Get to know: Jeanne Engela


Investec sponsored rider, Jeanne Engela, answers 15 fun questions, proudly brought to you by The PR Machine and HQ!

What’s your nick name and why?
Millie to some and Jeanious to others – Millie was given by my parents and Jeanious by my brother originally and now most friends and family call me one of the two. The meaning or reasons behind them are unknown.

Besides horses, do you own any pets?
I have a dog, her name is Delilah/Wiley/White Dog/Wyalink. I rescued her and she can do no wrong in my eyes. She has the biggest personality and is a bundle of joy. She has so many quirks that make her the most special pet in the world and just love her.

What’s your motto?
“Everything in moderation” because I live by it. I firmly believe in finding balance in everything in life as best you can- that is what works for me. I am allergic to monotony and I don’t like to deprive myself of things either.

Favourite movie?
I am not much of a movie watcher at all but The Theory of Everything was very touching.

Favourite food?
Spaghetti bolognaise, it’s just so comforting and reminds me of home. We used to eat it every Monday growing up.

Biggest life changing moment?
Wow, this is difficult. I have had a few profound moments. I would have to say my first ever World Cup Qualifier. Then winning it. I am a realist so I have a ‘I will believe it when I see it’ kind of perspective on life. I have a lot of belief in myself and my horse but you never really know what you can achieve until you achieve it. Unpacking the experience after a win like that clearly explains what it takes from both yourself and your horse and although every competition is different in show jumping, you now know you are capable and you have recipe to work from and adapt slightly each time.

Jeanne Engela at the finish of the South African Derby

Jeanne Engela at the finish of the South African Derby

Best horse you’ve ever competed on and why?
Chanel by far! I have had some amazing horses in my life and all of them have been game and had BMT but Chanel has got to be my best. She is small and ordinary looking but when she enters the competition arena (especially on Sundays) she is incredible – she grows in size and presence and rises to the occasion like no other horse I have ridden. I can confidently say that she loves it and loves her job.

If you could be any super hero, who would you be?
I would be Animalman because he can communicate with animals and I would love to be able to communicate with my horses.

What’s your worst habit?
I twirl my hair and stick it in my ear to calm down. It’s very weird especially in public but it really helps me relieve stress and calm my nerves.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done – and would you do it again?
Derby. Yes.

What makes you laugh?
Trevor Noah

Describe your perfect day
Wake up at 7am, go for a run, cook and eat a nice breakfast and a good cup of coffee at home, then go to work – get faced with an unplanned challenge where I have to hustle to resolve it – I enjoy the thrill of it, go to riding and be able to jump both of my horses, see some friends in the evening, cook dinner and have a glass of wine with some good tunes, check the lotto draw and see that I have won!

If you had one last dinner on earth, who would you have it with?
My family, because I love them the most and I owe the majority of my success thus far to them.

If your top horse could talk, what would she say to you? 
“Mom, please give me more treats or I will bite you”

Photography: Ben Burgh, TB Images


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