Love Island 2022 contestants Gemma Owen and Luca Bish saw many ups and downs in their relationship, but the long-standing duo reached the final and placed as runners-up as Davide Sanclimenti and Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu snatched the win.
Gemma is not only the eldest daughter of former footballer Michael Owen and mum Louise Owen, she’s also an International Dressage Rider for Great Britain, which is a form of horse riding performed in exhibitions and competitions.
Before heading into the villa, Gemma revealed: ‘I’ve competed for Great Britain in dressage since I was 11 years old.
‘I’ve travelled all across Europe competing in big arenas in big competitions. I would say I’m very competitive.’
How did Gemma Owen get into dressage?
Gemma’s passion for horses seems to have come from her mum Louise, who in particular loves rescuing retired racehorses.
She founded Manor House Stables in Cheshire around 2007, later expanding in 2009, along with husband Michael.
In a quote on the site, Michael said of the unexpected venture: ‘My main passions in life have always been my family and football, but I suppose a close third, is horse racing.
‘The joy of owning a racehorse is indescribable, from buying them as youngsters, watching them develop, and seeing their first visit to a racecourse.’
Louise has long been an ambassador for the British Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre, ensuring horses have good lives after their time as racehorses comes to an end.
Her horse riding passion began when she was just aged seven, she told the Daily Mail in 2008 – and her first horse was a Welsh cob called Rolo, who she got aged 14.
‘My brother Andrew and I had riding lessons at the weekends,’ she explained.
‘That’s where the passion grew. It quickly fizzled out for Andrew but I really enjoyed it. I started spending the weekend at the riding school, helping around the yard, and then I started exercising friends’ horses for them.’
Clearly, the passion was passed down to eldest daughter Gemma.
What has Gemma achieved as a dressage rider?
As well as riding for Great Britain, Gemma’s Instagram bio boasts European Championships 2021, where she represented Britain in the youth ranks in Oliva, Spain. Her team came in sixth place.
Also on her 17-year-old horse Sirius Black, Gemma has competed in national competitions and scored a personal best at Prix St Georges in January this year.
More recently, before entering the villa, Gemma finished third in team and individual young rider tests at Myerscough Premier League in March.
While the 19-year-old has presented Great Britain in the European Championships, Gemma is not part of the Olympic dressage team.
Elsewhere, Gemma recently launched her own swimwear line, a luxury collection, called OG Beachwear.
Promoting her new line, the entrepreneur shared photographs of herself posing in a one-piece from her own luxury collection, which includes bikinis starting at £130, and swimming trunks at £110.
Dad Michael couldn’t have been prouder and encouraged his fans to follow the brand online, adding: ‘Pretty damn proud of my daughter launching her new @ogbeachwear brand.’
Just before entering the villa, Gemma set up her second company – OG Promotions – listed under ‘media representation services’, but unlike her swimwear line, Gemma is listed as the Director of her new company.
What is Gemma Owen’s dressage Instagram?
Gemma’s dressage Instagram account boasts more than 132k followers at the time of writing – a jump from the 9k she had before appearing on Love Island.
She regularly posts updates from her dressage competitions as well as snapshots of her horse.
Her handle is @gemmaowendressage_.