Child star, super-twin, and fashion designer Mary-Kate Olsen turned in a solid performance riding her horse Iowa van het Polderhof in a CSI2* jumping class this past week in Rome during the Longines Global Champions Tour. The petite celebrity piloted her lovely bay horse around two 1.15m courses with zero faults and a final time of 38.48 seconds, just behind the class winner, Holland’s Kasper de Boeck aboard Gerenia. Then on the weekend Olsen and Iowa placed third in another class.
Olsen, 35, has been a passionate equestrian since she was a child, when she first appeared on television screens on the wildly popular sitcom Full House from 1987-1995, playing the character Michelle Tanner along with her twin sister and fellow fashion designer Ashley. The pair starred in films as young women, but turned their creativity to their label The Row, which has graced many a star on the Hollywood red carpet ‒ including this past weekend’s Emmys when their sister, Elizabeth Olsen, wore their gown to the award show. They also own the lifestyle brand Elizabeth and James, and fashion brands Olsenboye and Stylemint.
According to British tabloid The Daily Mail, Olsen began riding at the age of six on a pony named 4×4. She gave an interview to HITS magazine and told the publication that she rode all through school in California, but gave up the sport when she moved to New York. It was something she soon regretted. “I came back to the sport because I missed it every day that I wasn’t riding. It was the hardest thing to leave and the hardest thing to come back to,” she said at the time. “It allows me to exist in another world.”
Her current top mount, Iowa, is a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Kashmir Van Schuttershof. The video below shows Olsen riding Iowa in competition in Paris in 2019. It’s clear from the video that she is an accomplished rider, much like our other favourite blonde celeb show jumper, Kaley Cuoco.