|7 Feb 2022|
|Old Girls' Association|
After spending the first year of university driving two and a half hours home every Friday to ride and compete on her horse at the weekends, Alex thought she might try to get more involved in university life at the start of her second year. But, despite enjoying where she was she still missed riding and put out a request on Twitter to see if anyone local needed their horse ridden.
Fortunately, Hannah Westropp (then Chairman of the GB Student Riding team) contacted Alex and, as she was only 45 minutes from campus, Alex began riding with her in the mornings. Over coffee and stroopwafels one day, they realised that Alex (being of Dutch descent) could apply for the Dutch student horse riding team and towards the end of 2015 she won Team Silver with them at a Nations Cup event.
Many more medals and competitions followed and Alex was also selected as reserve rider for the University World Championship.
After finishing her masters, Alex went to work for an event rider for two years to learn how to run an equine business and she built on her teaching skills at the same time.
By 2019, Alex was ready to set up her own freelance riding coaching business and now she teaches Pony Club members to the highest level in areas such as dressage, jumping, games and endurance.
Alongside her training business, Alex has set up The Pony Podcast with her riding friend Tess Bishop. Each week they release a podcast about something in the equine world and often interview leading equestrian figures. They have now produced more than 100 podcasts between them.
In the future, Alex would like to use this platform for the good of underrepresented areas, such as minority groups (like BAME and disabled riders) and minority disciplines (like horse ball and working equitation). Her role as youth lead with the Equality and Engagement group (part of the BEF - British Equestrian Federation) is also enabling Alex to make riding more accessible to other young people.