Jamil was born in Stratford upon Avon, England until the age of 8. It wasn’t until his family moved to Omaha, Nebraska as a result of his father’s job that Jaml first discovered horses and the thrill of riding. In fact, this love of horses actually began when his mother started taking dressage lessons at a local riding centre with Sally Queal.
After begging his mother relentlessly for a riding lesson, she acquiesced (in fact, actually thought he really wouldn’t like it much!) Boy was she wrong for ever since Jamoil first climbed on a horse’s back, he’s been hooked. His riding with Ms. Queal expanded his enthusiasm for all kinds of horse events, even to the point of taking jumping lessons. Jamil confesses a love for jumping, “almost as much as Dressage!”
His experience at Ms. Queals barn allowed him to teach summer camp and to ride a range of different horses. “I especially love the crazy ones,” he claims. He came to own his first horse, Blue, at the age of 11, an off the track thoroughbred who had been recently used just for trail riding. Hecompeted him very successfully in jumper classes up to 3’6” and second level Dressage classes. Blue now lives in our backyard and I could never imagine being without him.
At the age of 13, his family moved to Arizona, and Jamil started riding with an amazing trainer named Beverly Rogers. “Beverly really helped me with my position and got me out of the whole “seat-of-the-pants” style that had served me so well over the years,” offered Jamil.
It was his mother who, while reading a Dressage magazine, found the article about Robert Dover’s star search. She suggested he enter the competition and send a video. “I laughed at her and told her that no way would Robert Dover pick a 16 year old like me out of all the applicants,” he says. Jamil maintains it was his mother who continued to encourage him to enter. He did and was selected!
A few months later, Jamil was in Florida with the rest of the candidates training with Robert Dover. “The whole experience impacted me greatly. One of the main things that everyone noticed was that, even with just a month of training, my riding improved dramatically. I gained a lot of confidence from the experience and a lot of recognition,” says Jamil.
Jamil is attending Arizona State University in the professional flight program. His first love continues to be horses and pursuing his dream of competing in the Olympics or World Equestrian Games … “preferably both!”