NEW BRAND AMBASSADOR

Ioli Mytilineou

WELCOME TO THE FAM IOLI!

Announcement alert! 🔈 We are over the moon about our new brand ambassador Ioli Mytilineou. The talented Greek equestrian who has made a big impression in the jumping arena lately and is a rising star to say the least! 

“I am beyond excited to start my collaboration with MD, with the main reason being that I love the philosophy and respect the brand has for its ambassadors and clientele in general. Being a brand that is up and coming and eager to succeed, I feel as though it is a clear representation of myself as an athlete, as I believe that I too am both of these. Although not in the exact same field, the aforementioned similarities have led us to have a similar mindset. 

From the moment I was contacted by MD, I knew that if I were to collaborate with a brand, it would undoubtedly be them. Their enthusiasm to work with me is something I truly appreciate, as they are taking a chance on a young athlete, whose mileage at the top level is currently minimal. Wanting to work with me means they have faith in what I could become, and that makes me even hungrier for success!” – Ioli

Hi there! For someone who does not know you, how would you describe Ioli Mytilineou? 
“For those who don’t know me, I’d like to introduce myself as a 24 year-old Greek equestrian with an appetite to thrive and a huge love for what I do. Earning my way to being amongst some of the best showjumpers in the world has been a goal of mine since I was a young child. I would dream of competing in major senior championships with the aim to one day make it a reality. In 2021, not only did that dream become a reality, but it was made all the more special by the fact that it was with my horse of a lifetime and best friend. 

I was born and raised in Greece, moving to Belgium in 2016 to pursue horses as a full time career. Being surrounded by such a high level, it made me eager to be a part of it. I am very new to the level and still working with my horses and team every day to stay there. If my name wasn’t one you’d heard before, I’m hoping to make it one you won’t forget!”

When did you come in contact with horses for the first time? 
“Horses have been a part of my life since before I could even say the word. I was born into a horse-involved family, so naturally, I became involved with them too. Being so young, at the time I wasn’t aware of the extent to which I’d be involved with them, but I knew they would always be a part of my life one way or another. Greece does not have official pony classes, but having an English mother, it was inevitable that I would ride them- therefore, I rode ponies up until I was about 12 years old, before moving onto horses. With my parents being horse-people, it has been great to share the sport with them. They are both more than supportive and I have no doubt they are key components to any form of success I have.”

What is the best thing about working with horses as your everyday job? 
“As cliché as it may sound- there is nothing better than working with the animal that I love most. I love the challenge of getting to know a species that requires a form of communication that is different from the one we are used to. We need to develop the skills to understand as well as teach without using words. They are also very rewarding animals. They show us in their behavior and willingness to do things whether or not they’ve understood the task at hand, and that’s something I thoroughly enjoy, as it makes me all the more eager to be better.”

“Horses have a way of keeping us grounded, by reminding us that we never know it all.”

“I always come back to the idea of remaining an eternal student when it comes to anything horse-related; whether it be feed, training or every day care. As living beings, they are continuously changing and adapting, therefore we need to be able to notice those changes and evolve with them accordingly.”

Equestrian-related or not, who or what inspires you?
“I am inspired by anyone that works to be the best at what they do- from athletes, to artists, to politicians. As someone that is trying to be an athlete at the highest level of my sport, I can relate to the effort, time and sacrifices made to get there, as well as to stay there. 

Equestrians that inspire me would be those that I feel get the best out of each of their horses, but without pushing boundaries. For that I very much admire Steve Guerdat, as a true horseman and lover of his horses. Watching from the sidelines, you can see how much they mean to him and that their health and happiness will always come first. I try to approach the sport with the same mentality”

“I am not a person to use strength or force to get results- I work for my horses to jump because it’s what they love to do.”

What is your typical day like?
“I tend to wake up relatively early, as that is what my body is most used to. Breakfast is a meal that I very rarely skip, mainly because I feel as though it provides me with the sufficient energy to start the day right. Spending time with and riding my horses normally takes me up until lunchtime, after which I have lunch and follow it up with some organizational work regarding the horses and our show plan. Since I eat out for every meal when I’m away at shows, when I’m at home I like to cook all three meals every day, as healthy eating is something I consider important for myself. I’m an early bird and like to be in bed by around 21:30 whenever possible, which allows me to be well rested for the next day in order to do it all again!”

What is your long-term goal in equestrian sports?
“As someone that has high expectations for themselves, I have numerous goals- both short and long term. My long term goals include that of developing a strong string of horses that can aid in providing me with the ability to maintain a position amongst the top athletes of our sport. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find horses, as a lot of people are looking for the same type. Being an equestrian from a nation with few at the top level, I strive to be a part of multiple championships and high level events, with the aim of hopefully bringing pride to my country. I hope to be in this sport for many years to come, whether it be riding, training or being a mother to kids that ride!”

Do you have anything exciting planned going forward? Something you are particularly excited about?
“As an equestrian, there’s always a lot going on in my life, which in turn means a lot to be excited about. One of the most exciting being the opportunity to participate in the GCT series alongside five teammates, who are all huge role models to me. It would be my first time being a member of a GCL team, so I am super motivated to take each show as it comes and try to do my best with it. 

There is of course also the World Games in Herning this summer, which is definitely a championship I will be gearing up for and would be my first time at the WEG. On a non-riding-related note, I am more than happy to share that Maya Delorez are the first brand I have officially partnered with- so, thinking about it, I am definitely excited for a year of many firsts!”

How do you prepare yourself for a competition? Can you give us your top tips and advice?
“Preparing for a competition is managed differently by each individual and can sometimes be dependent on the importance of the approaching event. Personally, I like to be equally prepared for all shows- whether it be a show I am using for training purposes or one that I am planning on being competitive at.”

  • My most important tip would be to keep the horses happy and relaxed on the lead up to an event. Although they can’t communicate it verbally, I am very aware that the change of environment with traveling and showing is stressful for them. For that reason, I like to keep stress levels to a minimum beforehand, which I do by turning them out, going on trail rides, as well as allowing a lot of stretching work.
  • Since an increasing number of competitions are far enough away, I like to discuss route options and travel timing with my groom to ensure that our planning has been done well in advance. This allows me to schedule what time is best for my horses to work prior to traveling, as well as when to begin providing them with the sufficient help required for a long journey. It also enables my grooms to start organizing things from their side well in advance, which avoids unnecessary last-minute rushing.
  • I have always been very conscious to not over-jump my horses, as I want them to feel happy to do it as opposed to seeing it as a chore. For that reason, I like to do a lot of rail work in order to keep my eye in as well as to work on the rideability and suppleness of my horses. I think this is a good way to maintain fitness without always over-exerting their muscles and tendons. When I do jump, I prefer to keep the jumps to a minimum, therefore I try to maintain my focus and make each fence count.

Which are your favorite MD products? 
“With the amount of time and effort MD puts into the customizing of their products, there are undeniably numerous that are crowd favorites. However, for the question’s sake- a personal favorite would have to be the compression breeches. They fit so well, but at the same time do not sacrifice comfort in any way. It’s a tough balance for any brand to optimize style and comfort, but by taking their time to carefully design them, MD have definitely managed to achieve that balance. Their material allows for heat to be kept in during the winter months, but also the ability to breathe in warm summer weather. Focusing on the style and look of the breeches never goes unnoticed, as they are aesthetically liked by the majority of equestrians and even non-equestrians! 

With a continuously expanding range of various high-quality products, I have no reservation that Maya Delorez will become one of the leading brands in equestrian sport. Let’s hope that 2022 is the year for us all!”

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