Mary-Kate Olsen made a rare public appearance as she participated in a horse jumping competition. The 36-year-old participated in the 8th Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping event, part of the Longines Global Champions Tour, in Paris, France on Friday, June 24. The actress turned fashion designer had a focused look on her face as she participated in the event wearing traditional equestrian attire for the competition, including beige pants, a blazer and a protective helmet.
The event, held from June 24 to 26, brings together the best horses and riders from around the globe to compete on the scenic track, which is placed right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Notably, the Paris version is a five-star jumping event, which is the highest standard of horsemanship.
Horses have long been a part of Mary-Kate’s life, who began riding with her twin sister Ashley Olsen, also 36, when they were only six-years-old. The California natives took up the sport when they initially trained for episodes of Full House, where their shared character of Michelle Tanner also learned for a storyline. In the eighth season of the show, Michelle memorably falls off her horse — but has to overcome her fear to get back on the saddle.
The Row co-founder kept up with the sport while studying at Campbell Hall School, where she earned her high school diploma in 2004. The independent K-12 institute is known for its strong emphasis on athletics, including an equestrian program.
As an adult, Mary-Kate has been a regular fixture at some of the world’s top competitions — including the 2021 Longines Global Champions Tour held in Rome, Italy. The star, who divorced Nicolas Sarkozy‘s brother Olivier in the same year, impressively placed third for her competitive show jumping with horse Iowa Van Het Polderof.
“Having horseback riding as an outlet was super important because it allowed me to have another life and outlet outside of work and school,” Mary-Kate previously said in her HITS rider profile. “I continued to ride through high school and stopped when I moved to New York.”
“[Riding] allows me to practice being accepting, patient, disciplined, compassionate, competitive, and all of those other emotions that are very important to have in your everyday life,” the star also said, adding that “horses teach you a lot about yourself.”