An inside look with US Nation's Cup rider: Alise Oken
Alise is a star in the ring...such an incredible talent with 12 FEI ranked wins. I had the opportunity to connect with Alise and learn a little more about her...check out my Q&A below.
A little more about you, why you started riding, at what age and why you have continued with the sport?
I started riding when I was 11 years old, I had always loved horses and attended a riding summer camp one year and was instantly hooked. Being around horses and involved with them on a day to day basis is something I love doing, so for me to be able to make it into a business and a career was a no brainer.
Where do you mostly ride and train?
From November to April I am in the US training out of Wellington and competing at the WEF circuit. From April and into the summer and fall I am based out of the Netherlands and compete in shows around Central Europe.
Do you travel with all the same horses or do you have a particular set of horses you take to each show depending on location?
It depends on the star rating of the show and whether that show includes a young horse division. Right now I have two horses (Hitchcock and HH Fireball) that can compete at a high level(1.45m and above) so for FEI rated shows they usually attend those. The rest of my string are young horses so it depends on whether the show has a division for them or smaller classes available.
With your incredible talent you have had the opportunity to represent team USA in a few different competitions, which one was your favorite and what competition is your next goal?
I have always tried to make representing the US in team competitions a priority, and so far my favorite CSIO was Lisbon this year. My horse Hitchcock preformed beautifully there with a clear in the Nations Cup to contribute for a 3rd place finish, and he produced a clear in the Grand Prix as well. Next year I hope to get some consistent results at the WEF Grand Prixs with Hitchcock in order to apply for more US team competitions in the summer.
Now that you have landed back state-side, what is the first thing you're excited to do with your ponies here that you could't do in Europe?
Riding out on our amazing Grand Prix field we have on our farm in Wellington. It’s incredible footing and so much space, the horses really love it.
Who are your favorite riders and what do you look to them for?
A top American rider I enjoy watching is Laura Kraut. She is a wonderful jockey with a natural feel for horses. They always try to jump their best for her and she is very good at getting the most out of horses. There are many amazing European riders as well. Jeroen Dubbeldam’s record speaks for itself and he is also an incredible showjumper who can ride any type of horse and make it look easy. Marcus Ehning also has phenomenal equitation and a feel for horses that is enviable and something you strive to emulate.
Follow Alise's Journey on Instagram @alisevoken