He may not be as renowned in Europe as down under, but Chris Hector has become an institution with his equestrian magazine The Horse Magazine. A fearless critic of the equestrian sport in any discipline, Hector is the editor-in-chief of his own magazine and attacks bad sport on any continent while he equally lauds beauty in equestrianism.
"Any magazine is only as good as its features," Hector once said and with The Horse Magazine he has produced a monthly magazine that is up to standard world wide. OK, sometimes he might misspell European horse and rider names but that does not affect the message. Hector is proud that The Horse Magazine features, for instance, columns by Grand Prix rider Heath Ryan. "He is not only the most controversial and most read writer in the horse world, his columns set the agenda," Hector stated.
A Western Pleasure rider more than twenty years ago, Hector turned to dressage and has a small, private breeding farm with his wife Roz Neave as hobby. He is currently working on a magnum opus on the breeding of European warmblood sires (we heard it's already over 700 pages) but horses don't dominate his life. Hector is challenged by many an intellectual thing and enjoys the ballet even more than the kur to music in Aachen.
We caught up with Chris in Aachen over a cup of coffee for an upclose and personal "Between Heaven and Hell". Cigar in hand, he replied the following:
Chris, what's your favourite dish?
Chris: It depends on the day. A hot Thai curry or risotto with seafood.
If you were to chose a different profession, what would it be?
Chris: A lawyer so I could make a lot of money
What is the biggest intellectual joy for you?
Chris: reading, especially contemporary fiction. I just read Richard Price's "Lush Life" and I am reading the Pulitzer prize winning "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz.
What gives you the most artistic pleasure?
What gives you the most physical pleasure?
Chris: working out at the gym every night for two hours, five nights a week with trainers and trying to get personal best scores.
What makes you cry?
Chris: I cry at lots of things. At the theatre for instance. In any emotional situation I am pathetically teary.
What annoys you the most?
Chris: bad food, bad pretentious food in restaurants
What does heaven look like to you?
Chris: there is no heaven
Chris: It doesn't exist but I'll send you an email in case you need to be warned.
What is the most beautiful place you've ever visited?
Chris: so many in the world. Recently, the most moving place I have been to is the Buddha Pagoda in the Three Kingdoms' Park at the Horseshoe Point resort of the Thai twins, Chaikiri and Chainarin Srifuengfung, in Pattaya, Thailand
What is the ugliest place you've ever visited?
Chris: Las Vegas, closely followed by Rotterdam.
At what moment were you the happiest in your life?
Chris: Next week, You never know what's coming. There are lots of good moments in life, hopefully not are all finished. I also count -the Australians winning eventing team gold at the Sydney Olympics!
When were you the saddest in your life?
Chris: visiting my 91-year old mother in the retirement home.
Who would be your favourite one-night stand?
Chris: I'm too old for that kind of things. As Clemens Dierks would put it, "we are at the age we can only look."