Tag Archives: Class of 2008

5 Questions for…

Ali Potasky ’08
Our “Five Questions for…” is a regular series featuring alumnus/a interviews. This month we chatted with Ali Potasky ’08 who recently received a grant from The Dressage Foundation to work with renowned horse trainer Morten Thomsen in Denmark.

How did you first become interested in riding?
My mom liked animals so much that she would take us to riding lessons when I was really young, like seven years old. Now I am considered a professional rider.

How did the riding program at Williston make a difference?
If I hadn’t been able to ride everyday at Williston, then I wouldn’t be where I am now. That time in the saddle was really crucial; there were really good instructors, and access to really good facilities and horses.

How did the opportunity to work with Mr. Thomsen come up?
Morten Thomsen, the man I’m going to be working for, has ridden in the Olympics for Denmark and is the coach of several U.S. Olympians. I received a grant from The Dressage Foundation to have a lesson with him, because the lessons are pretty expensive. He knew that I was looking for more of a riding position. Right now, I am the barn manager and I do a lot of horse care, the not-so-fun work. A week after our lesson, he called me asked if I wanted to come to Denmark and work for him. Mr. Thomsen travels to the U.S., Italy, and Germany to teach, so I’m going to be riding and helping out with his horses while he’s away. I am so excited!

So you’re going to be doing a lot more of the training of the horses?
Right and that’s kind been my goal for the last four years. Right now I’m sort of an assistant trainer in the way that I’m shadowing this very seasoned professional.

What are your career goals in terms of training horses?
Well, I want to have my own training business, and clients, and horses that I compete. I love competing – some people don’t really love competing, but that’s my favorite. To me it’s really exciting and it makes it easier to set goals. It is sort of like playing soccer without ever having a game.

Ms. Potasky has been in Denmark for the past two months. You can follow her on her blob as she competes in European horse shows: http://www.apdressage.blogspot.com/.