RIDER OF THE DAY: Alice Kent - 22 September 2011
Sussex based Alice Kent has ridden all her life, switching from hunting, showing and Pony Club to eventing when she was fifteen and now competes three horses to intermediate level. Alice was lucky enough at the age of nineteen, to be offered the ride on Spider VI, a former member of the Junior Team. Partnering this horse, Alice progressed two levels from BE100 to Intermediate in just one season and she has competed to International two star level alongside studying English Literature at Royal Holloway University.
TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH......Alice Kent
1. How old were you when you started riding, who introduced you to riding and which was your first horse?
I’ve ridden since before I can remember. My dad is a professional polo player, so I’ve always been surrounded by horses. My first pony was a very patient Shetland called Whisky.
2. How did you choose the music for the dressage to music phase?
I’m worried to admit that I’ve just chosen my favourite tunes – you’ll understand why this is embarrassing when you hear it!
3. Do you think horses enjoy the music, and do you feel it makes a difference to their/your performance?
Spider seems to love it, though it definitely adds to his excitement levels! I think it makes a huge difference, as he isn’t the longest striding horse, but the appropriate music seems to make this less important!
4. How much practice did the dressage to music phase take?
A lot more than I managed to do for Gatcombe!
5. What has been your most memorable moment of the Express Eventing 2011 Series so far?
Jumping in front of the massive crowd at Gatcombe was very memorable, if only because it was also completely terrifying!
6. Who would be in your dream multi-national Olympic eventing team?
Michael Jung, Mary King.
7. Do you reward your horses for a good performance and, if so, how?
As soon as I come out the arena, mum is always there with the polos! This leads to some embarrassing moments if she’s forgotten them as my ponies search the surrounding spectators…
8. What has been the highlight of your career to date and why?
Riding is what I do for fun alongside university, so any success is a huge bonus. Coming 2nd at South of England Intermediate, then returning to the showground and qualifying for HOYS a few weeks later in the working hunter ponies on my 15hh was a highlight of this year, as was completing the intermediate championships at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe.
9. What was your favourite subject at school and why?
I’m a complete book nerd and am now studying English Lit at university… But at school I preferred Philosophy, despite its tendency to make me argumentative.
10. If you weren’t a professional event rider what would you like to do?
I’m going to have to turn this question on its head – I’m aspiring to be a journalist who would like to be a professional event rider!
11. What would you most like to win that you haven’t already?
In my dreams… Olympic Gold, Badminton (multiple of course), Burghley… realistically anything I can!
12. What is your favourite holiday destination?
Dad tends to play polo abroad in the winter so we get to go to some pretty amazing places, but South Africa is always good fun.
13. Which horse would you most like to have had the opportunity to compete on and why?
I love Kitty Kings mare Zidante – she look amazingly athletic and so much fun to ride.
14. When did you last fall off?
Trying to break in a Shetland last year…
15. Do you have any pets at home?
Two black Labradors, Inca and Maya, and two cats, Jess and Zulu.
16. What’s your favourite meal – and can you cook it?
Dough Balls and Nutella is a wonderful combination. My skills in the kitchen are limited to none, but I think even I can manage this!
18. Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
I always walk the course with my whip. I have no idea why!
19. What’s your favourite one-day event?
Hatherleigh – its miles from where I live but I always have a good time there and love the course.
20. What are you most looking forward to at the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
It’s going to be my last major thing with Spider, so I think the whole thing is going to be very emotional. I have wanted to ride there since being a small child and can’t wait to walk into that main arena.
21. Who are you tipping to win the Final at the Horse of the Year Show?
Sam Griffiths or Matthew Wright.
WATCH ALICE'S DRESSAGE TO MUSIC TEST AT THE FESTIVAL OF BRITISH EVENTING QUALIFIER BY CLICKING HERE.
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