ON THE HORSE May/June Featured Rider: Abby Brannen

Abby Brannen was the Champion of the Modified Children’s division at the JD Leap Into Spring (A) show held at Iron Horse Equestrian over the first weekend of April. 

With this win, she was selected to be the next Featured Rider in ON THE HORSE Magazine.

Congratulations Abby, a GREAT start to show season!

Date of Birth:
July 24 2001
Hometown: Grimsby, ON
Based out of: Collingwood, ON
Favourite inspirational quote: “In the end, we only regret the chances we did not take.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself studying at university riding for the equestrian team and spending the summer at the barn.

HP Portland

Mount Name: HP Portland, Porter
Date of Birth: February 16th 2011
Breed: Thoroughbred
Height: 16’3
Loves: Treats and cuddles
Hates: Being brushed
If he was in high school he would be: The football player who tries really hard to hang out with the popular crowd and bullies the nerds.

My name is Abby Brannen, I am 15 years old and I ride at Grandview Farms in Pelham, Ontario. I am currently competing with HP Portland in the Modified Children’s Hunter division on the Central West Trillium Circuit. 

I started riding when I was 6 years old. My mom put me in horse camp and I was immediately hooked! After that I started to take some lessons. I began to compete at the age of 8 in some local schooling shows and the Challenge Series. I really started to get into showing in 2014 when I began showing on the Trillium Circuit. 

I showed in the Medium Pony Hunter division for 2 years. I had so much fun showing during the summers, and even attended Trillium Championships both times! I rode a great pony named Mr. Luke 2 U, who taught me so much and led me to many victories. He knew his job and he taught me so much about the show ring. He was such a fun pony to ride and show. I learned that this sport isn’t just about the victories, but the memories and lessons you learn from these amazing animals! 

Some of our greatest success together was qualifying for Trillium Championships two times and being Reserve Champion overall of our division. Sadly, after two great years on Luke I had outgrown him and I knew it was time to move up to a horse. 

I moved on and eventually found Porter. I started to ride him last August when I moved to Grandview Farms. Porter belongs to the owner of Grandview, John Donker. He is a great young horse who I spent the winter learning and growing with. Porter is a bay 16’3 thoroughbred who is hard working and a great hunter. I love going on hacks with Porter and spending time with him. Porter is a very sweet horse who always tries his best and he loves his job.

Over the winter we trained and prepared for the upcoming show season with my coach Julienne Marr. She helped challenge us and prepare us to show. She is such a great coach who cares about all her students and pushes us in order to prepare us for showing. Porter and I wouldn’t be where we are today without her. We worked hard for both of us to be able to show 2’9 for the first time! This year is only his second year showing. He competed last year in the 2’6 Adult Division on the Trillium Circuit, and he qualified for Trillium Championships, too! He is a very quick learner and I am so lucky to be able to ride him. 

Our first trillium show together was the JD Leap Into Spring Show. We came out Champion of the Modified Childrens Hunter Division, and I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t expect us to win as it was our first big shows together, and he is a young horse in a large division. It was such a great day and I was so proud of Porter. I couldn’t have done without the support of my coach and the Grandview team! Everyone is so helpful and encouraging. I love spending the day with my team and Porter!

This sport teaches us that hard work and dedication pays off. It also shows us that there is always room to grow and improve. It teaches us to enjoy success but to always stay humble. I really enjoy riding, learning, and growing with Porter. He has taught me so much and he has made me the rider I am today! I am looking forward to the rest of our first show season together, and I am very excited to see how far Porter and I can go!


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