Pony Club plaudits, Donner ‘the deer’ and seven other things you didn’t know about Lynn Symansky

  • Lynn Symansky is one of the USA’s leading event riders, having represented her country at five-stars around the world and several championships.

    We find out more about her…

    1. Lynn is based at Handlen Farm, a 33-acre property in Middleburg, Virginia.

    2. She has ridden at three Pan American Games, winning two team golds (2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Donner and 2019 in Lima, Peru, on RF Cool Play). At the 2019 championship, she also took the individual silver. She and Donner have also represented the USA at two World Equestrian Games in 2014 and 2018.

    3. Lynn is best known for her partnership with Donner, an ex-racehorse. By Gorky Park out of a mare called Smart Jane (by Smarten), he was known as Smart Gorky during his time on the racecourse. He ran six times, was never placed and earned only $2,870. He retired from racing aged three and was with Lynn by the time he was five.

    4. Donner is nicknamed “the deer” because of his leggy build and flighty personality.

    5. Lynn and Donner have a 100% completion record at five-star – they’ve started and finished eight five-stars, finishing in the top 22 every time. Their best results are fifth at Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2013 and sixth at Burghley Horse Trials in 2017 and Kentucky in 2018.

    6. Lynn is a Pony Club A test holder

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    7. Lynn Symansky graduated “cum laude” from Washington and Lee University in 2005 with a BA in business management. Washington and Lee University is in Lexington, Virginia… not to be confused with Lexington, Kentucky, where the five-star is held.

    8. Lynn married Eric Reid in 2015. David O’Connor, the 2000 Olympic champion who was the US eventing coach at the time, officiated at the ceremony.

    9. Her first five-star horse was a grey called No It Tissant. He was an ex-racehorse by Admiral’s Flag – out of a mare called Yes Tis – and he won three times on the track out of 24 starts. Lynn started riding him when he was five and she was 14. No It Tissant was also Lynn’s first championship partner – the pair finished 10th individually at the 2003 Pan American Games on home soil at Fair Hill.

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