Up and coming talent and New York Empire rider Jodie Hall Mcateer tells us what the best parts of being a U25 rider on the GCL circuit are.
“One of the coolest things about the GCL I find is getting to call top riders my teammates and have them mentor you all season. Had I not have had the opportunity as an U25 rider going into the GCL, I definitely wouldn't have gotten to know top riders so well. Your idols become your rivals but then become your teammates and that's something really special and unique to the GCL. A lot of the time you're competing against each other but until you have the opportunity to actually work together there's a lot of comradery there and it definitely makes people work together more and motivate each other and really support each other, so that's something very special about it.
Another thing I absolutely love about the tour is the shuttle journeys from the shows to the hotel or wherever you might be going, because the conversations you have with the riders or the owners or even the grooms is always interesting. I remember once I was in a car and Ben Maher who was talking to Yuri going through his jump-off round at the Olympics and saying which lines he could have done better and you wouldn't otherwise have that insight and the opportunity to hear him talk in so much detail and be so open about his own experiences in the sport. It’s always interesting the people you meet, the owners you meet, their stories, why they're there, why they are in the sport, its a real eye-opener and it just shows you just how much interest the global tour generates worldwide.
You have to make sure you have your eyes and ears wide open because you learn so much. You get to watch the best riders in the world warming up their horses, working them in the morning on the flat, like what they did, their systems, how they warmed up and seeing what works for them and maybe in the future what works for me, it’s a very fortunate position to be in. And being in the Global riding among the best riders in the world, it definitely makes you like a stronger rider.
Another thing I learned from GCL was to value the work of the course builders. Uliano Vizzani became a friendly face to me as the 2021 season progressed and seeing his passion and his enthusiasm and attention to detail and the work that goes into constructing and designing the top tracks definitely gave me a newfound appreciation for course builders. They are very much the unsung heroes of the sport they have such a tough job, but it really showed me the importance of going through a schedule and seeing who course building, because they all have their own little tricks and up their sleeve and it definitely puts you in a better position if you know whos building where. You can prepare better for the show and that's something that maybe I've overlooked in the past, so moving forward that's something I always try and look for, when I'm planning shows and stuff.
And you can't forget the food, the food everywhere is unbelievable, I have to be disciplined not to eat too many desserts but I have to say that was one of my favourite things, I always made time for my lunch.”