Richard Huish College student Alex Atherton competed in a series of international showjumping competitions in May. Alex (they/them) represented GB in a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Concours de Saut International (CSI) 1* tour at Lummen in Belgium. They came 5th on their gelding Como and 6th on their mare Zarifa in the 1.10m height competition, after finishing on double clears which qualified them for the jump off.
Alex, who is a Year 1 Uniformed Protective Services BTEC student, also competed at Peelbergen in the Netherlands in a Pro Tour. They came 5th out of 80 international competitors on Zarifa in the 1.10m and 16th of 90 in the 1.15m on Como, jumping clear rounds on both horses.
Alex, 18, from Crewkerne, has been riding since they were four years old and started showjumping when they joined Seavington Pony Club. They went on to compete in British Showjumping teams and in National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) competitions, regularly winning prizes for their schools. Alex began competing in international competitions in 2022 when they went to train with Victor Kumps and his father Jos, who coaches the Belgium and Brazilian Olympic teams. In the UK Alex trains with Jabeena Maslin MBE, the GB modern pentathlon coach, and Alex Valentine in Beaminster in Dorset.
Victor Kumps said: “We are very proud of Alex, they have made immense progress since they started to train with us. Alex is a very good rider, who trains really hard, and we are looking forward to seeing them compete at a high level in the international field in the coming years.”
Alex says: “I am very lucky to have the opportunity to compete abroad and to have two amazing horses who always do their best for me. It is a privilege to be able to represent GB in showjumping and I am hoping to compete in competitions in France and Spain next year.”