A little Q&A With Equestrian Rider Alexus Willson

Alexus Willson performs at various shows at both the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Park, and since 2016 has been sponsored by Dr. Sidal, the owner of Torrey Pines Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Del Mar/Carmel Valley. It’s his “giving back” that has been essential to the riding success that Willson continues to see. Dr. Sidal says, “Her devotion to the sport reminds me of the rigorous training that I went through early in my career. In a sense, we both work hard to reach our goals. Therefore, I’m pleased to be able to contribute to her success.”

Toni Sutton: You’ve been riding since the tender age of 5, and have been showing for the last ten years. Any words of wisdom for young girls that are starting to ride?

Alexus Willson: It’s to never take this sport for granted, and appreciate the opportunities you’re given. Also, never blame your mistakes on your horse, and even if you have a bad ride kiss your horse goodbye. 

TS: How did you even start riding?

AW: My mom is a horse trainer and got me into riding.

TS: That’s really cool. Do you remember your first show?

AW:It was when I was 8 years-old, and it was at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

TS: How do you prepare for a show?

AW: Getting ready for a show consists of chaos. It’s a lot of packing and then me realizing that I always forget at least one thing. 

TS: I know many athletes have superstitions. Do you have any?

AW: My one superstition is that if I’m super nice to my competition I always lose. 

TS: During a competition what goes through your mind?

AW: I just focus on riding my horse to the best of my ability.


TS: It definitely seems like that focus has paid off. Your track record is quite impressive.

TS: Over the years how has riding made an impact on other parts of your life?

AW: Through riding I’ve met some of the most amazing people. It’s crazy how your inspiration can become one of your close friends and I love that. 

TS: Your favorite thing about riding is?

AW: I get to bond with my horses and the friends I’ve made along the way. 

TS:What’s your favorite memory throughout the years of riding?

AW: My favorite memory so far is from 2017. I had worked so hard all year long to win a certain class and when I got to the finals I actually didn’t have a horse to ride. The horse I chose to ride had never done anything like this, and was still fairly new to me. When I stepped foot into that ring I thought to myself ‘I won’t win, but I’ll try to.’ The next thing I know I’m being called back for a work off and I was in second place. After the work off I stood in the line just waiting. The moment I heard that I won I broke into tears. Everything that I’ve been working for had paid off, and I won a GSDHJA 3Ft. Medal.

TS:Long term/short term goals?

AW:My long term goal is to become an “A” show trainer. A short term goal is to qualify and win the junior hunter finals.


TS:What’s next on the horizon for you?

AW: I’m graduating this June and I plan to get a business degree.

There’s a unique and unparalleled bond between a horse and rider. I love the connection that you get with the horse and figuring out all of their special quirks.