Gemma is a British Olympic Event rider. Having started riding at the age of 18 months (as her mother had a riding school), she proved to be a natural, and by the time she was 8 had won the riding club junior (U17) dressage championship and her first one day event!
Gemma’s talents were spotted by the selectors, and she was chosen to be put on the ‘World Class Development programme‘. This is a lottery funded training scheme aimed at supporting up-and-coming athletes who show potential as future Olympic candidates. Gemma has been supported by The World Class Programme since she was 16.
Gemma progressed rapidly, campaigning successfully in pony trials in 2000-2001 and being selected to be part of the Junior British team in 2003. This was a stepping stone to representing Great Britain at Young Rider level which she did for 2 consecutive years (2005-6), winning 2 team Gold medals.
In 2007 Gemma made her first serious foray into senior level eventing by completing both Badminton (winning the under 25 prize) and Burghley which are the two biggest and most prestigious 3 day events in the world.
2010 saw her become U25 National Champion, which combined with other consistently good performances and an ever-developing string of horses, resulted in a place on the World Class Elite squad (now called the podium squad).
2014 successes lead to selection as a reserve for the World Equestrian Games with Arctic Soul. They were not called upon for the team, so rerouted and finished the season with a fantastic 5th place at Burghley CCI****
2015 was a year to focus on the Rio Olympics, for which Gemma qualified with 3 horses. The year also saw Gemma’s first Senior appearance for Team GB as an individual, competing at the European Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland and finishing 9th on Arctic Soul.
The spring of 2016 saw a surge of form, which included 3rd place at Badminton with Arctic Soul and winning the Olympic trial at Bramham with Chico Bella P. As a result, Gemma had 3 horses not only qualified but also longlisted. It was Quicklook V who was finally selected and with whom Gemma represented Great Britain as part of Team GB at the Rio Olympics.
2017 has been an exciting and record breaking year for Team Tatt! Starting at Chatsworth in May, in the Event Rider Masters Gemma started as she meant to go on winning on her Rio campaigner Quicklook V. Gemma became the first woman to win an ERM, the first to finish on a score of under 40 in an ERM and the lowest EVER score for Chatworth’s CIC3*. Then next came Badminton, rising from 67th after dressage to finishing 7th, Spike is the King of cross country, not dressage. In June Gemma came a respectable 2nd at Bramham CCI3* on her Olympic horse, also known as the grey unicorn, Quicklook V.
Gatcombe the Festival of British Eventing, is renowned for its hilly terrain and influential cross country time. Gemma went with a plan to win the ERM, which doubles as the British Open Championship, by taking her speedy Spike. Gemma and Spike did a lovely test to lie 12th, out of character Spike and Gemma had 2 fences down but still rose to 11th, proving how challenging this competition is. The cross country was proving as influential as expected throughout the day. When Gemma went out of the start box there was a lot of expectations of this combination, even the commentator Sam Watson had offered a drink to anyone who went within 10 seconds of the time. In the cross country round of the season Gemma and Spike went round on rails, to finish 3 seconds over the time, 1.2 penalties. 16 seconds faster than anyone else, and Gemma afterwards says she had never gone so fast… Sam still owes her the drink!
What a way to become British Open Champion for her and and the mighty Spike.
Gemma and Spike continued their successful run by coming 3rd at the world famous 4* event, Burghley. This was very special as many of the syndicate members were able to be there to celebrate. What a feeling for Gemma and the whole team to come 3rd at such a high profile event, however disappointment when knowing if she hadn’t had the 4 faults they would have won. A 4* win is next on the bucket list!
By this point of the season, Gemma had already successfully won the ERM series, due to results on numerous horses, which included: Chico Bella P in Jardy, France coming 4th; Pamero 4 came 7th at Barbury and 4th at Blair Castle; and not forgetting her wins at Chatsworth and Gatcombe. So she came to Blenheim very relaxed riding her gorgeous princess Chico Bella P in the final leg of the ERM 2017, to finish 4th. Here in front of Blenheim Palace the presentation of the ERM series took place, despite the pouring rain (typical English weather) it was a truly special moment for Gemma and the whole of Team Tatt.
2018 was another big year for Gemma – getting her 4th consecutive senior championship team call up – which was the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, America. Herself and speedy Spike did themselves and the nation proud by winning team gold. What a moment in Gemma’s career – her first team medal. In challenging weather conditions – resulting in an extra day between cross country and the final faze the show jumping they came out and was Great Britain trial finders.
In the May of 2018 Spike and Pee (Pamero 4) competed at Badminton, this was Pee and Gemma’s first 4 star together. Spike was on his best form and came 4th in a very competitive class, jumping another 4 star double clear. Pee was brilliant and showed his true class, the pair learnt a huge amount and from this went on to come 2nd at Barbury in the 3* ERM series. Then finished the year on a fantastic high at Pau’s 4 star to come 2nd. Both Santiago Bay and Chilli Knight has excellent results too, proving themselves at advance level with solid result – exciting horses for the future.