Meet Burghley Horse Trials first-timer: Alex Postolowsky and Islanmore Ginger

  • Hi, I’m Alex Postolowsky. I am going to be competing at my first Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this year and I’ll be Horse & Hound’s guest blogger during the event.

    My first major success came in 2004 with a place on the young rider team riding Flint Curtis. I have since gained a degree and continued to ride full-time. However, this is my first Burghley, my first 4-star and it is the first 4-star for my ride Islanmore Ginger!

    Ginger (pictured top) is owned by Paul and Elaine Newbert and he is 15 years old, by Giorgionne out of a Flat racing mare. I have been riding him for 4 years now and over this time I have grown to absolutely adore and admire him. We did our first CCI*** together last year at Boekelo, where Ginger finished in the top half with just time faults to add to his dressage. This year we have gone clear at Burnham, Bramham, Barbury and Hartpury CIC***s.

    Burghley has given me many exciting and happy memories over the years — it’s a local event for me as I’m based near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. During my Pony Club days I competed regularly at Burghley in the team showjumping for the Scunthorpe & District Pony Club. I also competed in the Winergy Young Event Rider Academy Finals held at Burghley — incidentally Mike Tucker handed me the microphone after my round and said ‘So AXEL, how did that go?’ Normally people get the letters in my surname (Postolowsky) mixed up, not my first name Alex!

    I have enjoyed success in the Burghley Young Event Horse finals, winning the 4-year-old class in 2009 and finishing 4th in the 5-year-olds in 2012. Therefore, I have been involved in the Burghley buzz for years, but always watching the real action unfold from the sidelines. I have seen many of my young rider contemporaries ride round, hoping that one day it will be my turn! Finally I’m in a position to enter.

    As for my ambitions for the event, Ginger doesn’t find dressage easy so anything in the 50s will be a fantastic result for him. I don’t find him the easiest to showjump as he has a very unique way of going. He has done several showjumping clears at advanced/***, but we often don’t go clear! However cross-country is his forte, and to me this is the real test and what it’s all about. I just want Ginger to be happy and it will be a dream come true just to complete.

    For one reason or another it has been a lot harder, and taken a lot longer, to get here than I thought it would. It has built up into an almost unachievable target in my life, so if I can just get round I will forever be indebted to my wonderful horse Ginger and the people who have helped me achieve this ambition. I also suspect I won’t be able to sleep for days due to extreme excitement!

    I hope you will enjoy following the highs and lows of my first Burghley right here on the H&H website.


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