Alexander Whewall, 31, from Easton-in- Gordano in North Somerset, is set to make his debut appearance at the world famous Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May. Riding Lisa Coward’s 11-year-old bay gelding, Chakiris Star, the local rider has his sights set on a strong Badminton completion following a top-20 finish at Les Etoiles de Pau in October 2017, their first CCI4* competition.
“I’m really excited to get to Badminton, and just hope we will both be on form!” Alex says.
The former British Eventing Intermediate Champion and 2016 Bridging The Gap Scholar has his final preparations underway. Despite numerous cancellations and abandonments Chakiris Star was entered in the Advanced class at Burnham Market International which ran prior to the event having to be abandoned.
He reports, “Chakiris Star went really well at Burnham Market and made the tough cross country feel very easy! This was a really good confidence giving run for him and even better to finish in the top 10.”
In the spirit of getting to know Alex, we asked him five quick-fire questions:
1. What made you want to event and become a professional rider?
“I loved jumping and the idea of jumping and going fast around the cross country thrilled me. I did my first event when I was 16. I was still at school and I knew I didn’t want to do anything else but work/ride with horses! I started working at a local event yard and never looked back.”
2. What’s been your biggest challenge faced during your career so far?
“I’ve never had a ready-made horse. I’ve always had to make and produce the horses I ride. However, I think this has worked for the better I the long run as it has made me understand and work with different horses.”
3. What advice would you give someone starting their eventing career?
“There are lots of highs and lows, you will work long hours, but it’s worth it when your horses go out and go well! The more you put in the more you get out.”
4. What do you do for fun?
“I go for dinner with friends and occasional wild nights on the tiles!”
5. Hot or cold holidays?
“I like both. My brother and sister live in Sydney, Australia, so I like to visit them but I also love to go skiing in the French Alps”