Olympic team bronze medallist Sharon Hunt is taking her eventing business in a new direction this year, concentrating on “quality over quantity” and focusing on her own training career.
The 35-year-old, who was part of the British bronze medal-winning team at the 2008 Olympics with Tankers Town, has recently qualified as a British Showjumping UKCC Level 2 coach.
“I’ve always enjoyed teaching, but never had enough time to do much of it before,” she told H&H. “I have my sights set on being a Level 3 trainer for both showjumping and eventing.”
The turnaround came over the winter.
“Last year was really difficult; everything that could have gone wrong did. My good horses went lame and I lost [promising intermediate] Cavalier Bertie in a fall at Weston Park. That’s when I decided I needed to rethink,” said Sharon.
She has downsized her eventing operation and is currently competing just three horses, headed by Burghley prospect Just Maisie II.
“I still want to compete at the top level, but it is no longer my primary motive for working with horses.”
Sharon, who has been mentored for her coaching exams by showjumping trainer Ros Morgan (née Bevan), also revealed that a switch in disciplines would not be out of the question in the future.
“I have some lovely careful horses at the moment and I am doing a lot of showjumping —
I enjoy that far more than going out and doing dressage,” said Sharon.
She is competing a six-year-old mare, Double Whammy II in Foxhunter classes.
“She’s not going to make an eventer, but I think she has the scope to go a lot higher in showjumping. It’s nice to have the option of doing something slightly different.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (30 May 2013)