International grand prix rider, Anna Ross, who recently relocated to Devon to launch her new business, Elite Dressage, fills us in on a few lesser known facts about her — including why she spends so much time on Pinterest
1. Her last four grand prix horses — Liebling, Pegasus MK, Die Callas and Wydny — have all competed on a team for Britain, from European championships to Nations Cups.
“It’s set a precedent for my current top horse, Delgado, and I tell him that every day,” Anna laughs.
2. She doesn’t come from a horsey background, and grew up in north London, helping out in the local riding school in return for rides.
“I was pony mad and had my first lesson aged nine,” she explains. “We couldn’t really afford it so I rode all the mad, bad, crazy ponies in return for working.”
3. Having done her British Horse Society (BHS) exams, Anna was offered a scholarship at Pammy Hutton’s Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire, and did a sandwich round in return for more lessons.
4. Anna didn’t do her first dressage test until she was aged 23 — “I remember it being terrible and I got about 46% or something!” — and she didn’t own her own horse until she was 26.
5. If she hadn’t opted for a career with horses, Anna says she would run a pub, having worked in one to fund training as a young rider.
6. She admits to being “obsessed” with property and interiors, and is excited about doing up her new barn conversion in Devon.
“I spend my whole life looking at interiors on Pinterest — I’m on it all the time!” she says. “I’m about to design my dream kitchen and bathroom in the barn, and I’m obsessed with it.”
7. Anna confesses that she is “not the world’s best multi-tasker”.
“I’m the sort of person to focus on one thing at a time. If there is something I’m interested in, I go for it. But actually, I think that is one of the reasons I’ve been successful,” she adds.
8. She cooks a mean Christmas dinner.
“I’m not a bad cook and I tend to always be on the Christmas dinner shift,” she says. “I cook all my own food — even after a long day on the yard I go home and chop carrots!”
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9. Contrary to what some people would expect, Anna considers herself to be very “politically correct”.
“People are surprised at that, but I just call it having good manners,” she explains.
10. Her favourite drink is champagne — on every occasion.
11. Her partner of seven years is the Brazilian Olympic eventer Marcelo Tosi, who splits his time between Brazil and the UK, and Anna manages to find time to support him at major events, including last year’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon.
Don’t miss the full interview with Anna in this week’s dressage special issue of Horse & Hound, out 7 February, which also features an exclusive guest column from world number one Isabell Werth.