Saturday 18th of January 2020
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In The Start Box: Part 1

We are delighted to welcome our new eventing grassroots blogger, Anna Martin, who will be sharing her journey to the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton Horse Trials in May.

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I’m Anna, a thirteen-year-old girl from East Sussex. I’m about to start the preparation journey to my first Badminton Grassroots, something that would surprise some who have known me as the nervous little rider I was when I first started showing!

But first I will give a little bit of background to myself, my horse and how we got here.

I was born in Australia and moved to England when I was 4 with my parents, sister Emmaline and brother Henry. I come from “horsey stock” as my mother rode from early childhood and still does, and my grandmother still rides her Highland pony daily! We bought a farm in Sussex, which had been an Arabian Stud before, with lots of stables and a school. I think our first pony arrived the same day we did and numbers have gone up quite quickly since then.

My first pony was a gorgeous 5 year old Section A, Cottontail, who had been a lead rein M&M pony but was happy to teach me to ride off the lead once I was ready. We started showing our ponies at a local show which was brilliant fun. We sometimes won, and sometimes got placed. I didn’t really mind either way providing I got a pretty rosette!

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Anna and Roseberry Spiderman

Before Show Pony Championship at HOYS (age 8)

Before Show Pony Championship at HOYS (age 8)

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Brian the Superstar

From there we started taking it a bit more seriously with the help of our teacher, Anna Levy, who has lots of showing experience at the highest level. I started showing a first ridden show pony, Penelope, who was a magic little mare, giving me lots of confidence by being so good.

I then went up the sizes very quickly because I grew too tall for my ponies every year, sadly. As they became bigger I got more nervous and the riders more savvy and better at ringcraft than I was.

I so wanted to qualify for HOYS every year because I might have been nervous but I was also very competitive!

I have had some beautiful ponies – show ponies and show hunter ponies.  Roseberry Spiderman was my 12’2”. The highlights with him were winning the PBA’s at Windsor (the year of the Jubilee) when he was 5 and that same year coming 2nd at HOYS with him.

My 13’2” was beautiful Brian, Broadgrove Showman, a completely gorgeous boy who had too many highlights to list! I was so sad when they moved on but my legs just never stopped growing.

At 13, to give you an idea, I am now 5’11”!!

When I left my prep school after year 6 to go to Mayfield, I knew that I would be amongst lots of girls that loved to ride and that most of them were jumping or eventing. We are so lucky to have Emily Baldwin based at our school and have her as a trainer so I was keen to learn to jump before I went there.

Super Polly taught me to jump little courses of 60/70/80 cm and I loved it. I have always been really nervous going into the showing classes, I’m not really sure why, and of course nothing changed when I started jumping! It’s a bit of a joke, and I can laugh about it afterwards but I do always have a small nervous moment before I do anything, but (nearly!) always come out smiling!

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So that’s me!

Next time I will introduce my beautiful horse, Sannanvalley Classic, or “Classic” as she is known at home.

Now back to my homework!

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Click here for more information about the Mitsubishi Motors Cup 

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