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John French

Event in which you compete: Hunters and Jumpers

Hometown: San Jose, CA, USA

Number of years riding: Since 3 years old

Career accomplishments to date: 


  • • Two-time Professional World Hunter Champion
  • • Two-time winner of the Emerson Burr award for USEF Hunter Rider of the Year
  • • 2006 and 2009 Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year
  • • Two-time Zone 10 Equestrian Athlete of the Year
  • • 2009 California Professional Horseman of the Year
  • • 2009 winner of Inaugural Hunter Derby Final
  • • Numerous national and zone high score of the year champions.



  • • Qualified for two World Cups
  • • Competed in Las Vegas World Cup in 2003
  • • 2nd alternate for 2004 Olympics
  • • Five-Time NRHA Derby Champion(KY, USA)
  • • Represented the US on Nations Cup Team at such shows as Hickstead, Dublin, Falsterbo.


How you got started in your event: : I started riding in Maryland, where my mother was a riding instructor, at age three.

Favorite Ariat product: Monaco Field Boots

Proudest career moment: 2nd place finish at $175,000 Grand Prix at Olympic Trials in 2004.

Tell us about your first horse: A Shetland pinto pony named Vicky – she came from Wales, and even though she was a small pony she would jump 3’6”. I used to take her fox hunting when I was eight. She was a great pony.

You ride because: I acquired such a love of horses at a very early age – not only showing, but through fox hunting, eventing, trail riding, pony club, and 4H.

If you weren’t a professional rider, you would be a: Singer

Favorite mentor or idol growing up: Rodney Jenkins

Favorite place to travel: Biarritz, France, or Gijon, Spain

Name one fun fact that people don’t know about you: I love working with the elderly.

Favorite way to unwind outside the barn: Going to San Francisco.

Good luck charm: When my mother comes to watch.