Jessie ‘Jess’ Rice-Ward is an Equestrian rider who 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 into a horse-riding family in Central West NSW in 2001 and has been riding horses since before she could walk. She has represented her country eight times both domestically and internationally and is accustomed to a life on the road.
Jess began showjumping in Dubbo, where she would often ride multiple horses every day before school. In 2009, she began winning competitions and was almost unbeatable at the Youth Festival in Sydney until 2014.
Very few titles have eluded Jess. She was the national champion in 2016 and 2017, the 2016 and 2018 NSW state champion and 2016 champion and reserve in all three indoor titles. She was also Sydney Royal champion in 2016 and 2019, and was the Aquis Champion and Triple Crown Champion in 2018. Her victories also earned her Dubbo’s Young Sportsperson of the Year in 2016, and in 2018 she was named Equestrian Junior Athlete of the Year.
Jess relocated to Sydney in 2017 to train with the best coaches in the country, and is considering moving overseas in order to chase success at international level and to fulfil her dream of a medal at the world championships and Olympic Games.
“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.” – Jess Rice-Ward on being selected as a 2022 Tier 1 Scholarship Holder.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
- 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)
- 2022: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder – Tier 1
Bio picture credit: Australian Jumping