There’s a bit of an artform to creating a partnership with a new horse, and in 2017, Alex Crown has had plenty of practice. The 22-year-old showjumper and Kent Farrington pupil added a number of mounts to her string this year and is already earning results. One star prospect: the 14-year-old Selle Français gelding, Quentucky Jolly, who Crown rode to victory in one- and two-star classes in Valence, France and the Stephex Masters in Brussels last fall.

With an undoubtedly bright winter season ahead of her, we caught up with Alex to find out the important lesson she’s learned this year and what she’s most excited about in 2018.

If you could pick a favorite moment with one of your horses from the 2017 season, what would it be and why?

One of my favorite moments of this year was winning the one-star grand prix at the Stephex Masters with Quentucky Jolly. “Jolly” is a new ride for me and we spent the summer getting to know each other, so it was extremely rewarding to feel like things were coming together and that we were finally starting to click.

What’s the most important lesson about the sport that you’ve learned this year?

One big thing that Kent has taught me is how to properly manage a horse’s schedule so that they can be at their best. How to select the right shows and venues for each particular horse, and how to peak a horse for certain classes. Kent has also taught me a lot about how to play to each horse’s strengths so that I can learn to be competitive on a variety of horses.

What are you most thankful for and why?

I am most thankful for the incredible team of people I have behind me: my parents who are my number-one supporters, Kent for his incredible training, and every member of Team KPF. Nothing would be possible without such an amazing team of people. And, of course, I am extremely thankful for my incredible horses!

What are your goals for the winter 2018 season?

My goals for this winter are to keep improving and to get to know my newer mounts better. I am aiming towards the U25 series this WEF, as well as some of the two-star grands prix, so my biggest goal is to be consistent and hopefully competitive in those!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

To keep learning and improving, as well as to really work on my fitness so I can be the best athlete I can be.

-Photo credits: Erin Gilmore; Tori Repole.