02 May 2018

Alison Robitaille is still a leading star some 20 years after her World Equestrian Games debut...

Beezie Madden may have stolen the headlines in last month’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, but she wasn’t the only American to impress in Paris.


Alison Robitaille was also in top form in front of the bumper crowds at the AccorHotels Arena, taking 14th place with her energetic grey, Ace.


Some 20 years after first appearing at the World Equestrian Games, Alison, now 41, is still passionate about riding and full of ambition, as she reveals in the latest video in the latest FEI Equestrian World video…

Her formative years led to Rome...

Now a mother of two and experienced jumper, Robitaille, should she qualify, will be a very different athlete in Tryon, North Carolina, to the one who took part in Rome in 1998.


Back then, at just 21 years old, the then Alison Firestone was new on the international scene. Having started riding at four years old, she clinched her first international Grand Prix in in 1995 in Dijon and was soon in the US Nations Cup team before being called up for Rome.



Lining up alongside the likes of Anne Kursinski, she proved her potential by finishing as the top-placed American rider.


“I remember being really nervous the night before and lying awake in bed,” she recalls. “I couldn’t really believe it was real, but then you get on your horse and you can get going, then it’s just down to business.


“My horse, Major, was a really special horse in my career.


“It feels like yesterday when I think back to it. It was just such an exciting time to my career.”


In her fifth Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, Robitaille clinched her best ever finish, beating the 15th place achieved in Helsinki in 1998.


After taking time off from the sport a few years ago to start a family, she puts much of her recent success down to her partnership with her 13-year-old gelding, Ace.

"It took us a little
while to really
gel together"

Alison's "special" Ace...

“I’ve been riding Ace for two years now,” she says. “He’s such a special horse and I feel so lucky to have him.


“I was rusty but trying to get back to the tough level, and so it took us a little while to really gel together. But now I feel like we have really meshed and have had some great rounds together.”


Keep up with the latest Equestrian World videos by subscribing to the FEI's YouTube channel...


Images by Liz Gregg / Anwar Esquivel