Meet Gunes Ozturk Yilmaz, an avid rider, accomplished showjumper, high profile editor, entrepreneur, fashionista and all-round stylish equestrian.
Gunes only got bitten by the horse-love bug a little bit later on in life, but when she discovered how much she loved everything horse, she went full in and now owns 3 beautiful Selle Francaise mares which are stabled at the Kemer Country club in Istanbul.
Gunes had a brief riding experience when she was a kid and was the first person in the family to have ever touched a horse, however after about 12-15 lessons she had a nasty fall and decided that horse riding was maybe not for her. She did, in fact, try again when he was a teenager, but couldn’t quite get back into it wholeheartedly: ” I loved horses but I wasn’t ready for the hard work back then” Gunes told us.
It all came back to her again when her 20 years younger sister started riding club ponies and her sister was given a pony by their father. “I went to the club see the pony, fell in love and the next day I was back on a horse,” Gunes said. She has been riding ever since.
Gunes is lucky enough to live only 3km away from where her 3 mares are stabled (a luxury with Istanbul traffic!) and can only describe her barn life as very interesting 🙂
She rides in a big club with a lot of competition horses mainly focussed on showjumping and nowadays they have a competition nearly every two weeks. There are a handful of friendly people luckily, but she would definitively describe the atmosphere as competitive at times.
A lot of the horse owners take advantage of the fact that the club offers groom services (just show up and hop on your horse kind of service), but Gunes really enjoys caring for her mares herself whenever she has the time in her busy schedule.
The Kemer Country club is not just a riding club, they also have tennis courts, basketball court, and a huge golf course, and Gunes embraced the opportunity to start playing tennis alongside her riding: “Tennis is fun, you burn a lot of energy, you think about the game, and you learn how to make strategies. It’s not just hitting the ball, you have to play it like a chess game.” said Gunes. “It’s a great work-out, combining blasting sprints and stamina, which are both super to support a showjumpers physical requirements”.
Gunes has become quite successful showjumping with her mares in a very short time, winning more than 20 first places and many many more top 10 placements. She loves to keep improving her technique and set higher goals every single time she enters the show ring. All thanks to motivation, perseverance and her 3 lovely Selle Francaise mares Qraft (14), Reinette (13) and Soie (12). She bought all three of them with her old coach and at the same seller in France. All three of them have their superpowers:
Qraft is super easy, super fun, super calm and super everything. She doesn’t have a great technique but wins on sheer willpower: “we won over 20 first places with Qraft when I first started competing. Qraft is also great for photoshoots, kid friendly, basically bomb proof!” according to Gunes.
Reinette was not an easy horse but they found a way to “click”. Now she’s super easy on flatwork and competitions and Gunes is easily winning 115cm shows with her. At first, Reinette was scared of a lot of things, but now she’s like Qraft: bomb proof… well almost 😉
Soie is a bit more of a diva: during flatwork she’s scared of everything, the true definition of a spooky mare but once you start jumping, she doesn’t care about anything and she doesn’t mind jumping sky high. Gunes happily endures all the sass and tantrums because she’s also an angel in forest walk and hacking.
Gunes loves following the latest styles and besides her work as managing editor of LOG magazine (a popular Turkish technology magazine), she loves to put her creativity, background in fashion design and photography (having studied Fashion Design in London and Photography and Video in Istanbul) to good use too.
Not only does she create lots of crafty things like decorating saddle pads, making her own browbands and designing stable curtains for friends, she also enjoys designing team logos and has now combined her love for her editing profession with her love for style and horses which she showcases on her personal Instagram but also on her equestrian blog: Correctlead.
She found herself writing short reviews to friends about the latest products, and her friends actually encouraged her to share the same reviews on a website. Since testing and reviewing is what she does professionally, she decided to give it a try. She absolutely loves how her profession and passions come together this way and wished she’s started it sooner, hoping to make it into her full-time career one day.
Like Gunes’ style? Here are all the details about the look we put together for her today:
One of her all-time favorite must-have items is the Asmar Equestrian All Weather Rider, especially because it comes in her favorite shade of Olive green. We’ve combined it with a stylish Theory silk twill blouse and classy beige Ariat breeches, for a sleek office to stable look. We added a burgundy Dubarry classic V-neck sweater and a Missoni vintage scarf for a touch of style. Gunes is all about styling up her look with the right accessories and today we went for a beautiful Dalton’s equestrian style belt and the opportunity to swap her favorite KASK helmet a stylish Hicks & Brown hat for after her ride. Same goes for the boots: she likes to keep her Tucci Marylin boots clean by swapping them out after her ride for a pair of chic and comfortable loafers like this olive green pair by Bass Weejuns. Then, we finished off the look with a pair of beige Roeckl gloves, Prada classic sunglasses and a Dimacci competition bag to bring all of her equestrian essentials to the barn.
Hope you like Gunes’ style and make sure to follow her personal Instagram and Correctlead blog!
Have a stylish ride!