FLY­ING WITH WINGS

Eques­trian cham­pion Karen Polle weighs in on her rid­ing ca­reer and her part­ner­ship with Miki­moto

Singapore Tatler - - STYLE -

What are some of your favourite mem­o­ries from your rid­ing ca­reer?

One of my favourites is win­ning the five-star Dou­glas El­li­man Grand Prix in Welling­ton, Florida last year with my horse With Wings. We had also won the Grand Prix Qual­i­fier two days ear­lier, which very rarely hap­pens in this sport. An­other of my favourite mem­ory is plac­ing third in the Rolex Grand Prix at Versailles last May with Wings. It was our first big five-star show in Europe, and I was very in­tim­i­dated. It was a spec­tac­u­lar feel­ing to do so well there at such an in­cred­i­ble venue and in front of such an en­er­getic crowd.

You now man­age your own horses. Why do you do it?

I be­lieve that the pro­gramme I’ve cre­ated with my team is best for the health and fit­ness of my horses, and it also pro­vides me with the flex­i­bil­ity to travel around the world for com­pe­ti­tions. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to train and main­tain my horses as world-class ath­letes. I be­lieve it’s def­i­nitely made me a bet­ter rider be­cause I’m much more in tune with my horses and what it is that helps them per­form their best.

How did the part­ner­ship with Miki­moto come about?

Miki­moto ap­proached me about a part­ner­ship be­cause it was in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing a Ja­panese ath­lete who was com­pet­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally. I’ve loved their jew­ellery ever since I got my ears pierced as a teenager, and I’ve only ever worn Miki­moto’s pearls, so it was a dream come true for me to work with the brand!

Miki­moto cre­ated a cus­tom set of pearl-studded rid­ing gear for you and With Wings. Did you have a hand in their cre­ation?

With Wings is a re­ally spe­cial horse. I call him my “once in a life­time” horse be­cause most rid­ers will only ever find one horse like this in their life­times, if ever. So I wanted to cre­ate a piece for him that’s as spe­cial and unique as he is. I thought it would be beau­ti­ful to make him an ear bon­net lined with pearls. It started as this fan­tas­tic dream of mine and I still can’t be­lieve that Miki­moto was able to make it into a re­al­ity. I’m very grate­ful to them for that. I love see­ing Wings in his Miki­moto gear; I can’t ex­press how proud it makes me feel!

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