Daniel Bluman: International Equestrian
I had the opportunity to sit down with world ranked International Equestrian Daniel Bluman, and gain insight into his background as well as his love of horses.
Bluman was born on March 15,1990, in Medellin, Colombia. Inspired by his older cousins who loved and showed horses, Daniel started riding at age 3. He showed a deep passion for horses which rapidly developed into a real lifestyle. As a young rider, Bluman competed in Colombia, Germany and in the U.S.A. and later went on to train in Belgium with Nelson Pessoa and started to compete at some of the best competitions in the world. Bluman has been riding for Israel since 2016, and is spearheading the first Israeli team for the World Championships, taking place later this year in Tryon, North Carolina and will lead the first Israeli Equestrian team for the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. This is all very exciting indeed.
OR: Where did you grow up and how many siblings do you have?
DB: I was born in Colombia and moved to Weston, Florida at the age of 10. I have a younger brother named Steven who I’m very close with.
OR: Tell us a fun fact about your childhood?
DB: We had a lot of fun growing up in a great community where we played many sports. Sports was extremely fun and easy for us and we always had a great time playing with the other kids.
OR: What made you choose to be a competitive equestrian show jumper?
DB: It was my love of horses and competition that lead me to be an equestrian show jumper. I realized early on that I had a natural ability for the sport and my competitiveness nurtured my ability to be disciplined and work hard.
OR: What inspires you?
DB: I’m inspired by individuals that work honestly and passionately to achieve their dreams.
OR: Who are some of your mentors?
DB: I respect and admire many athletes but specifically, Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Lamaze and former Brazilian World Champion, Nelson Pessoa. I have been blessed to learn from many successful athletes throughout my career.
OR: What do you do to train for competitions?
DB: We try to keep our team of horses in the best shape possible through diet and exercise so they are ready to perform at the ultimate level.
OR: Do you have any special traditions or routine before a big competition?
DB: My routine prior to a big competition is always the same, to stay focused. I love what I do so I enjoy the moment and let it flow.
OR: Who on the circuit is your fiercest competition?
DB: Kent Farrington who is ranked as the leader and Olympic medalist, McLain Ward are both in great shape at the moment. There are many fantastic competitors in our sport nowadays and having fierce competition in the sport, keeps me at the top of my game.
OR: Do you have a favorite horse or are they all your favorite?
DB: All the horses are my favorite and I have developed a strong bond with each and every one of them. We train them for many years until they reach their highest level. It’s a great experience and accomplishment to take that journey with them.
OR: What motivated you to coordinate the first Israeli equestrian team?
DB: I had this dream for a long time and I did this with these other amazing men such as Ken Lalo – President of the IEF, Michel Finquel – Owner of GPA, Hai Prince – Manager of the Israeli Equestrian Team, Dani Goldstein – American Israeli Rider and Alberto Michan – Mexican Israeli Rider. I am very proud to be part of this team and it’s a priority for me to help Israel become a strong competitor on the biggest world stage.
OR: Are any of the Israeli equestrian team members born in Israel or are they all dual citizens?
DB: A combination of both, but they are mostly dual citizens. Alberto Michan is the latest addition and was born in México. He placed 5th (individual) in the Olympic Games in London. Alberto is a fantastic teammate and I’m very excited to have him on board.
OR: What do you hope to accomplish with establishing Israel as a leader in equestrian competition?
DB: I believe that with time and support from Jewish owners and corporate sponsors, we will become one of the strongest teams on the world stage. The Olympic Games, World Championships and to be on the top of the world rankings are our objectives.
OR: What is your opinion of Jerusalem becoming the capital of Israel?
DB: Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel.
OR: We know you are very philanthropic. Which charities do support and why?
DB: Giving is a privilege and I enjoy helping many different organizations as much as I can. This is something we must do to help the world become a better place. I’m a supporter of different charities that support kids in Colombia, veterans in Israel and the few holocaust survivors that are left.
OR: Competing at such a high level requires physical training. Do you have an exercise routine to stay fit? Special diet?
DB: The level of competition is intense so adhering to a proper health regimen is key. I work out a minimum of 4 days a week and I enjoy it very much. I love eating so I try to maintain a healthy diet so that what I eat, is good for my health and performance.
OR: What do you do to relax? Do you follow any other sports as a fan?
DB: Riding and training horses relaxes me. I love what I do so I don’t spend much time doing other activities but I do love to read and watch movies as well. I’m a big sports fan and I follow the majors of tennis, golf, soccer and college football.
OR: Is there any one thing you always wear when you compete?
DB: Yes, I always wear my Star of David and my wedding ring which belonged to my grandfather who is a holocaust survivor.
OR: How did you meet your wife?
DB: I met my wife Ariel through our sport which is the biggest gift Show Jumping has given me. She is everything I dreamed of having in a wife and partner.
OR: Do you and Ariel train together?
DB: We do and we don’t. We train at the same facility but not together. She knows how to give me my space to train for my competitions. We always travel together which is always great!
OR: What did you get a college degree in? What would you do if you weren’t an equestrian jumper?
DB: I received my Associates degree from FAU. I have been with horses all my life and couldn’t imagine my life or career without them.
OR: How do you remain focused when traveling around the world? Any travel tips to share?
DB: I am competitive by nature so I am always focused and thinking of how I can improve. My travel tip is to be loyal to an airline! This pays off with upgrades and business class trips.
OR: What would you tell your 8-year old self?
DB: I would tell my 8-year old self to NEVER stop dreaming big!
OR: I want to thank you for taking the time to interview with me. It’s very exciting to get to know you and follow your great work and upcoming Competitions. Good luck with everything and will be cheering you on!
DB: It is my pleasure and I look forward to interviewing with you again.
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