We have talked to Jamie Hocking at the FEI World Cup in Paris! Read the interview or watch the video on our YouTube channel!
1. How are you doing with your trainings at the moment?
Good, at the moment we are just trying to get through winter. It’s a new experience for me being in the cold. So I’m having to get used to extra warm up, taking extra time so I don’t tear muscles, but yeah, training is going good, so we’re just gonna look towards the next World Cup, which is in February, in Offenburg, Germany.
2. Is it your first time in Europe?
No, I’ve been coming overseas since 2010. I was part of the team in 2010 at the World Equestrian Games and then after in 2012 I started individual vaulting and then every year from 2012 until now I’ve been coming overseas.
3. What’s the difference between vaulting in Europe and Australia?
I guess, the level in Australia, it’s still progressing, we haven’t quite got the place where we can teach children from the beginning up to the top, but I think Australia is working very hard to get in line with what Europe is doing and the FEI and all that. So, I’m really proud of our country for that.
And the weather is different, of course. It’s a little bit warmer.
4. And where do you train in Europe?
I’m training with Lasse Kristensen in Denmark. He has a little house where I can stay, so it’s a really good set-up.
5. What are the goals for this season?
I’m gonna try and go to the World Equestrian Games in America, so every competition and everything we are doing, it’s aimed at getting more experience, the horse and myself. The World Cup is actually kind of a practice for me and the horse. And we just need to keep getting experience and practice.
6. So, it was the first time you participated in a World Cup?
Yeah, it is.
7. And how do you feel? A lot of pressure?
Nah, I felt a little bit nervous yesterday and then this morning it was better. The horse calmed down this morning, it was really, really good. I had really good fun and it was great to come third.
8. How do you manage to build a freestyle of 1.20 min?
I just get on the barrel and play around and come up with some spins and something that I enjoy doing and I find easy. And then I get on the horse and if it works straight away, that’s great. If it takes a little bit longer, then I go back to the barrel and work on it more. And obviously, 1.20 min is longer than normal, so it’s a bit harder for you to breathe by the end.
9. But, did you build it from scratch?
I actually took my old freestyle and changed it a little bit with the help of Lukas Heppler in Australia. But I think I’ve got a good freestyle for this coming season and a lot for to performing it.
10. Do you consider yourself as a vaulting fashionista?
I’m probably pretty boring, I’m training in the same blue every time. I wear odd socks, that’s probably the strange thing, I could be wearing black and blue maybe or white and black.
11. Who makes your competition catsuits?
The one I have this year actually came from me and my mother sitting together and talking about it and then we came up with an idea. And she pulled some old clothes together and that’s how my uniform was created. The idea was from old riding pants and old dress things and then I had a couple of extra ideas and then we’d go to a really good unitard maker and then she put it together. I’m really lucky to have her, but yeah, me and Mum.
12. What model of shoes do you wear and why?
I always go for the Bleyer split soled. I think that the split sole is very good and you can feel the horse. It bends really easily, so I can feel the horse and that’s really important for me.
13. Do you have sponsors?
Not at the moment. We’re working on it. In the coming year for the WEG it’s gonna be very expensive, so me and my team are gonna be working towards getting sponsorships…hopefully.
14. And how do you manage that?
My Mum is actually being a lot of help with this. She has a bit of experience with, you know, people, relations, and has an idea of what to give to the sponsors, so we’re gonna put together a little package and hopefully, that will attract sponsors.
15. Who would you like to have as a sponsor?
There’s a company at home which focuses on developing athletes in small country areas and I come from the country, so we hope to get maybe something with them and they might pay me to do the training, which would be nice.
16. Can you list the main products you use for competitions, like surcingle, pad, etc.?
– Surcingle: Lasse Kristensen
– Pad: Carbon pad from Lasse Kristensen
– Shoes: Bleyer Pro Vaulting Shoes
17. If you had to invent a new product for the vaulting community, what would you create?
That’s a good question. I think probably something that can test all the forces on the horse’s back and then make it so that the forces spread equally, so the horse doesn’t feel pain or something like that, just to proof the comfort of the horse.
18. What would you improve in the Vaulting World?
I think always something to look out for is horse welfare, to make sure we’re doing the right thing. I think the Vaulting World is coming along quite well. It’ll be just to make sure that the horses, you know, keep looking after the animal that keeps us going, that’s very, very important.
I think maybe we could work on getting some more checking or measuring of the forces on the vaulting horse while we vault.
19. Do you have a special surprise/announcement for us?
I’m just enjoying the experience at the moment of training and vaulting overseas and I think it’s a really great experience and you learn a lot, not just how to be a good vaulter, but also how to be a good person, be a good sportsman.