‘It doesn’t happen to people like me’: British rider is emotional after taking Bramham under-25 lead

  • Young British rider Alex Holman was emotional following his Bramham Horse Trials dressage test in the British Horse Feeds-sponsored CCI4*-L under-25 section as he went into the lead. The 25-year-old was riding his own and Janet Coe’s grey gelding Carrick Diamond Bard and together they scored 30.

    “He was good. He’s got good scores before, but coming here and in this atmosphere, it’s a lot to pull off and it doesn’t happen to people like me,” Alex said after his test this afternoon. “It’s amazing to go into the lead and I’m just so thrilled with how he went. It’s amazing just to be here, so to go into the lead is the icing on the cake.”

    Alex has evented professionally for the past four years and he is based on a yard that he rents in Somerset.

    “We work really hard and I fund everything I do with my horses through my own work so to come out and be competing against all these other guys is exciting and makes everything worth it,” he said. “I don’t have any facilities at home and my family isn’t horsey. I have a few horses in for schooling or competing and I do a bit of teaching to help fund everything.”

    Alex has had the ride on ‘Jerry’ for four years and he wasn’t originally meant to stay with him.

    “Jerry was one of the first horses I had as a sort of business project. I was meant to sell him and for quite a long time we wanted to as he is quirky, a bit funny, and he was always quite difficult,” explained Alex. “He’s very sensitive – I don’t wear spurs on him and rarely carry a whip – and he was quite a tricky young horse. He is really scared of funny things on the ground – if there’s a patch of differently coloured grass, he jumps sideways, and if the roads are wet and then drying out while we’re hacking, he’ll spook.

    “He didn’t always show his talent and I feel like we’ve had to bring it out. We decided to keep him and he’s been my number one ever since.”

    Alex Holman riding CARRICK DIAMOND BARD for GBR during the dressage phase of the CCI-L u25 4* at the Bramham International Horse Trials, held in Bramham Park near Wetherby in West Yorkshire in the UK, on the 10th June 2022

    An emotional Alex Holman after going into the lead at Bramham

    Fellow British rider, Phoebe Locke, is just behind Alex in second on a score of 30.4. She was riding John Dean’s 11-year-old Bellagio Declyange.

    “I was really happy with him. The changes have been a little bit difficult, but today we managed to get both of them,” Phoebe said after her Bramham Horse Trials dressage test. “I was very happy with that as it was a big atmosphere in there, but he’s got quite good head on him.”

    Yesterday’s overnight dressage leader, Baccarat D Argonne, who is ridden by French competitor Morgane Euriat is now in third on 31.2.

    The under-25 cross-county gets underway tomorrow (11 June) at 1.05pm after the senior CCI4*-L competitors have completed their rounds.

    Keep up-to-date with all the action from Bramham via horseandhound.co.uk and read the full magazine report in the 16 June issue of Horse & Hound

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