Name and event in which you compete: John French, Hunters and Jumpers
Hometown: San Jose, CA, USA
Number of years riding: Since 3 yrs old.
Career accomplishments to date: Hunters: Two-time Professional World Hunter Champion, two-time winner of the Emerson Burr award for USEF Hunter rider of the year, 2006 and 2009 Show Hunter Hall of fame rider of the year, two-time Zone 10 Equestrian athlete of the year, 2009 Calif Professional Horseman of the year, 2009 winner of Inagural Hunter Derby Final, and numerous national and zone high score of the year champions.
Jumpers: Qualified for two World Cups, competed in Las Vegas World Cup in 2003, 2nd alternate for 2004 Olympics, Represented the U.S. on Nations Cup Team at such shows as Hickstead, Dublin, Falsterbo.
How you got started in your event: I started riding in Maryland, where my mother was a riding instructor, at age three.
Length of time you’ve been sponsored by Ariat: 10 years
Favorite Ariat product (by name): Monaco Field Boots
Proudest career moment: 2nd place finish at $175,000 Grand Prix at Olympic Trials in 2004.
Tell us about your first horse: A Shetland pinto pony named Vicky – she came from Wales, and even though she was a small pony she would jump 3’6”. I used to take her fox hunting when I was eight. She was a great pony
You ride because: Because I acquired such a love of horses at a very early age – not only showing, but through fox hunting, eventing, trail riding, pony club, and 4H.
If you weren’t a professional rider, you would be a: Singer
Favorite mentor or idol growing up: Rodney Jenkins
Favorite place to travel: Biarritz, France, or Gijon, Spain
Name one fun fact that people don’t know about you: I love working with the elderly.
Favorite way to unwind outside of the barn: Going to San Francisco.
Good luck charm: When my mother comes to watch.