Quietly spoken and not easily distracted from his equestrian pursuits, Jayden Brown, 31, takes every day as it comes — but be assured that at the end of every day he has taken another step towards being the best rider he could possibly be.
Talk to Jayden about the mechanics behind his riding or the principles of training, his mental approach to his horses or the feelings he gets and wants to emulate, and you discover what an inspired, unassuming, diligent and gifted dressage rider he is.
Set his mind into gear and engage in conversation, he is simply passionate, stimulating and articulate. With these assets, and with a great physique and a mind that is grounded and a talent that is natural, easy and in no way complicated, Jayden is one of the most skilful riders around.
Born in Brisbane where his mother worked in banking and his father in construction, he grew up on their small property in Bellbowrie, in the western suburbs of Brisbane. With three older sisters who all rode ponies and attended Pony Club, Jayden went with the flow. Jayden admits he showed no talent for jumping, so his only option was dressage — and he has never looked back!
A good student at school, he was keen to go on to university, but the dressage bug had bitten and he decided to have a go! He purchased the horse Fairbanks Gangster as a five-year-old, and with the help of lifetime friend, mentor and coach Jenny Gehrke, he was successful to Prix St Georges on Fairbanks Gangster, his first real horse.
Driven by an urge to always look ahead and remain single-minded to attain the best education and experience he could, he sold Gangster. The next horse he bought was Widelo, a seven-year-old by Weltmeyer from a Rocadero mare. As the breeding would suggest, Widelo was a powerhouse with a brain, a horse that under no circumstances would lose focus and tact along the training pathway. Jayden loved the horse especially for his mind; where some may have seen belligerence, Jayden saw intelligence and trainability.
Widelo was a horse that needed to be shown carefully, without pressure, to keep him on Jayden’s side and then he was fantastic. He taught Jayden a lot as did Jayden him, and together they won the Young Rider finals here in Australia at PSG and travelled to Frankfurt to compete at the World Young Rider dressage final. They finished first in the small final with an outstanding 70%, and so his international career started with the cool, calm and collected Jayden taking it all as another day at the office. Again, to move on, cover expenses and continue to gain experience, Widelo was sold to America.
Jayden trained with the Canadian Olympian Leonie Bramall when she came to Australia and based himself with her in Europe as a working pupil before the Young Rider finals, and then stayed on to ride and train. Jayden rode up to eight horses a day over the next 12 months and competed on young horses right through to Small Tour. During this time, he purchased the chestnut gelding by Furst Piccolo, Furst Fredreich. It was a horse he liked and was also in his price range and ticked all the boxes. Jayden admits that he wasn’t so keen on Germany and the lifestyle in Europe, so he packed himself and Furst Fredreich up and flew home.
He returned to the family property and started riding and training other people’s dressage horses very successfully. Furst Fredreich made it to Grand Prix for Jayden. He wasn’t the easiest ride but he taught Jayden a lot about getting the basics established well first, then to keep working at the suppleness and the competition movements. This horse was quite successful before, once again for financial reasons, Jayden sold him on.