All in a day’s work: Former five-star eventer turned stunt rider Anna Warnecke *H&H Plus*

Former five-star eventer Anna Warnecke on why Burghley’s Leaf Pit is like riding through fire, and the thrill of an 8,000-strong standing ovation

When my top horse, Twinkle Bee, retired from eventing, I was approached to train the horses at Kynren, in Bishop Auckland, for their evening show, An Epic Tale of England, depicting 2,000 years of British history. We had been living in the area for years and it felt like the right time – my whole family are involved, from my daughter and partner to my long-term groom, Laurie Robinson.

I got my first pony, Winchy, when I was 10, and we moved from Berlin to the countryside. It felt like all my dreams had come true. My friends were the donkeys, the geese and the rooster, and it’s funny how now I can see that my young life was going to prove useful later on – I look after all the animals here at Kynren. I’ve always loved that partnership – Winchy was everything to me, my companion.

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