In this week’s What the Pros Use interview, we caught up with eventer Jennie Brannigan. In addition to explaining why her bad luck outside of the arena makes for stellar show results, we also got some awesome footage of Jennie riding cross country at Phillip Dutton’s barn in Aiken!
Jennie Brannigan grew up in Galena, Illinois, originally riding a variety of horses under the instruction of Jane McGirk. Jennie became interested in eventing at age 13 when she became a working student for Allison Springer.
Eventually Springer went on to work for Karen and David O’Connor riding their young horses, before starting her own business; Jennie headed to California where she worked for Natalie Rooney-Pitts, who happened to be pregnant at the time. This gave Jennie the opportunity to ride many of Rooney-Pitts’ clients’ horses.
Later Jennie worked for acclaimed show jumper Susie Hutchinson, where she developed as a rider and a horsewoman while she improved her show jumping skills under the watchful eye of one of show jumping’s greats.
Balancing show jumping with competing her advanced event horse Kozmo proved a challenge, squeezing in events around her jumping schedule. When Mike Winter sent Jennie a text message asking if she would like to work for him while his wife Emma was in England, Jennie jumped at the opportunity to follow her eventing dreams.
The timing was ideal so she packed her things and made the move to Georgia. Emma Winter was out of the country for several months, during which Jennie rode horses and taught lessons at the Winters’ Wayfarer Eventing in Newnan, Georgia.
Within the past year, Jennie has had a lot of press regarding her exciting rise to the top on Cooper, her current Advanced horse. She purchased Cooper in July, 2006 as a four-year-old from Kelli McMullen-Temple when the gelding had only competed at beginner novice level. After bringing him carefully up the ranks she and Cooper won nine out of ten events at intermediate level in the 2007-2008 eventing season, placing them firmly at the top of the 2008 Adequan/USEA Gold Cup Leader Board. The jewel in their crown was bringing home team and individual gold from the 2008 NAJYRC in Parker, Colorado.
Jennie also has an exciting new young horse to focus on: Cambalda, also known as “Ping”, was also purchased from Kelli McMullen-Temple. In 2008 she purchased this six-year-old bay gelding that was previously owned by Carl Bouckaert and that Temple has been riding for two years and has proven himself quite successful up through the Intermediate level. He will be Jennie’s next advanced horse.
Moving on to her next opportunity, Jennie is working for Olympic team member Phillip Dutton at True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania.