hope to go there with As Cold As Ice Z, she just it a little easier than for example Cha Cha Z that on the other hand has a little more routine than Ice.”
What’s your favorite Kingsland product, and why?
“I love all the Kingsland products and actually I find myself wearing little else,” says Judy-Ann. “My wardrobe is full of it – also the casual wear, which looks great – so I use it all the time. So, who needs to go shopping anymore?”
Do the Kingsland products help you ride better?
“It certainly makes you perform your sport at top level as the equipment is so professional and comfortable to wear!”
What’s your advice for riders who want to get to the level that you are at?
“I think you have to be a bit stubborn to reach the top. You have to be a stayer, and keep going no matter what. When things are against you, it’s important to keep believing and keep on working hard. That’s my best advice,” says Judy-Ann. “And wear Kingsland,” she smiles before we close off.
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