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A great horse woman, Alice’s mother worked through all of CEO’s vices so he was ready for Alice to break at age three. Initially a very spooky, flat and quick jumper, he was extremely careful and seemed to have some power. With patience and Katie and Henri Prudent’s help, he made a big breakthrough as an eight year old. At age nine, CEO jumped a clear round at the Nations Cup Final in Madrid as well as in the World Cup Grand Prix in Paris. A nice home-bred success story, CEO also competed in Aachen with Alice. It was during the year 2000, on the Sunshine Tour in Spain, that Alice met HRH Princess Haya. They became friends during the circuit and at the end of it, the Princess asked Katie Prudent and Alice to take her on as a student. She moved to Paris to work with Alice and went to Katie’s farm to train. When the Princess qualified for the Sydney Olympics, the team had achieved a remarkable goal: training the first Arab woman ever to compete at the Olympic Games in show jumping. The following year, the Princess decided to stay on with just Alice as her trainer. After her marriage to Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai in 2004, Princess Haya and Alice remained friends, and in 2005 she asked Alice to take on a team in Dubai comprised of five local boys. Alice agreed, and began spending two weeks of every month from September to April in Dubai. B A L A N C I N G A F R E N C H FA M I LY AND A TEAM IN DUBAI As her international life blossomed, Alice met her husband, French businessman Remi Clero. Not previously a horseman, Remi has taken an interest in the sport and is now the President of the Longines Jumping International La Baule, CSIO5* of France. Although it was difficult to keep a balance after starting a family, she credits her understanding and dedicated husband and his hands-on approach to parenting for keeping their family life on track when she is away. The


· october/november

family joins her on trips to Dubai when school and career schedules will allow, and over the years and more than thirty visits, they have come to understand the culture there. “We have many great friends there, and it has been an exceptional education for my family and me to have the opportunity to know the Arab culture so intimately,” she explains. Amongst the outstanding riders on her team, Abdulla Al Marri has had the most success, winning the Arab World Cup League in 2008 and becoming the first United Arab Emirates rider to compete in the FEI World Cup Final. Three of her riders compete regularly at the Grand Prix level, and they have started to produce their own young horses. Alice is emphatic that “so much progress has been made in the Middle East since I started there ten years ago – it’s staggering.” Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum has broken barriers, as did Princess Haya, for women in show jumping in this region. Every facet of the sport has improved, including gender equality and levels of competition. The footing, the course design, the shoeing, vet care, training, and overall good horsemanship has risen exponentially in the last decade, catapulting riders from the Middle East into the top of the sport in record time.” Alice is sanguine when it comes to her good fortune. “I don’t know if Princess Haya chose me to take on this position specifically because I would be the first woman coach of a Grand Prix level team in the Middle East,” she said. “Obviously she didn’t reject the idea of my doing this because I was a woman. I think she knew I was strong enough and confident enough to be a woman in a unique role over there; that I would get the job done, and do it well.” Educated, sophisticated and talented, Alice Debany Clero defines a modern day renaissance woman. Above: Alice with her children and Alanis W, photo by Remi Clero

Horse & Style Magazine Oct/Nov 2015  
Horse & Style Magazine Oct/Nov 2015