Ariat Athlete Profile
Nicolle Begovic (GBR)
Discipline - Dressage
Hometown - Cobham, Surrey
Number of years riding - Lifelong rider-started in Western and now pure Dressage from the age of 12.
Main career accomplishments to date:
- International debut for Great Britain after only three years of training at affiliated level.
- Top ten finishes regularly at both National and International shows.
- Regular first place finishes at all levels in British Dressage affiliated shows.
Tell us about your first horse/pony:
My first horse was a 16.2hh very ‘enthusiastic’ skewbald mare called Lottie that my parents bought for me when I was 16. This was after years of taking the opportunity, when it arose, to ride any horse that I could to develop my riding skills further. We participated in most disciplines including showing, dressage and show jumping with great success.
How did you get started in your discipline?
I was introduced to Dressage when I started riding lessons at Contessa Riding Centre, run by Tina Layton, when I was 12. I had been originally trained in Western from a young age growing up in Eastern Tennessee where rodeos were prolific and part of our culture. Tina Layton was a successful International Grand Prix Dressage rider in her own right. I had the privilege to observe her training at the highest level and immediately I mesmerised. At the point, I knew Dressage was where my heart laid.
Mentor/Idol when growing up?
Well it’s the usual suspects and should come as no surprise; it was Carl Hester and Anky Van Grunsven who were then, and now still are, Dressage royalty. Of course I must mention Richard Davison who I am lucky enough to call my mentor and trainer.
Proudest career moment?
In 2015 making my International debut for Great Britain at Roosendaal Holland.
Why do you ride?
I have felt a deep connection and affinity with horses from a young age and a passion for riding which is something that has never left me, from childhood to now.
If you weren’t a professional rider, what would you be?
I originally studied A-levels to allow me to pursue a degree in Equine Science as I had an interest, and still do, for the management and rehabilitation of sport horses.
Favourite holiday destination?
It has to be Ibiza because there is no other place quite like it from beautiful beaches and great food to an amazing nightlife.
How do you unwind?
Working out at the gym and spending time with my family.
Do you have a good luck charm, if so what is it?
I was given a tiny stuffed bunny from my family when I sat my GCSE’s and it stayed with me right up through to my degree exams and beyond. It still has pride of place in my lorry as a little ‘good luck’ charm.
Favourite Ariat product?
Has to be, without a doubt, the Ariat Devon Pro VX paddock boot. It is the most versatile of boots that works all day from the yard to trot-up’s at International shows! Super comfortable and practical.