Riders’ stories: Joseph Stockdale. A new generation of champions

Joseph Stockdale, usually known as Joe - will be 23-years-old on October 18th - riding Equine America Cacharel was a member of the British Team that won the bronze medal at the Herning World Championships. Joe is the son of a great rider, Tim, who sadly died in 2018, and was one of the greatest riders in international show jumping. Joe started riding ponies at the age of four at the Oakley Hunt West Pony Club in the United Kingdom and now runs the stables previously owned by his father in Northamptonshire, England, where he was helped and coached by William and Pippa Funnell.

Joseph was one of six riders selected to be part of the Young Riders Academy programme for 2022. As a member of the YRA he is now coached by Jos Lansink.



You won the team bronze medal in the World Championships in Herning, a very important achievement. What are your feelings concerning this Championship and your performance in Herning?

I thought the Championship was a tough one. I was really pleased with how my mare jumped every day and thought she jumped fantastically. She really tried hard for me every day and although perhaps we didn’t get the rounds we wanted on the first couple of days, it was nice to come back and finish with a good round and on a strong result and obviously it was amazing for the team to win a medal.

Tell us something about your mare, Equine America Cacharel.

We’ve had her since she was a three-year old. We bought her unbroken at an auction for young horses, so we’ve had her all the way through her career. We broke her in ourselves and produced her all the way up and we always knew that she was going to be a superstar. We all assumed she was going to be a great horse and it’s nice to finally bring her to the Championships because we always thought she was capable of coming here and doing well.

Joe, you come from an equestrian family, what influence had this on your formation and your career?

Well, obviously I grew up with my father, watching him at shows and jumping, although riding wasn’t always my first choice for a career. I never really took it that seriously when I was younger, it was more that I enjoyed being around the horses, I liked jumping but I was never really planning to be a rider. And then, you know, a few things changed all of a sudden when my father died and I had to start riding a little bit more and so it’s been a very, a quick learning curve to get all the way here in the last  three or four years. But I would like to say that I’ve always been around horses, I’ve always loved being part of the yard and working with the horses day-to-day and so that has had a great influence on me.

Now you are at the top of the world. Is your experience at the Young Riders Academy important for you both as an athlete and a horseman?

Absolutely. The Young Riders Academy is fantastic and to me the knowledge and the teaching it provides is amazing. You realize you are part of such a great Academy so many top riders have been through before. And, you know, it’s fantastic to be a part of that and be able to use everything that they provide for you; the teaching that they provide and the opportunities you get being by on the programme and I’m very, very happy to a part of it.

What advice would you like to give a young rider who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I think you need to enjoy your riding. I think ours is not an easy sport, in fact it’s a very difficult sport and you need to have a lot of patience with the horses; you have to have a lot of understanding for your horses’ needs and what they require to be able to perform as well as they can. And I think, it takes a lot of hard work. As I said, it’s not easy and you have bad days and then good days. But it’s a very rewarding sport and a career that I definitely enjoy a lot.

What is your dream?

The dream for me would be to go to the Olympics, it’s all riders’ main dream I think. So, that’s sort of at the top of the sport and, you know, to go there is so tough and such an achievement and I think I may possibly have a chance with my mare Equine America Cacharel. In a few more years’ time and with a little more experience we will know a bit more about the top level, so I think that ultimately that’s the main goal.


Photos © IJRC/S.Secchi, his FB page, YRA/F.Petroni