Emanuel Andrade at the Winter Equestrian Festival. ph: Erin Gilmore for NF
At only 21-years-old, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade has a resume that includes appearances at multiple Continental/Regional Games, the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. These prestigious events often highlight the pinnacle of a rider’s career, but for Andrade, they only marked the beginning.
If you closely followed the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Columbus International CSI2* between September 27-October 1, 2017, you’ll have noted that Andrade either won or placed in every class he entered. This range of consistency, accomplished on various horses, is something the Venezuelan rider continues to strive towards on a daily basis.
Coming off his 2nd place finish in Thursday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Speed Cup in Columbus, Ohio, we caught up with the young talent to discuss his commitment to the sport and his perspective on success.
Noelle Floyd: How did you first get into riding?
Emanuel Andrade: As a kid, I always loved the horses and animals. I started riding when I was about five-years-old at a facility near my house in Venezuela. At first my parents weren’t very into it, but after a couple of years my father really took to it and he’s supported me and helped me with everything. That’s how it all started and I never stopped.
NF: What do you credit to your timely rise through the sport?
EA: I basically dedicate my entire life to this. I’m now seeing better results than before and I’m very happy with what I accomplished last week, but it’s a very hard sport. You can have a week like that and then a month where you don’t place in any classes.
NF: How do you define success, as both a horseman and as a competitor?
EA: A couple weeks ago I went into the ring and I had a rail down, but I told my trainer [Alexis Trosch] that I really liked the round and felt that it was perfect. There was another instance where I went clear and didn’t like the round at all because I made several mistakes. I think for me, success isn’t just about the blue ribbon. It’s about working hard every day to make each time you enter the ring better.
I love what I do every day and it’s my dream, no matter what. I try to learn from my mistakes because there are more bad days than good ones in this sport. I try to see what I’m doing wrong and I try to make it better for the next time.
NF: If you could emulate the career of any rider in the sport, who would it be and why?
EA: I really like Nick Skelton. I think he is an amazing rider and I think what’s he’s been able to do over the span of his career is amazing.
NF: How many horses do you currently have in your string?
EA: We have eight FEI horses and a couple young horses; in total we have about 21.
NF: You’ve had a successful trip to the Split Rock Jumping Tour in Ohio. How have you been working towards achieving this level of consistency?
EA: Part of it is due to the great team I have, who help me and the horses every day. What really helps me is having enough horses to be able to show in different classes every week. Always being in the ring and continuously learning something new helps a lot.
NF: Where do you hope to see yourself in the next ten years?
EA: I hope to be doing the same thing. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and every day I will continue to learn something new and try to get better results each year.
I’d like to go back to those events [Olympics, Pan American, WEG]. The goal is to always try to do better than the last time, and I dream of one day going with a team and placing better.