All About Mia

Published : 19/05/2024 09:38:57
Categories : Latest News

All About Mia

Today we're chatting to Mia Palles Clark, an award winning showjumping coach with over 25 years international coaching experience.

Mia is not just a fantastic rider herself, but her impressive performances inside and outside the ring truly showcase her passion and commitment to her coaching career. 

Find out more about Mia and what makes her tick.

Mia please can you tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, where are you from? 
I’m a British Showjumping rider and coach. UKCC level 4 coach (through the BEF which includes the PGDip professional practice in sports coaching), a coach developer for BS and level 3 mentor. I’m from between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Originally from Louth in Lincolnshire.

I spent my formative years with Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa in Germany at AMG stables, and still speak fluent German! My fun is competing, and my career is coaching and mentoring (that’s fun too).
When did you start riding and where does your love of horses come from?

I started riding when I was a tiny child, apparently Paddy McMahon would sit me in front of the saddle on Penwood Forge Mill in the warmup at international shows. He would even jump the practice fence with me! 

My family is steeped in showjumping history, my aunt was a leading lady rider in the UK until she married my Kiwi uncle who was on two Olympic teams for New Zealand. She later represented NZ herself at World Cup level. Michael Whitaker then rode for my grandparents, winning the Hickstead Derby on our horse Owen Gregory, in 1980. 

I was literally brought up with horses, I adore them, they are in my blood, my world, my passion, and I’m so lucky they’re my career too! 

What sent you down the coaching route, how did this begin and when?
When it was agreed that I could pursue a career in equestrianism my Mum said, ‘Well you need to earn money and that’s either selling horses or coaching’ I am not someone who enjoys selling horses, so coaching was a natural choice and I love it! I get so much from developing horses and riders and I get a huge thrill from their successes and journeys.

In 1992 I took my BHSAI (on my Mum’s insistence!) and in 1998 I did the BHSII and then learned that British Showjumping was starting the accreditation program. I was on the 2nd wave of coaches under Lars Sederholm and then Di Lampard, Andy Austin was my coach mentor. In 2005 I became an accredited coach. In 2013 it was upgraded to UKCC level 3. In 2022 I became a BS level 4 coach.
What has been your biggest wow moment/achievement so far in your career? 

Most definitely representing GB in the Europeans team for veterans in 2022 in Germany, it was an absolute life goal achieved! 
I loved every second of it and would love to do it again! I’m so proud of my wonderful mare Maus, it was an incredible experience.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not coaching the riders and horses?
Riding! Haha hacking in the forest or competing. I love travelling, socialising, drinking wine and eating nice food! I also have 4 dogs so love spending time with them. We have been known to breed a few litters of labradors too.
What is your ultimate Hiho love (favorite piece from the Hiho collection) and why?
My favorite piece is the copper-coloured (rose gold) roller bracelet!
I love it and have several bracelets which I wear all the time. 
What is your go to Hiho trot up piece from the Hiho Silver collection and why?

We don’t really dress up like you do in Eventing! But I would add my purple leather bit bracelet for extra luck!
And finally - what is the best piece of advice you can give anyone that is Eventing this season, that is feeling the nerves kick in?
Any sport not just Eventing, when the nerves kick in that means something exciting is about to happen. It’s the most amazing feeling and should be enjoyed. What could be better than dancing or jumping with your best mate showing all the hard work you’ve put in. Go out and have fun!
You can follow Mia on Instagram

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