Jill Henselwood’s keen interest in sports began at an early age. After attending a riding camp in Ottawa, Ontario, Jill realized that horses would become a major influence in her life. She proceeded to study Physical Education at the University of Ottawa, but her natural riding ability and passion for horses ultimately led her to a full-time career in show jumping.
Jill made her grand prix show jumping debut in 1989. First named to the Canadian Equestrian Team in 1991, she was awarded the prestigious Canadian Equestrian Team ‘Rookie of the Year’ title. In 1992, Jill was a member of the Gold Medal Nations’ Cup team at CSIO Mexico and was also victorious in the $90,000 Grand Prix of Mexico.
Now a veteran of the Canadian Show Jumping Team, Jill has represented Canada on multiple occasions at every international event including five World Cup Finals (1992, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), four Pan American Games (1995, 1999, 2007 and 2011), two World Equestrian Games (1994 and 2006) and two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012).
Major games highlights include winning the Individual Gold Medal and leading Canada to the Team Silver Medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, riding Special Ed. The following year, Jill realized her long-time goal of representing Canada at the Olympic Games and what a debut it was! Again riding Special Ed, Jill played an integral role in claiming a coveted Team Silver Medal for Canada following a dramatic jump-off at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
On home turf, Jill won the coveted Canadian World Cup League in 2001 with her long-time partner Toyzrus, a feat she would repeat in 2008 riding Special Ed and Black Ice. In 2005, Jill claimed her first Canadian Show Jumping Championship title riding Black Ice at Toronto’s prestigious Royal Horse Show. It was a feat she would repeat ten years later at the 2015 Royal Horse Show, taking the national title yet again, this time riding Farfelu du Printemps. Jill also won the Spruce Meadows North American Championship title three years in a row, in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
A highly-respected level 3 coach, Jill is co-owner of Juniper Farms in Oxford Mills, Ontario, where she trains several aspiring grand riders.