Clementine Mathieu grew up in France with English and French parents. Devoted to equestrian sports, the first-year Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics student recently got a chance to compete in the 2023 Spanish University Championship at the Castilla y León Equestrian Center in Segovia.
Representing IE University on Cheval de Troie Nat, Clementine emerged as the winner of the jumping event, winning gold in a thrilling final round. We caught up with her to hear about her outstanding achievement.
Take us through your decision to be part of the 2023 Spanish University Championship.
My trainer in Segovia initially informed me about the Spanish University Championship’s horse jumping event and I was immediately excited to participate. At the same time I realized that, because it was taking place during the finals season, I wouldn’t be able to take part in the French championships—they were scheduled for May back in my home country.
So with this in mind, I saw the Spanish University Championship as an excellent alternative that would allow me to challenge myself in a competitive environment while representing my university. I received a lot of backing and support from IE University: they even facilitated my enrollment and provided all the necessary assistance for me to participate.
How important is discipline in preparing for events like this?
To fully pursue my passion for horse riding, discipline and organization have become my key focus. That’s mainly because this is a sport that demands deep involvement and unwavering dedication: I engage in daily training, for example.
However, by managing my time effectively and maintaining the delicate balance between social commitments, work responsibilities and my athletic pursuits, I have upheld consistent and rigorous training.
What were your main takeaways from this experience?
The championship taught me the importance of resilience in the face of challenges. Despite limited practice time and heightened pressure, I learned to stay focused and maintain a positive mindset, enabling me to tap into my full potential. Acquiring the ability to manage pressure not only proved advantageous during the championship, but also equipped me with valuable skills that will benefit me in future endeavors.
Overall, how would you describe your experience at the 2023 Spanish University Championship?
Participating in this competition posed a significant challenge for me, given the fact that my horse and I hadn’t competed since November due to time constraints. Typically, we’re used to taking part in competitions at least two to three weekends every month.
Furthermore, championships inherently bring added pressure compared to regular competitions, as each day’s performance directly influences the final results. However, these circumstances served as a great motivation for me, pushing me to give my absolute best. I am delighted that our efforts paid off!
Can you share with us your plans for the future?
I’m looking forward to completing a project I’ve been working on, which revolves around my love for horse riding, which has been a significant part of my life for a long time. Last year, I made the decision to take a sabbatical to work for my trainer in France and actively participate in international competitions. I also pursued a teaching diploma during this time.
I used to ride and train more than eight horses every day, but I chose to decrease this number to focus on my studies. Balancing my academic commitments became my priority and I recognized the need to allocate more time to my education while still pursuing my passion for horse riding. As a result, I now concentrate on training one horse per day, allowing me to dedicate sufficient attention to both my academic pursuits and equestrian endeavors.
However, I look forward to picking up the pace again during the summer as I have the opportunity to work with my trainer once more. This will allow me to intensify my training and increase my participation in competitions.
What advice would you give future students about the IE Experience?
I’d advise future IE University students to fully embrace the many opportunities available for personal and professional growth. Take advantage of the rich, varied range of activities, competitions, events, clubs and projects on offer. These experiences are a chance to develop new skills, expand your network and gain valuable insights beyond the classroom.
Also, I recommend that potential students welcome diversity and maintain an open mind by engaging with peers from all around the world. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds expands your horizons, deepens cultural understanding and equips you for our globalized society. I would advise them to seize this opportunity to cultivate a global mindset and contribute to a harmonious and inclusive community.