Para equestrian: Q&A with Frank Hosmar

Get to know Dutch rider Frank Hosmar ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 28 Aug 2016
The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar

The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar continued his excellent weekend by taking his first major championship freestyle gold in the Grade IV competition with Alphaville N.O.P. to help the Dutch to the top of the medal table.

ⒸJon Stroud/FEI
By Robert Howell | For the IPC

The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar has been a regular fixture on Para equestrian podiums at major competitions for the past few years. But at last year’s European Championships, he took gold for the first time in the grade IV. And in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Hosmar is now one of the favourites to take the title. How did you get into your sport?

Frank Hosmar (FH): As a child I rode my ponies and then after high school I went to the Dutch Equestrian Education Centre in Deurne. I finished at the end of 1989 and started working in January 1990 at La Hacienda Riding School in Yokohama, Japan. I worked there for two years and then came back to the Netherlands and started my own stable. At the beginning of 1997 I had an accident and fell with my right wrist into glass which cut all the way through to the bone. The doctor said at that moment I would never ride normally again! Six months later I rode in my first regular competition.


In 2009 I started competing Para equestrian and since then I've been a member of the Dutch team.


What does it mean to you personally to represent the Netherlands at Rio 2016?

FH: I'm always proud to be in the team for the Netherlands and I was very proud to bring home two bronze medals from the Paralympics in London 2012. The Paralympics are an event like no other and although the arena is the same everywhere, London 2012 for me was unforgettable.


What would it mean to you personally if you won a gold medal in Rio?

FH: It would be the biggest award I can get for all the work all these years.


If you had to pick five words to describe yourself what would they be?

FH: Go-getter, strong- willed, positive, eager, ambitious.


Who do you see as your biggest rivals in Rio?

FH: Since I started competing in Para dressage it's been Great Britain’s Sophie Wells and Belgium’s Michele George. The stage in grade IV has been shared between Belgium, England and the Netherlands already for years and although I won double gold last year (at the European Championships) I’m sure it will be an exciting competition once again.


Do you have any superstitions or routines you go through when competing?

FH: I always have my left boot first on and I tack my horse by myself.


What advice would you give any riders starting out in your sport?

FH: Follow your own road, look and listen a lot but, in the end, make your own choices.


If you could pick one thing about your sport what do you most enjoy?

FH: Of course working with horses is what I most enjoy, and then during competition time I most enjoy the freestyle.


If you could have dinner with anyone, living or not, who would that be?

FH: That would definitely be my younger brother Jeroen. He died when he was 18 years old in a train accident. It would be so nice to talk once with him again.


Who is your biggest inspiration in life?

FH: My family who is always behind me, without them I could not do what I do now! They inspire me to get the best out of myself.


Para equestrian competition at Rio 2016 begins 11 September, with medal events taking place 13-16 September, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.