What does a normal day involve for you?
FA-D: “A normal day means riding four or five horses in the morning or training or coaching, having a meeting at midday and more riding, training and coaching in the afternoon.
If I am out of the country, I could be judging or officiating in international Eventing, Dressage or Jumping. My duties also involve being with HRH at official functions and equestrian activities in and out of Thailand.”
Could you tell us a bit about your horses?
FA-D: “I have several horses in equestrian sports, particularly Maximus, my old retired eventing horse; I am also responsible for HRH Princess Sirivannavari’s horses – Goemar, a Jumping horse who I actively compete in 130cm classes and now moving to 140cm classes, and Bingo S, an Eventing horse actively competing in 1* and 2* classes.
"I have been with these horses since they were between two and four years old and have been riding and competing them actively up to now.”
When and how did you get into horses and equestrian sport?
FA-D: “I grew up with horses and equestrian sport as my late father General Deva was involved with horses in Thailand. He was one of the main group of people who initiated the formation of the equestrian federation here in Thailand.”
Why do you love horses and equestrianism?
FA-D: “My main inspiration, and the moment that really sparked my passion for equestrian sport, was when I was given a scholarship sponsored by HRH Queen Elizabeth II – the Long Equitation Course in the British Army at Melton Mowbray. After that, I was attached to the Household Cavalry Regiment in London.
“Equestrianism is not only about being into horse sport or being a rider and winning competitions.
Equestrianism is about having a passion for it, loving horses and putting in the effort not only to train for yourself to be better, but working together with your horse and putting its welfare ahead of personal gain or glory.”
What is your proudest achievement in equestrianism?
FA-D: “Aside from winning a gold medal at the 13th Asian Games for Team Eventing, bronze for Individual Eventing and the gold in Team Dressage and Bronze in Individual at the 18th SEA Games, my proudest achievement – which is still an ongoing endeavour – is the development of equestrian sport in Thailand and the Army Ceremony on Horseback.
This is my way of paying back for everything that my country, the Kingdom of Thailand, has given me, and is still giving me.”
What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in equestrianism?
FA-D: “The biggest challenge I have, and still need to overcome, is the involvement of politics in equestrian sport.
If we only focus more on the sport, rather than the political side of it, then it will be more beneficial to everybody, more transparent and it will grow rapidly and develop.”