This week I’m delighted to be chatting with international Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Victor Alfonso Pomares. Based in Italy where he runs his own business, VAP Dressage, producing and competing horses and training clients. Victor has worked for some amazing riders and breeders early in his career and has enjoyed considerable success as a rider in his own right. Read on to discover more about this very talented Spanish rider and coach, his horses, ambitions, and some top tips for success.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I’m thirty years old and an International GP dressage rider from Spain. I moved to Germany from Spain at the age of eighteen to improve my riding. I started working at Gestuet Kempkehoff with the international trainer Ronald Lueders, in this place they gave me the opportunity to ride and compete with young horses from 3 years old to 6 years old.
Three years later I started working at Hof Kasselmann. Here I was trained by Ulli and Bianca Kasselmann, Dr. Ulf Moeller, Jan Bemelmans. I rode in really important competitions like Bundeschampionat but also in auction as auction-rider in one of the most prestigious auctions in the world, the P.S.I. Auction, organised by Paul Schokemohle and Kasselmann family.
With this amazing team I had my Grand Prix debut at the age of twenty one. After four amazing years there I moved again, this time to Denmark, where I started to join the Helgstrand team. During this period I had the possibility to ride together with top riders Andreas Helgstrand and my compatriot Severo Jurado riding top quality horses and stallions like Janeiro Platinum.
In 2018 I moved to Italy to become technical director in a breeding centre in Tuscany. I currently manage my own company the VAP Dressage always based in Italy. Here I train and compete from 3 year olds up to Gran Prix. My actual GP horse is named Let’s Go (Londonderry – Fuerst Heirich. With him I compete at international level around Europe.
How did horses come into your life?
My father was a professional rider so I spent all my life in contact with these animals.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding at the age of three and I never stopped.
When and where do you ride?
I am based in a private stable in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy where I train my competition horses and students. When I don’t have competitions I travel around to give lessons.
How did you start riding?
At the age of three my father start teaching me how to ride. When I was fifteen years old I had my first job in a PRE breeding centre JF Mino trained by Miguel Jorda, the Spanish Technical Director for dressage.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Regardless of the training level of each horses my riding is focused on the “basics” balance, suppleness, a correct muscle development and a calm mind.
What do you love about riding?
It is so difficult to explain. It’s something about the bond between my horses and I. Whilst I’m riding I have no external thoughts. I am totally focused on the ride.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I have to say that in the future I want to do exactly the same as I’m doing right now. The truth is that I have a lot of goals. In the long-term for sure there is a participation in an Olympics but talking in the short-term my daily goal is to improve in the best way my horses and students
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
For sure, many times.
How do you deal with them?
Over the time you acquire knowledge and all the nerves or fears gradually vanish.
Your Top Tip
Working hard will take you to the top, enjoying the journey will take you further.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Luckily, I have already ridden many dream horses. If I have to say a name, Totilas.
Who is your equestrian hero?
I respect so many riders but when I was a child my hero was Dr. Reiner Klimke.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
If it could be possible, I would love to sit at the same table with Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Bob Marley, Rafael Nadal and Angela Merkel. I think it would be a very interesting dinner.
Favourite colour horse?
I have predilection for black horses
Favourite horse event?
Of the shows I attend, Herning in Denmark is one of my favourites because of the atmosphere
I love pasta
Favourite way to relax?
Dinner with good friends and good wine
The Gladiator is one of my favourite films
If you enjoyed meeting Victor you might like to view more dressage rider chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Victor’s progress and check out his instagram page here