Known as a rising star as recently as a couple of years ago, 28-year-old Daniel Bluman has officially secured his place among the most talented showjumpers in the world. Though he currently splits time between New York, Florida, and Belgium, Daniel hails from Medellin, Colombia, and represented his home country in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, as well as the 2010 and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.
However, with familial roots that also tie to Israel, Daniel began to ride for the nation in 2016. He spent the past few days navigating the incredibly challenging courses of this year’s WEG, helping Team Israel secure 13th place overall, and only narrowly missing the opportunity to compete in the individual finals. Now, with #Tryon2018 officially under his belt, he’s set his sights on Tokyo 2020.
With a rigorous international competition schedule, Daniel is a busy guy, yet he still finds time to devote to nurturing future generations of riders. And last spring he took to Facebook to encourage his peers to mentor young equestrians who might not otherwise have the means and access to experience the sport that Daniel finds so rewarding. Despite competing in this week’s WEG and next week’s American Gold Cup (to be held in North Salem, New York), Daniel also carved a bit of time out of his schedule to answer a few questions for us, because everyone is curious to know what goes on under the helmet of one of showjumping’s brightest talents.
If you could travel somewhere that did not involve a horse show, where would it be?
I’d love to ski anywhere in the world. I skied for the first time last year and fell in love with the mountains and the snow. Such a great planet! I want to explore many beautiful places where I can ski with my wife and friends.
You drop a quarter in the jukebox to listen to…
I am 100% Colombian when it comes to music!
The first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is…
The horses! No doubt!
The best gift you ever gave was…
An Hermes blanket to my wife when we started dating. I think that really helped her fall for me. Hermes is that good!
What is your life’s mantra, or a phrase you use often?
“Do it for the right reasons.”
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to sing well!
What three words best describe you?
Honest, resilient, and charismatic.
Any advice for your younger self?
Be patient and have faith; your turn will come.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I was once afraid of horses.
A Colombian rider, and Israeli rider, and an American rider walk into a bar. What happens next?
This could very possibly happen. All it would require is me walking into a bar by myself, since I have all three passports (and depending on the day, you might see a little of each in me!)!