Jessica Springsteen, the only daughter of the Boss, will be featured in an interview on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports on Tuesday.
Springsteen, an accomplished show jumper, has spent the last 12 weeks at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, where she won a prestigious 1.50-meter jumper classic.
A 24-year-old Duke University graduate, Jessica told People magazine that she had started riding at age 5 after being inspired by her mom, Patti Scialfa.
“I started riding when I was really little. My mom had always wanted to ride so when we moved to New Jersey she started taking lessons. Our home is right across the road from one of the top junior training barns – and I went right into that when I was a teenager.”
She added that she started competing and doing the jumpers, “then I turned professional. It all really happened pretty naturally.”
Springsteen competes in shows several days a week all summer. During the Florida Winter Festival, she rode every day.
“We compete Wednesday through Sunday so you’re pretty much there all day.”
Springsteen said she spends a lot of time with her seven horses, stating, “When I’m not competing, I’m usually at the barn for maybe four hours.”
Jessica Springsteen and Cynar VA catching air over the open water in last night’s 5* GP Repost @noellefloydmagazine pic.twitter.com/zyjKhJSn8s
— EquiFit, inc. (@equifit) April 4, 2016
She told People about her two newest additions: Cynar, a grey gelding, and Tiger Lily, a chestnut mare.
“They’re completely different. We joke about Tiger Lily because she’s either like a tiger or a lily. She can definitely be a little frisky. Cynar is much more cool-headed. He’s much more even and focused. You kind of know what you’re going to get with him a little bit more.”
Springsteen said her dad, Bruce, and her mom, Patti, have been supportive about her competitions, often coming to watch.
“They make it to the shows as often as they can. When they’re not here, they’re watching online. I love having them with me. I think it’s important to have your family support you. It’s definitely fun to have them around. They’re the best supporters. They’re always happy no matter how I do, which is nice.”
The famous rocker and his wife came to meet Cynar and Tiger Lily and promptly got mugged, proving that horses show no discrimination when it comes to snacks.
“I brought my parents to meet Cynar for the first time and I opened his stall – and he almost ran out looking for treats.”
Springsteen admits her horses are “spoiled.” She gives them peppermints and carrots, and an occasional banana for Tiger Lily.
“They will mow you down trying to get food out of your hand,” she said.
Springsteen had been in the lineup for 2016 Olympic hopefuls, but she had to stop riding her best candidate, a horse named Vindicat W, due to a tendon injury.
Springsteen had her sights on Olympic gold for years, and Vindicat W may have been the horse to get her there. The horse had been ridden to Olympic gold in London before Jessica purchased him. By April 2014, she and Vindicat W were ranked No. 2 on the U.S. Equestrian rider/horse list.
In September, Springsteen told NBC Sports about the letdown.
“It really felt like the Olympics was the next goal. It’s definitely a disappointment to not be in contention for that right now, to not have a horse I can compete with. Right now, I’m looking for a new horse.”
Springsteen has modeled for Gucci and was named as one of the 50 most marketable athletes over the next three years.
The experience of being an Olympic rider is still on her list.
“It’s so much about timing and having the right horse at the right time, and have everything going well, so it’s definitely something that I’m working towards – and will continue working towards until I get there.”
Jessica Springsteen’s interview with 60 Minutes Sports will air on Tuesday, April 5 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
[Photo by Silvia Izquierdo/AP]