This week I’m chatting with the very talented young international Belgian dressage rider Aurelie van der Voort. Read on to discover more about Aurelie, her horses, ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
Hi, my name is Aurelie van der Voort, a dressage horse rider.
I was born in 1998 and I studied studying Arabic Languages and Islamic History at the KUL University Leuven. I live in the suburbs of Antwerp together with my parents and my 2 loyal and lovely cats, Juul and Diesel. I love traveling and of course, horse dressage.
I have a wonderful 14 year old gelding Domingo, I bought him when he was 5 years old. He is such an amazing horse and always happy to see me! We’re now riding on the grand prix u25 level. Beside him I still have a pony on the field.
How did horses come into your life?
I started horse riding at the beach in Tunis when I was 5 years old. I loved it so much that we went to a stable to get some horse riding lessons. After a few years I got my first pony Olala.
How long have you been riding?
I’ve now been riding for almost 18 years, time flies when you’re having fun.
When and where do you ride?
I train 5 days a week at stable Fiechter with my lovely Domingo. There are three beautiful arenas, one inside and two outside. At the weekends we have a lot of competitions. During the week I mostly train Domingo in the evening after my work.
What you and your horses currently working on?
We’re working on getting better in the grand prix exercises. The piaffe and passage isn’t easy but we’re slowly getting the hang of it.
What do you love about riding?
I love to work with animals, especially horses. The feeling a horse can gave you is so special.
I think it’s a connection we can’t explain to non-horse riders.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I would like to ride a lot of beautiful international competitions on the grand prix u25 level. In the future I hope to ride one day at the ‘al shaqab stable ‘ in Qatar.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I am not a nervous person so It is not a big deal for me. I think the best way to ride competitions is to think to try to ride the same as at the training.
How do you deal with them?
Keep calm and ride.
Your Top Tip
Take time to practice because some exercises are difficult for rider and horse that you can’t force them.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Oh that’s a difficult one, I think one of the horses from Simone Pearce. She’s an amazing dressage rider.
Who is your equestrian hero?
Of course, my trainers and like I said above Simon Pearce is one of my favourite dressage riders.
If you could have five people to dinner who would they be?
I really don’t know, maybe the best dressage riders in the world. To learn and listen to their experiences.
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event?
International competitions like CDI Saumur, Sint Truiden, Lier.
I can’t choose, so I think sushi and pasta are my favourites!
Favourite way to relax?
I winter I like to have a cup of tea with a Netflix series. In summer I prefer an evening walk with an Ice cream.
The Horse Whisperer
If you enjoyed meeting Aurelie you might like to view more dressage rider chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Aurelie’s progress and check out her instagram page here