Ameen Al-Maghraby joined MPW in September 2014 and was identified as part of the Gifted and Talented programme for his show jumping. His programme was bespoke at MPW, as it had to work around his riding commitments.Ameen rides seven days a week at stables outside of London. He is a national champion and hopes to be part of the Egyptian professional team at the Olympics and World Cup.
When I was 12 years old, two of my cousins were already show jumping National Champions. As a consequence of my competitive nature, I started on a mission to become even better than them. In 2013, I left Egypt, having won the National Championship and come third in the Jordan CSI 2*. I take my training very seriously. I get up at 5am every morning to ride before my studies start and then I ride in the afternoons as well. I have a few horses and they all need training. As well as this, I also have conditioning and a diet to allow me to stay the correct weight for competitions. In actuality, you need to be physically in good shape, just like any sportsperson, if you want to be successful in show jumping.
The husbandry of the horses is extremely important and it is crucial that you build a relationship between the rider and the horse. It is also vital that you respect them in order to earn their trust and respect in return. Ultimately, they can be dangerous and therefore you should never ride or jump with a horse unless you know exactly what you are doing. I can vouch for this from personal experience, having sustained enough injuries over the years to have learnt this the hard way!
I ride competitively for Egypt at the moment and since turning professional I have been placed in many senior international classes in the UK and in Europe. I am on course for the World Championships in 2016, the World Cup in 2017 and for the 2020 Olympics, as Rio will be just too soon for me.
I found juggling training alongside my studies difficult at my previous school but MPW has been really accommodating in helping create a schedule that allows me to do both. I have been fortunate enough to have a mentor who helps keep me focused and tutors who have supported me throughout and been accommodating of my riding.
I have been pleasantly surprised since arriving in London to see how many riding clubs there are. I would encourage anyone to give it a go and it is very much a sport on the rise.