Our next rider and Bluegrass Horse Feed customer to answer the Behind the Success questions is Galway based young showjumping rider Daniel McAlinden. He currently produces horses for Alan Briscoe of Leanorth Sport Horses and comes from a family steeped in equestrianism including his grandfather Willie Leahy from the world famous Dartfield Equestrian Centre. Lets find out a little more about him and his favourite Bluegrass products.
1) What’s your favourite horse you’ve ridden?
Fairfield in the pub, I bought him 2 years ago and he had very little done but he got me jumping the Grand Prix’s and was 2nd in the overall Connaught Grand Prix league last year.
2) What horse would you like to have in your stables?
Edwina Tops Alexandra’s ‘Inca boy’.
3) If you weren’t a showjumper what would you like to be?
A national hunt jockey.
4) Favourite horseshow?
Dublin Horse show, it’s the main goal every year.
5) Do you prefer the Greatest Showman or Les Mis soundtrack?
I wouldn’t be a fan of either to be honest. I don’t have time to be watching musicals anyway!
6) What’s the one thing in your tack room you can’t be without?
My Antares saddles. They are so comfortable and fit all the horses very well.
7) Have you any routines or habits before you go in the ring?
I try to keep myself and the horse as calm as possible. For the bigger classes I will take deep breathes to stay relaxed, it helps a lot.
8) Do you have any other hobbies or sport interests?
I don’t have time to do other hobbies but I used to play a lot of hurling and I still like to follow it. I also love following horse racing.
9) Name one competition that you really want to win?
I really want to win the young rider 1.35-1.40 class in Dublin this year.
10) What’s your favourite Bluegrass Horse Feed Product?
Re-leve, I have a lot of my horses on it. They all feel really good and are performing very well.
11) When did you start riding?
3 or 4, my grandfather is Willie Leahy so we were never short of ponies.
12) First pony’s name?
Cuaifeach, it means the Connemara whirlwind. He was a Connemara. Ann Henning wrote a book about him.
13) What’s your proudest achievement so far?
Being 2nd in the Connaught Grand Prix league last year and being leading young rider.
14)What’s your favourite training exercise?
Canter poles with different distances, it makes them very adjustable.
15) One piece of advice you’d give to young riders?
Practice like you’ve never won and compete like you’ve never lost, it’s the screen saver on my phone.