PBI spoke with Olympic hopeful Ali Brock about lucky charms, equine behavior, and bringing home the gold.
Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge
Allison “Ali” Brock | Loxahatchee
Olympic Bid: Second-place finisher in the Grand Prix for the Special and the Grand Prix Special at the 2015 CDI4 Achleiten; member of winning U.S. Team in the 2015 Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup; winner of the Grand Prix during weeks one and seven of the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival; winner of the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at Dressage at Devon in 2014.
Dressage 101: It’s extremely technical, and there are a lot of good older riders. It’s how a 70-year-old man [Hiroshi Hoketsu] made it to the 2012 London Olympics.
Top Achievement: Jumping into the international ring with my horse, Rosie, and scoring above a 70 percent. Lots of people work really hard and never touch that.
Ali Borck on Rosevelt. | Photo by Alexandra Lynch
Lucky Charm: I carry a tiepin from a trainer and a stuffed dinosaur Sue Blinks (former Olympic medalist) gave me. The toy goes to all the horse shows and stays in Rosie’s stall.
Olympic Prep: Rosevelt (horse) is going to have to work hard, but not so hard he hates his job. I want him to think: “We’ve got this.”
Toughest Venue: The Washington International Horse Show. The warm-up area is tiny, and there are horses and people everywhere. It was epically hard on the horse, but he did a great job coping.
Equine Trivia: Horses can sense emotional intonation and know when riders are happy with them or not. They’re also herd and prey animals, so they’re designed to run away from what they’re afraid of. It’s how they survive.
Cool Competition: Sweden, Germany, Austria. All the horse shows are so different.
Horse Rx: My main focus is keeping the horses healthy. We’re pushing them to their limits and accidents and injuries are common.
Rio Itinerary: Tour São Paulo and Rio. Rio is a party-beach town and São Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.
Speaking Portuguese: I would say, “Thank you for having us here!”
Horse Whisperer: I thrive off the emotional and physical connection I have with my horses. It’s very special when you and this huge animal are plugged into each other and share a common goal.
Smooth Moves: It’s not football, and never will be. Dressage is like ballet and tends to appeal to people who enjoy the fine arts.
For more Olympic hopefuls, click here.