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This week I’m delighted to be chatting with Dutch dressage rider and trainer Alexander Brenninkmeijer. Based in Germany, Alexander along with his partner Borja Carrascosa , spends his time training horses and competing whilst also running their own competition and sales stable. Read on to discover more about Alexander, his ambitions, and his top tips for success.

Tell us a little about you and your horses

Alex visting young horses at home in the field
I´m Alex and I´m thirty four years old. I´m originally Dutch but I was born and raised in Spain and spent my entire childhood and youth in Madrid, riding and competing ponies in amateur show jumping classes. After graduating from university, I started riding dressage when I moved to Hof Kasselmann in 2012, and since 2015 my partner Borja Carrascosa and I run our own competition and sales stable. We started at Gut Auric in Krefeld in 2015 and in 2020 we moved into our own stable – Gut Flamschen, here in Coesfeld. In our stable we ride and compete client´s horses but also some of our own. Some of the horses I have enjoyed most training and competing are Status Royal OLD, Esprit Dond D, Djakarta etc. Furthermore, I don´t only love riding but also enjoy being Borja´s groom at CDI´s, driving the truck, taking pictures, organizing the logistics etc.


How did your horses come into your life?

Alex and his partner Borja Carrascosa
Alex and his partner Borja Carrascosa
Borja and me have bought several foals throughout the years, and now we are proud owners of quite a few talented and promising horses that we love a lot! I usually start breaking in our own young horses when they are three and a half years old. But at the moment I´m not riding any of our own horses because I have too many client´s horses to ride. One of our most special horses is the 7 year old stallion Frizzantino. We bought him as a 6 weeks old foal, I started riding him when he was three and a half years old and competed him first before Borja took him over and has now won a few Championship titles with him.


How long have you been riding?

I started riding ponies at a very young age, I think I was about 4-5 years old. But I didn´t start riding dressage until I started working for Hof Kasselmann in 2012, now ten years ago.


When and where do you ride?

Alex and Borja's stable Gut Flamschen
Alex and Borja’s stable Gut Flamschen
My partner Borja and I are very lucky to have our own stable at home (Gut Flamschen), where we can train and ride all our own and client´s horses in perfect conditions. It´s an amazing feeling when you wake up in the morning and you can just walk down to the stable and see your horses. We love working at home where it´s quiet and peaceful and all our horses enjoy the relaxing atmosphere here.


How did you start riding?

My grandmother used to breed ponies at home, so my mother already rode ponies and therefore she introduced me and my siblings to horses as well. The horse virus really caught up on me and I kept riding ponies in amateur show jumping classes until I was sixteen. During my university studies I stopped riding due to lack of time and being abroad, and shortly after obtaining my degree I started working for the Horses & Dreams show organizing team at Hof Kasselmann in 2012 and that´s when I got in love with dressage and my partner Borja. Since then, I have only been riding dressage and was able to train a few horses up to Grand Prix level.

What you and your horses currently working on?

Alex at the prize ceremony with Status Royal OLD
  I´m riding and training horses of all ages at the moment (from 3 year old to 10 year old horses), so I´m working on different things which each horse. With the very young ones it is just about easy and fun work to improve their balance and strength, and with the older ones I´m working on higher level exercises up to Grand Prix exercises.


What do you love about riding?

When you´re riding a horse you have to focus on them and your riding, and this puts everything else that you have in your mind in the background and allows you to enjoy riding without having to think about other things. It´s also an amazing feeling when you feel there is a special connection and bond between you and the horse you´re riding! And when you look back and see how much a horse has developed and learned during the time you´ve been riding it, it gives you a very comforting feeling.


What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

Borja and Alex with Djakarta and Hot Dance
Borja and Alex with Djakarta and Hot Dance
I love to teach horses up through the levels, especially when you can start teaching them the more difficult stuff. My goal is to be able to compete (and keep) a horse that I have trained up to Grand Prix. Most of our own horses are still quite young, so until now I have only trained and competed client´s horses up to Grand Prix level.


Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding? 

Alex competing with Esprit Dond D in Balve
Alex competing with Esprit Dond D in Balve
Yes, when competing I think it´s pretty normal to be slightly more nervous than when riding at home, as you want to show your best performance in a specific moment in front of judges and spectators.


How do you deal with them?

Not taking it too seriously and trying to ride just the way you do at home.


Your Top Tip

Be patient and listen to your own feeling, try to learn from the best and not the loudest.



Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

I´d love to ride Charlotte Fry´s Glamourdale once – must be an incredible feeling!

Who is your equestrian hero?

There is many that I admire, like Isabell Werth, Cathrine Dofour or Charlotte Fry. But my biggest hero is my partner Borja Carrascosa.

If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?

Probably Isabell Werth, Rafael Nadal, Leona Lewis, Sarah Millican and my partner Borja.

Favourite colour horse?

Good horses have no colour…but if I could choose then black.

Favourite horse event?

CHIO Aachen – best show in the world for riders, grooms and spectators


Favourite food?

I have no favourite food…I love everything! What I miss most is good Spanish food here in Germany.

Favourite way to relax?

Going on holidays with Borja and our dogs, hacking out in the forest or inline skating on a sunny summer evening.

Favourite film?

Gladiator…I usually watch that movie every year again.

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Alexander  you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here    You can keep up with Alexander’s progress and check out his instagram page here  

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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