Alison Rankin grew up in the beautiful countryside of Marlborough on the northern tip of the South Island of New Zealand. When she was four years old, she started riding horses and rode regularly till her mid-thirties. At that time, she moved away to the city of Christchurch for work where it became a challenge to ride regularly. In 2001, when she relocated to the Middle East, she was able to resume riding regularly at stables in Riyadh, and later Bahrain. But when she moved to Dubai, again it was a challenge to go riding frequently with the stables located far from the city.
Alison started working at KAUST in 2011, overseeing the PSE Division's websites and marketing materials. In 2015, one of her nieces invited her to come along on a charity horse ride across Mongolia, the longest endurance horse ride in the world that covers 700 kilometers over 10 days. In preparation for that trip she became a member of the Kingdom Equestrian community club so she could go riding every weekend. She also trained by completing a 7-day horse ride in Sharm-El-Sheik Egypt that included galloping across long stretches of sand and riding in the sea. Two years ago, she completed the journey in Mongolia with her niece.
Alison is the current President of the Kingdom Equestrian community club that is very inclusive as it caters to riders of all ages, experience level and disabilities. Non-riders are also welcome to come along to the ranch where they can interact with the animals. Her passion for horse riding, opportunities to interact with the animals, and meet amazing people at the ranch, are all motivators for her dedication to the club and its members.
Published: June, 2018