Jock was born in Wellsford New Zealand in November 1983. In 1986 Jock moved with his family to Australia where he grew up in the suburbs of Sydney with his mother, brother and sister and at the age of 19 Jock became a fully qualified bricklayer.
Around this time Jock’s father Neil, moved to a lifestyle property and bought a trail riding horse. Heading out to his father’s property at the weekends became a common occurrence and Jock would spend his time there trail riding and ‘bush bashing’ with his father and brother.
After a few moths of trail riding, Jock and his brother decided to step it up a gear and have a crack at bronc riding (ignorance is bliss). From this experience Jock started to think he would like a lifestyle of working with horses, although he wanted to do something where he could develop a relationship with a horse, rather than just cling onto one for eight seconds. Jock was offered a working pupil position with Kevin McNab in Queensland, someone Jock now refers to as ‘one of the best horseman I’ve ever come across’.
Adapting from the rodeo seat to the jump seat proved to be difficult and Jock seemed to spend more time in the dirt than in the saddle. Soon after starting, Jock was riding up to 15 horses a day and two years after doing his first competition he was competing at the Melbourne Three Day Event in the CIC*** where he was placed fourth.
Jock was then offered a job by Frances Stead as the principle rider for Clifton Eventers in New Zealand. Frances had a team of handpicked horses that would help take his career to the next level.
Frances had one particular horse she was very excited about, which she felt showed a lot of potential – Clifton Promise. Jock was introduced to ‘Promise’ in 2007 at which time he was a one star horse. Three months later he won his first three-day event in a CCI**. Three months later, he competed in his first three star competition where he was placed third. Promise then went on to to win his first CCI*** later that year. He also won Horse of the Year in New Zealand in 2009 and 2010 before leaving to do their first CCI**** in Kentucky.
After completing Kentucky in 2010 Jock was selected for the World Equestrian Games where he had his best performance to date finishing seventh individually.
In 2011 Jock moved permanently to England and set up his own business whilst maintaining a strong relationship with Clifton Eventers. Frances and Russell sent over four of their top Clifton horses to be based with Jock and he was offered the ride on Clifton Lush, who is part owned by Lucy Allison. Lush quickly became one of Jock’s all time favourite horses.
In 2012 Jock was selected for the London 2012 Olympics, this honour was topped by the fact that he helped the Kiwi team win bronze.
Following the Olympics and a second place at Pau CCI**** Jock went to train with Michael Jung – the number one rider in the world.
“Training with the Jung’s is one of the best experiences I have had in my career. We did a lot of work on the little things which helped me take the next step in my riding”.
Jock and Promise then went on to win eventing’s most prestigious title, The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, a prize coveted by all eventers. Jock is one of only two riders to win the title on their first attempt.
After Badminton Jock became the British Open Champion with Clifton Lush after leading the competition from start to finish.
At the end of the 2013 season Paget Eventing headed for the Landrover Burghley Horse Trials - another of the world’s top four-star events. Jock won the competition with Promise after a nail biting finish.
On October 14th Jock was notified that Promise’s blood test from Burghley had returned a positive for Reserpine, a banned substance. Jock was provisionally suspended from all competition but after putting together a team of lawyers, scientist and toxicologists to help him work out how this had happened, a tribunal found Jock bared “no fault and no negligence”, exonerating him of the positive test and lifting the provisional suspension with immediate affect.
Jock then went back to Burghley in 2014 and came second on Promise behind the legendary horse Avebury – proving Promise deserved his place on the Podium.
Jock has now moved to Buttermere and has a new purpose built yard and the best string of young horses he has ever had.
2016 Jock is aiming for Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley as well as the Olympics.
“There is nothing like representing your country at championship level and riding with your team mates.
On a personal level when you ride as an individual you feel like you are doing it for your amazing team and sponsors”