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Horseball, water treadmills and a French connection – nine things you didn’t know about Alex Bragg

Event rider Alex Bragg may have been a late starter to the sport, but he’s taken eventing by storm over the past few years. We find out more about him…

1. Alex didn’t ride at his first CCI3* (now CCI4*) until he was 29 years old. He was still an amateur rider making his living as a farrier at the time.

2. He met his wife Simmone when she was a livery on a DIY yard where he was shoeing horses. Now the couple lease that same yard as a sort of overflow for their business – Alex’s competition horses live at their own property, but his daughters’ mounts stay at the yard up the road and they have a few liveries there.

3. Among the improvements Alex has made to his Somerset base is an undercover viewing area for his school with seating, so owners can get out of the rain if they’re watching their horse. His dream improvement? A water treadmill, but he reckons he needs to win Badminton or Burghley to afford that.

4. Alex and Simmone have three daughters, Ellouise, Sienna and Florence.

5. He made his four-star (now five-star) debut at Burghley 2016 with two horses. He finished 34th on Redpath Ransome and had a fall with Zagreb on the cross-country. “You don’t realise quite what an achievement it is to have two horses at that level, let alone be making your debut on two horses you’ve produced from scratch,” says Alex.

6. Pau has become something of a specialist event for Alex and his top horse, Zagreb. The pair have finished fourth there twice (2016 and 2017) and fifth there twice (2019 and 2020).

7. Alex’s biggest win in eventing also came in France, when he took the top spot in the Event Rider Masters at Jardy in 2018 on Zagreb.

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8. Alex Bragg uses a gym ball when he’s starting young horses – bouncing it against them and up on the saddle to get them used to things moving around.

9. He did mounted games as a child, competing at Wembley with the West Somerset branch of the Pony Club, and also played horseball – his team were national champions at junior level.

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