June's edition of Portraits of London saw us meet Jessica Mendoza, the exquisitely talented and stunning equestrian rider who became the youngest competitor to join Great Britain’s Olympic Squad in 40 years at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The prestigious Royal Windsor Horse Show hosted us for day, which was rather fitting as we were in the company of someone who might just be the next best.
When was the last time you danced until the sun came up?
For my 21st this April, in Palm Beach, Florida. We had a big dinner in a restaurant with friends and they got me a really cute unicorn cake. We went clubbing afterwards. They have some really cool clubs out there.
What is your first memory?
Playing ‘aeroplane’ with my grandad in the garden. A tree was the plane and I was the pilot making the aeroplane noises!
What first made you start riding?
My parents put me on a pony aged 3, I think; and I never really looked back.
A piece of advice you would give to your 13 year old self?
Don’t buy expensive clothes because you’ll have grown out them before you know it.
Your favourite 90s movie?
Advice for other young woman looking to become an professional athlete?
Continue to believe in yourself, but listen to those you trust too.
What do you do when you’re not riding?
I love to create – most often paintings, or food. I like to try and capture the quirky side of animals like donkeys, hares and dachshunds – and, of course, horses. My foodie party piece is Pavlova!
Describe your perfect day in London?
Shopping (but not just for clothes) followed by a night out with good food (always very important!) with my British-based friends who I see too little of, now I’m based in Holland and travelling so much.
Favourite pair of Taylor Morris Eyewear?
The RollRight – I love the style and all the colours they come in.
Photography by Samuel Churchill
Clothing by Harvey Nichols