Some people are just amazing!! Look at that photo, the girl in it is 12 years old! Yes, 12!!! (But more on that later.) The things that some people have achieved and the difficulties they’ve overcome are just incredible. I wanted to share with you a few of the people I think are truly inspirational and deserve to be known about.
I’m aware that most of the people on this list are either English or American. It’s not intentional, those are just the people I happen to know about. If you know any other people you think deserve to be on this list, write about them in the comments!
10) Beezie Madden
The American show jumper Beezie Madden won two team gold Olympic medals and an individual bronze, among many other competitions. If you look up a photo of her you’ll see that her jump position is to be strove after! It’s practically perfect which, considering the height of the fences she jumps, is pretty impressive!! And that’s an understatement!
9) The Pullein-Thompson Sisters
Josephine, Diana, and Christine Pullein-Thompson are household names among anyone who’s ever read a pony book (in the UK anyway). Between them they wrote over a hundred books, but that’s not why I’ve included them on this list. They spread a love of horses and the message that with a bit of skill, courage, and determination, anything is possible! You have to admit, that’s a pretty inspirational message!!
8) Wild Horse Annie
Wild Horse Annie’s real name was Velma Bronn Johnston. After discovering the cruelty towards the mustangs and burros (donkeys) of the American West, she lead a relentless outraged campaign to gain them legal protection. Her campaign started at grassroots level but lead to the passing of the “Wild Horse Annie Act”. Her goal was achieved!
7) My Riding Instructor
Ok, don’t we all have to agree on this one? Our riding instructors are everything we secretly (or not so secretly!) want to be. We want to ride like them!! Our riding instructors are perhaps the most influential people in our horsey lives and a true inspiration!!
6) Pippa Funnell
Anything is possible in life, if only you can somehow hold on to your dream. – Pippa Funnell
Reread that quote. It’s one of my absolute favourites! Pippa Funnell is the only eventer EVER to have won the Grand Slam!!! That means she won Kentucky, Badminton, and Burghley Horse Trials all in a row, a feat never seen before or since!! Just WOW!
5) Lee Pearson
Lee Pearson is a para-dressage rider but despite his disability has gone on to become one of the most successful equestrian athletes in the world!!! His 10 gold Paralympic medals speak to that!!
4) Monty Roberts
Everyone knows who he is; the Man Who Listens to Horses needs no introduction. Monty Roberts discovered much about horse behaviour, including the method he calls “join-up”, and has used it to train hundreds of horses, including wild mustangs! Nobody believed him when he first shared his techniques and he was constantly mocked by those who believed in the “traditional” cowboy methods of breaking a horse in. Despite all discouragements, Monty Roberts continued to learn from the horses he met and his training methods are now internationally renowned!!
3) Charlotte Dujardin
The golden girl of dressage (and we can’t forget her horse, Valegro!) is number one in international rankings, won gold in the 2012 Olympics, and sets a new world record every time she competes!!!! Charlotte Dujardin is also a good role model as, unlike most elite dressage riders who wear a top hat, she always wears her riding hat when in the saddle. If we could ride just a third as good a her we’d be happy!! We love you Charlotte!!!
2) Princess Haya
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan is the 12-year-old in the photo at the top of this post. At the age of 12 she became the first girl to ever compete in the fiercely male King’s Cup competition, and won!!! By jumping over a car!!!! Yes, a car!!!!!! Some nerves she’s got!! Princess Haya later became the first woman to compete internationally for Jordan. I just love that photo of her; I find it inspiring beyond words!
1) Alycia Burton
Alycia is a “free rider” from New Zealand who is possibly one of the best riders I’ve ever seen!!! Just watch the video – it shows how incredible she is better than my words ever can. But a clue: she jumps over 5ft bareback with no bridle and makes it look easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I told you she was good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See you soon!
Horse Daydreamer xxx