Head of the Team
Not many hold the honor of qualifying and competing in the world’s three most important and prestigious equestrian events- the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games, and the World Cup Finals. The country takes pride in this great achievement of Toni Leviste. With an uncommon focus and determination, she has set out to conquer the equestrian world. Braving lonely months in Europe’s bitter winters, driving a lorry full of horses across many borders, and fending for herself in the sometimes cut-throat world of horse dealers, trainers and riders, she has moved away from home sweet home and based herself in Belgium, the epicenter of show jumping’s universe. Days find her at a training facility or competing with her string of horses comprising Team Globe Platinum. When her schedule allows a respite, she takes the opportunity to fly back to Manila, where upon landing, she heads to her sanctuary- a five hectare equestrian center she conceptualized and build in Lipa, Batangas.
To Toni, it’s the place she eventually plans to call “home.” But before that, a great task lies ahead. Toni is, once again, proud to wear the Philippine colors at this year’s SEA Games. “Representing our country is one of the greatest honors that can be accorded to any person, and I am humbled by the chances I have had to do so,” she says. She and Globe Platinum Leap of Faith will see action as anchors of the Philippine Equestrian Team. Being the most seasoned and experienced of the riders, Toni is expected to provide the solid base from which the team will build its winning performance. Win or lose, Toni will echo the words of Pierre de Coubertin to her teammates, “The important thing is not so much winning as taking part. The important thing in life is not victory, but the fight. The main thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.”
Lifestyle Asia Article by Carissa Oledan Coscolluela