Anna riding 'StrideFree Leo'
A lifelong love of horses and racing has led Anna Swainson to where she is today- a trainer and jockey based in Wingatui, New Zealand.
We recently sponsored Anna to ride in the annual Dunstan Horse Feeds Track Riders Oaks, a race in aid of The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Held on Sunday 5th June at Otago Racecourse, their ‘Positively Pink’ Ladies Day raised over $4500 for the charity which meant a lot to Anna, having worked for Breast Screening Coast to Coast previously as an MRT (Medical Radiation Technologist).
Sponsoring Anna’s entry for her horse StrideFree Leo, (named after Leo the Lion for his bravery) Peter Horobin and Family kindly donated a beautiful StrideFree Race Saddle- black patent leather with pink piping to suit the Ladies’ day theme- as the winner’s prize. Settling in behind the leaders early, StrideFree Leo and Anna battled home for fourth in very heavy, testing conditions and a fabulous was had by everyone who participated and raised money for a cause that is so close to so many people’s hearts.
Anna has always been involved with horses in one way or another. “I grew up with horses on a farm doing stock work then went on to hunting which led me into racing.” A lifelong love of horses then. “I always wanted to be an Amateur jockey so that I could ride horses that I was associated with. After studying at University to become a Radiographer, it meant I could travel and either ride or take x-rays.”
A lovely testimonial from Anna
Some of Anna’s most memorable moments in the saddle were riding in Point-to-points. “It was such a thrill, I was hooked,” she says of the opportunity that cemented her career in racing. Nowadays, Anna trains and she plans to race her team locally and hopefully go back and have some more Amateur rides soon.
Anna initially heard about Peter Horobin Saddlery when a friend, with a keen interest in improving her riding practices, told her about the new StrideFree Saddles.
StrideFree saddles are beautifully and carefully crafted with the horse’s welfare in mind. The new innovative design of the tree, which won the BETA Award for Innovation and Design in the UK, was created from the need to provide saddles that no longer pinched or hindered the horse’s movement, allowing the horse to stride freely. There are no protruding tree points and the edges are curved beautifully to fit with the anatomy of the horse.
“I love them so much,” Anna says of the track saddles that she rides out in. “I will avoid sitting in anything else. They are comfortable for me and the horse and I can easily sit in these saddles for hours.” No matter what horse she sits on, Anna feels that the saddles work so well with them all. “…they balance beautifully on many different shaped horses. The horse’s temperament and the way they move is significantly improved with these saddles. My equine Physio has noticed the difference in muscle structure and how they were much more supple.” Anna uses both the deluxe and Original StrideFree track work saddles as well as a 500 gram race saddle with red piping around the edge and a lead bag. Most recently Anna has bought a StrideFree Melbourne Jump saddle for her father’s horse and loves it, recommending many friends to buy something from the StrideFree brand.
PHS would like to congratulate Anna on a very successful sponsored race day at Otago Racecourse and thank her for her continued support and custom of StrideFree. We wish her the best of luck as she looks to race her team over fences next season.
If you or anyone you know would like to get involved with StrideFree or would like to purchase one of our saddles, log on to www.horobin.com.au and look for the saddles with StrideFree logo. Alternatively, call our office on 0359751055.
A fighting finish.