Date of Birth: October 10, 1963
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Hometown: New York, NY
Marital Status: Married
Coach: Sjef Janssen
Other Careers ( if any): Being a mom to three kids and running Riverdale Equestrian Centre in New York City.
Do you have a favorite author? Who?
My seven year-old daughter Emma. She just loves to write books and I love them. Also I just read The DaVinci code and I loved it, so I’d say Dan Brown too.
How other than riding, do you keep fit?
I run and I ski
Do you watch a lot of television? Are there any shows you can’t do without?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do love Law and Order. Liz Rohm rides at our stable so I have to watch her!
What mentors do you have, in and outside of the equestrian industry?
My parents. And my husband is a great mentor. He works so hard.
What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a Mercedes…something. I don’t even know what it is! That’s pathetic. It’s the thing that looks like an SUV but it’s not really. It’s the cheapest Mercedes you can buy. No one else is sure what it is either… we think it’s an ML 350.
What is the coolest place you have ever visited? Why? When?
I went to Scotland with some close friends, which made it fun.
If you could ride anyone else’s horse, which one would you choose?
I would ride Salinero again, Anky Van Grunsven’s horse.
What was the most memorable/important horse show moment to you? Why?
The Olympics in 1988 were very important, and the last trial at Blainville, which was a personal best for my horse Imperioso.
Tell us about your first pony.
She was actually a horse named Gloria and she use to buck me off twice a day. Literally, twice a day was not an uncommon occurrence. I was about thirteen.
Who is someone that you have NEVER met, in or out of the horse industry that you would love to meet? Why?
Mikhail Gorbachev. I think he is interesting. Actually when I was on my honeymoon my husband and I went to meet a friend at a hotel in San Francisco. There was a crowd outside but I pushed my way through and the people there just kind of smiled at me and let me pass. Later my husband said "Ashley do you know who you just pushed aside? The Secret Servicemen and Gorbachev!" So I’d like to meet him again.
Growing up, did you want to be a professional equestrian, or was there another career you were aiming for?
You know I don’t even consider myself a professional rider. I ride because I really love, love, LOVE riding. I see people that for whatever reason haven’t had the same opportunities. I just feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to ride and compete for Canada. I don’t think of it as a job much. I’m just blessed.
Did you go to university/college? If so, what for? If not, do you regret not going? Why?
Unfortunately, no. I wish that I had. In hindsight, I do see people now days that are able to go to college and still compete. I should have.
What has been the scariest experience of your life?
My mother was ill, but she is better now. That was scary.
If you were able to give back to the equestrian industry in some way, how would you do that?
I would like to give back by spreading knowledge. And I’d like to be in the situation down the road where I can give some talented people some good horses.
Who is your favourite actor or actress?
Liz Rohm! I also love Hugh Graham
What traits do you like/dislike most about yourself?
I like that I do genuinely care about things and people. But the thing I like least is my disorganization skills…or my lack of organization. I do too much and I get disorganized.
What is one item that you can’t leave home without?
My purse-I’ve got to bring that with me.
Do you have a dog or cat? What kind? Do they go to the horse shows with you?
I have a Golden Retriever named Kennedy and he goes everywhere with me.
If you couldn’t compete in your current sport, what other equestrian discipline would you like to try?