Bella Hadid is hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics

Bella Hadid is hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics

Bella Hadid might be best known as the Instagram-friendly model pal of Kendall Jenner and sister of Gigi, who has walked for Missoni, Tommy Hilfiger, Kanye West for Adidas and Moschino, but it turns out she has other ambitions - of the sporting kind. 

Bella Hadid (right) with her sister Gigi (centre) and friend Hailey Baldwin

This week she revealed in a magazine interview that she's hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Her sport of choice? Horse riding. 

This isn't a recent passion for Bella. The 18-year-old started riding horses as a 3-year-old and is in fact already nationally ranked in the sport. And though her mother, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, is estimated to be worth around £30 million, Bella says growing up as a pony club kid has kept her down to earth. “It taught me a lot about responsibility", she said in an interview earlier this year, "you’re up at 5.30am, caring for and riding a huge animal. I would be at horse shows by myself for weeks, and I had to make sure I was on my game at all times.”

A snapshot of a younger Bella with her sister Gigi, brother Anwar and mother Yolanda 

Now with the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro coming up next year, Bella is hoping to win a place in the US equestrian team to compete at the highest level possible. 

And though the rigorous training will need to come before her modelling commitments, Bella says a history of horse riding fits in neatly with the work-out routine that's pretty much mandatory if you happen to be an internationally in-demand model, as well as being a theraputic escape from her frenetic world. “You know how every model is like, ‘I do yoga.’" she says, "well, I find horses have the same effect. You have to put your ego aside and concentrate on making the horse do the things you want it to do, and move in the way you want it to move.”

Bella Hadid in equestrian action 

The model has previously shared shots of herself on horseback to her 1.4 million strong Instagram following, and though her glamorous jet-setting lifestyle takes her all over the world, it would seem she's really happiest in the saddle. 

Expect to see a little less of her on the fashion and party circuit in the coming year as she turns her focus to horse riding full time. And if she needs any equestrian wardrobe inspiration, we recommend Hermes' horse-themed AW15 collection...

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Bella Hadid stars with sister Gigi in the Balmain AW15 campaign