The 14 heiresses making their own name in equestrian sports

They have famous parents, a fortune to their name and a passion for horses. Meet the heiresses who have forged, or are forging, a successful career in the equestrian world.

1. Laura Tomlinson

Dressage supremo Laura Tomlinson MBE (née Bechtolsheimer) is the daughter of an entrepreneur — Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer — and the grand-daughter of another — German department store founder Karl-Heinz Kipp, the father of her mother Ursula.

Tomlinson started riding at three and “spent a lot of time falling off”, according to her website. She won her first big medal — team silver at the Pony European Championships — when she was 14 and has been going strong since then. She has represented Britain at a host of international competition, chief among all the London Olympics of 2012, where she won individual bronze and was part of the team that got gold. Her Olympic success earned an MBE in the New Year’s honours.

In 2013, she married polo player Mark Tomlinson and the couple now have a little girl, Annalisa.

Top image of Laura Tomlinson by Berit via wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

2. Georgina Bloomberg

Thirty-three-year-old Georgina Bloomberg is the daughter of American businessmen and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg — the world’s eighth richest man with an estimated worth of $40 billion, according to Forbes magazine — and his former wife, Susan Brown.

Bloomberg started riding as a child and has since then represented the United States in several Nation Cup competitions and at last year’s Pan-American Games in Toronto, where she was part of the team that finished in bronze. Among the top wins is the inaugural CSI3* Central Park Grand Prix in New York, aboard Juvina.

Bloomberg, who has a son with her former boyfriend, Argentinian rider Ramiro Quintana, not only manages to find time to ride at top level but also to co-author, with Catherine Hapka, the A Circuit, a series of novels about top-level showjumping that seems to mirror Bloomberg’s own life.

3. Gina Schumacher

The daughter of former Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is passionate about reining and, last year, won both individual and team gold at the FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders, which took place at her mother’s CS ranch in Givrins, Switzerland, aboard Gunners Entreprise. Corinna Schumacher, who has been tending her husband, Michael, since he suffered a horrific skiing accident at the end of 2013, took a few hours off to watch her daughter win the competition.

Schumacher was also the test rider who opened the team final of the FEI European Reining Championships in Aachen in 2015. Her mother’s ranch will host the 2016 Reining World Cup for both senior and younger riders, where Schumacher stands a good chance of nabbing another gold.

4. Jennifer Gates

Her dad is the world’s richest man and one of the most famous, but Jennifer Gates seemingly lives for horses. The 19-year-old, who studies Biology at Stanford University, started riding when she was six and is now ranked 52 in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Standings for the North America West Coast League.

She recently placed sixth in the CSI Under 25 in Wellington, Florida, aboard Pumped Up Kick. To support Gates’ competitive efforts, the family bought an equestrian property in Wellington, Florida, in 2013, and, a year later, the 228-acre equestrian estate Rancho Paseana, north of San Diego, in California, for which they paid a rumoured $18 million (£12.7 million).

5. Eve Jobs

In a rivalry that echoes that of her father, the late Steve Jobs, with Bill Gates, eighteen-year-old Eve Jobs — the youngest daughter of Jobs and his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs — has faced off Jennifer Gates in several competition.

Jobs, who started riding at four and won several junior titles, recently finished in second place at the CSI Under 25 in Wellington, Florida, aboard Sandor de la Pomme. With the same horse, she placed 14th at the Continental/Regional Championships CH-N.Am-J-S in Lexington, Kentucky. She once declared in an interview that her ultimate aim is to compete at the Olympics.

6. Athina Onassis de Miranda

The granddaughter of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, thirty-one-year-old Onassis de Miranda is an accomplished showjumper and a regular on the Longines circuit.

After a sad childhood, marred first by her parents’ divorce then by her mother’s death when she was only three, Onassis de Miranda developed a passion for horses and started competing as a teenager. She is now a patroness of the Global Tour and is married to Brazilian showjumper and Olympic medallist Alvaro (Doda) de Miranda Neto.

7. Sofia Abramovich

Dubbed Britain’s richest teenager, Sofia Abramovich is the daughter of Russian businessman Roman Abramovich (the world’s 151st richest man, according to Forbes) and his former wife Irina Malandina.

Despite being only 18, Abramovich has already represented Russia in showjumping competitions, including the Longines Global Championships Tour.

8. Jessica Springsteen

The daughter of Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa got her first pony when she was “maybe six or seven. I was obsessed with him and he would throw me off every chance he got,” she recalls in a CNN interview. “I couldn’t ride him at all.”

However, Springsteen quickly learned the ropes and went on to win several pony competitions and, at 18, the George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship. Now a regular at the Longines Global Champions Tour, she’s one of the riders that has been named as Olympic hopeful for Rio 2016.

She partly credits her parents for her success: “They have really gotten involved in the sport. It’s great to have someone pushing you when it gets tough — it can get really hard so I’m lucky to have a family that supports me and helps me follow my passion.”

9. Ekaterina Rybolovleva

Ekaterina Rybolovleva is the daughter of Russian entrepreneur Dmitri Rybolovlev (who ranks 148th in the Forbes rich list) and his former wife, Elena. She sprang to international fame in 2012, when a trust bought a New York City penthouse worth $88 million (about £62 million) for her.

However, Rybolovleva had already established a name for herself in the international showjumping circuit, where she competes mainly at 1* and 2* level. Last year, she married Uruguay-born businessman Juan Sartori, on the island of Skorpios — the same place where Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in 1968 — which she has leased for 99 years from another top equestrian heiress, Athina Onassis de Miranda.

10. Hannah Selleck

The twenty-eight–year-old daughter of Tom Selleck and Jilly Mack started riding when she was four and never looked back. Having won the individual gold medal in the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships aboard Bauer in 2008, she is now competing at senior level — and has her sights on the Rio Olympics.

Last year, Selleck was one of the ambassadors for the new Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League.

11. Paige Johnson

The series My Little Pony was apparently the reason Paige Johnson, daughter of American businessman Bob Johnson and his former wife Sheila Crump Johnson, took up riding as a child.

Now the American showjumper, who has trained with world-number-three Kent Farrington, competes on the international circuit and finished fourth in the Miami leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour last year, aboard Dakota.

Johnson is married to insurance broker and keen golfer Dudley Payne.

12. Destry Allyn Spielberg

The youngest daughter of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Destry Allyn Spielberg is passionate about showjumping and is swiftly rising through the ranks.

Last October, the nineteen-year-old has taken part in the Longines Masters in LA, where she and Caliano 2 placed seventh in the Écuries d’ Écaussines 1.30-metre class, which went to Eve Jobs.

Spielberg is currently dating Vine star Matt King.

13. Katherine Dinan

The daughter of Wall Street bigwig James Dinan and his wife Elizabeth Miller, Katie Dinan is one of America’s most successful young competitors.

She started riding when she was four, and won her first international Grand Prix when she was 18 years old, in 2012. Since then, she has often ridden for the United States in the Nations Cup and at two World Cup Finals (in 2013 and 2014) with Nougat du Vallet.

Dinan, who studies Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology at Harvard, recently nabbed the national grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Palm Beach aboard Dougie Douglas.

14. Alexandra Andresen

The world’s youngest billionaire, Alexandra Andresen comes from a Norwegian business dynasty with their roots in the tobacco sector, but currently active in hedge funds management. She made headlines earlier this year when her father, Johan Andresen, gave her 42% of the family’s investment company, putting her personal worth at $1.17 billion (about £860 million).

However, Andresen was already famous in Norway’s equestrian circles for her riding prowess — she has won the country’s junior dressage championships three times, and has won bronze and silver at the European Junior Riders Championships in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

A committed vegan, Andresen trains in Germany and is very active on Instagram.


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