MAKER OF CHAMPIONS
FROM POLO TO DRESSAGE, RANGE ROVER AND RANCH OWNER ALICE WOMBLE IS DRIVEN TO FIND A CHAMPION.
From polo to dressage, ranch owner Alice Womble is driven to find a champion.
Being a ranch owner has always been an ambition for Alice Womble. “I have had horses my whole life. My grandfather was a cattle driver, and when I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a horse ranch.” Along with her husband, veterinary surgeon Dr. Mike Heitmann, both proud Range Rover owners, she runs Horsegate, a ranch dedicated to champions in polo and dressage.
Horsegate is an hour and a half outside of Houston, Texas. With over 1,000 acres of land, it keeps over 50 horses and 300 Brahman cattle and has two polo fields. Its success is very much a family affair.
“I was looking for symmetry, a kind eye and a smart attitude.”
In 2009, Alice’s daughter Jenee and granddaughter Lilyana went with Alice and Dr. Mike to Germany to select a dressage horse to train and stud. “I was looking for symmetry, a kind eye and a smart attitude,” explains Alice. “A horse likeable to people.” She chose well – Sanceo, a Hanoverian dressage stallion, is now set to compete on the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo 2020. “My mom, she can pick horses,” confirms Jenee.
It’s not just Alice’s instincts that lead to greatness. “To be a champion, you have to have heart and attitude, and I see those traits in my grandchildren,” among them Sloan, 19, and Lance, 14 – both promising polo players. “We all know the ultimate goal that we are trying to accomplish,” Alice explains. “The horses bring us together.”
A love for horses may be what connects this family, but, as Dr. Mike explains, it’s not the only factor. They routinely tailgate together at polo games, enjoying elaborate catered barbecues with the help of their vehicles.
“You have to have heart and attitude, and I see those traits in my grandchildren.”
"We have three generations of this family driving Range Rover," he says, and over the years they've collectively owned a total of 17 Range Rover vehicles.
With the Olympics in two years, and Sloan having just made the USPA team, the focus for Alice is always on the future and her family. “We haven’t even started. I see so much in my children and a beautiful opportunity. I can tell you that we’re good. Let me prove that we’re good. Let me show you what we can do.”
“We have three generations of this family driving Range Rover.”
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