Jessie ‘Jess’ Rice-Ward was awarded a Tier 1 Scholarship within the 2022 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program. Her Mentor is Legend of Australian Sport and inaugural female inductee, Dawn Fraser AC MBE.
Jess was born in Central West NSW and, following in her mother and brother’s successful footsteps with a love of riding from a young age, has been riding horses since before she could walk. She remains the only member of her family still competing.
Jess is a proud Australian athlete and has been honored to represent her country on eight occasions including five times internationally. The majority of Jess’ life has been travelling around Australia competing in all the biggest competitions.
Jess began her showjumping career in Dubbo, riding multiple horses every day before school. Her hard work started to pay off in 2009 when she won almost every title each year at the Youth Festival event in Sydney until 2014.
There are few major Junior titles Jess hasn’t won, from beginning her Junior campaign Jess claimed; 2016 and 2017 Australian Champion, 2016 and 2018 NSW Champion, 2016 Champion and reserve in all three indoor titles, 2016 and 2019 Sydney Royal Champion, 2018 Aquis Champion and 2018 Triple Crown Champion.
Following her success in 2016, Jess officially relocated to Sydney in 2017 to train among, and under the guidance of the best coaches in the sport. This move provided valuable experience and expanded her knowledge to a point where she is now a role model and assists younger riders.
Jess has her sights set on permanently relocating overseas in preparation for her future World Championships and Olympic Games aspirations.
“I’m immensely honoured to be recognised by SAHOF and equally grateful for the opportunities the Scholarship and Mentoring Program will give myself as an aspiring elite athlete. Any equestrian discipline is an extremely technical and challenging sport that involves a large number of factors both physically and mentally that determine our performance. Having the chance to collaborate with a sporting great. Dawn Fraser as my mentor will unquestionably benefit my career as I believe the mental aspect of sport can often be the most difficult to manage for athletes. I urge all rising Australian athletes to apply for the Scholarship; it is without a doubt, a once in a lifetime opportunity.” – Jessie Rice-Ward on being selected as a 2022 Tier 1 Scholarship Holder.
- 2016: Australia Day Awards – Dubbo’s ‘Young Sportsperson of the Year’
- 2016: Indoor Titles – Champion and reserve in all three events
- 2016: Sydney Royal – Champion
- 2016: NSW Champion
- 2016: Australian Junior Champion
- 2017: Australian Junior Champion
- 2017: German Friendship Games – Overall Bronze
- 2018: Aquis Champion
- 2018: Triple Crown Champion
- 2018: NSW Champion
- 2018: Equestrian Junior Athlete of the Year
- 2018: Young Rider Series – Runner-Up
- 2019: The Riders Cup – Champion
- 2019: Australian Young Rider Championships – Runner-Up
- 2019: Sydney Royal – Champion
- 2019: The Riders Cup – 1st
- 2019: Australian Jumping Teams League – First Leg, 1st
- 2019: CSI* Grand Prix Series – 1st
- 2019: Sydney Spring Grand Prix – 1st
- 2020: New Zealand Jumping Teams League – 3rd
- 2020: Mini Grand Prix, New Zealand – 3rd
- 2021: Victorian State Young Rider Title – Champion (16-21yrs)
Bio picture credit: Australian Jumping