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Alex Bragg: the farrier and rugby player turned five-star eventer — ‘I rode like a silverback gorilla’ *H&H Plus*

A late starter who took an unorthodox route into eventing, the five-star event rider’s life experiences nonetheless prepared him well. Pippa Roome meets him

Alex Bragg is proof that you don’t have to tread the beaten path through under-21 teams to make it as an event rider.

When his peers were collecting junior medals, he was an apprentice farrier and semi-professional rugby player. When they were taking tentative steps beyond the young rider bubble, he was a newly-wed with a baby on the way. When they were trying their first five-stars in their mid-twenties, he was unable to get a horse on the bit.

“I don’t think if you’d seen me ride 15 years ago, you’d ever have imagined I’d be going round a five-star – I was pretty bad,” he laughs. “I had these massive shoulders and neck, from playing rugby, and I rode like a silverback gorilla, going down the centre line with my elbows out.

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