If you don’t recognize Jordan Allen from the show ring, cheering on her fellow equestrians or as a former working student at Ashland Farm, you have probably seen her name across a few headlines with more championships under her belt then we have space to list (Junior Hunter Finals Champion and USET Medal Finals Reserve Champion, just to name the most recent!). Now starting her freshman year at the University of South Carolina, we caught up with the busy student to talk horses and fashion.
I apologize for having to call you so early, I know being college student mornings are not your friend.
Oh it’s no problem! I have been up since 6:00 am, I just got back from a workout.
How has the transition been from a working [riding] student at one of the busiest operations, Ashland Farm to starting college and riding on the team?
It's been a big change, especially because last year I took a gap year. I was able to put all my time into riding which was amazing. It was the best year in Wellington. I never had to worry about school. I would even go to the barn on Mondays. So it has been a big change, but I think it's good for me. It's teaching me time management. I enjoy school. I'm on a pre-med track.
You left school this weekend to compete at USEF Medal Finals, how was it heading back into horseshow mode after being away for a while and winning Reserve Champion?
Ken and Emily [Smith] are so organized. We had our specific plan for Medal finals weeks ago. We talked about the courses and what I was going to do in and out of the ring to prepare. I had specific lessons after we discussed the plan, I feel so lucky to have ridden Cassini. I wasn't sure if I was going to go to USET or Capital Challenge. I decided to stay at Capital Challenge, and I was able to lesson Cassini a lot, mainly on the flat and stuff. It was just an awesome day. I will never forget it. I feel very lucky.
What is the most important aspect when it comes to your riding clothes?
Comfort! I have to work and the days are long, I wear my breeches more than anything, obviously. At Indoors, you sleep in them, If I have to get a nap and I don't have time to change, I will most definitely sleep in them.
PC Shawn McMillen
You are in the showring a lot, so I’d imagine you have a clothing rotation down. What is your go to competition outfit these days?
I love my Free x Rein breeches, they look very sleek. I either wear my Elite Bodysuit or my Essex Classics. I really like the collar on my Elite Bodysuit, and the cuffs, I don’t like when either are too soft. The [stiffer] peplum looks really professional. I typically wear Lululemon shirts for practicing at home and different colored breeches.
The Equestrian Bodysuit has been a big change for riders who have never considered it before, what’s it like to ride in an FXR Bodysuit?
I had never ridden in one, so I was excited to try it. Almost every single other shirt that I have always comes untucked from my pants, and it's the most annoying thing ever, especially in the show ring, it's just inevitable. That’s why I love the bodysuits, because you never have to worry about that, and you don't even really realize that it's a bodysuit. It’s just so comfortable when you’re riding or walking around during the day.
I don’t want to keep you much longer since you are a busy woman, but what was it like to work with Ken and Emily, such giants in the Hunter/Jumper world?
Oh my gosh, it's hard to explain how much it's taught me in the past year. I would not trade it for the world. And it's been amazing to learn so much in the saddle from them and so much more. I know every single horse's feed, tack, their specific morning preparation. They [Ken and Emily] lead by example, Ken is always the first person at the barn. He gives us encouragement when we’re doing something correct and is always there to help when he sees us in need of guidance. I've been able to ride amazing horses, but you're also able to ride babies all the way up to mature show horses. It's been amazing to see what makes a barn successful, behind the scenes and beyond. It’s really cool.
PC Shawn McMillen