Anthea Gunner, Para Equestrian Paralympian


Blog - Journey to London

Onwards and Upwards & New Beginnings

Posted by Anthea Gunner on November 29, 2014 at 4:25 AM

Life has been a little bit crazy and a bit of a blur since returning to NZ at the start of September. I actually don’t know where the past 3 months has gone! I think it has perhaps blown past in the wind 

Mask has come back in to work slowly, and after ride #3 he decided he would just do what I was asking so that was great! We finally have the canter sorted and are ready to go and compete in able bodied classes now – in fact we would have done one show already except for the blasted wind that has absolutely nailed us lately. Mask was I think spooked by something in the exceptionally strong nor’west winds and was lame the day before our first show back. Fortunately it was just a minor tweak and he was back to his usual self 2 days later but sadly we missed the show.

He now has to wait until the 21st December to go out and show how much he has improved!

Also during October I stumbled across an ad on Trade Me that caught my eye. A few weeks later after a quick trip to Blenheim for a test drive there was a big brown horse in my paddock. He was rechristened as Brian (because according to Aaron 'Breeze' wasn’t manly enough) and is such a lovely bloke – just like a big cuddly dog and he has taken to being a ‘para’ horse like a duck to water.

Brian is a 10yr old gelding, 16.1hh (so about 4 inches taller than Mask at the wither) and is a Holsteiner x Thoroughbred by the great Littorio. He has spent most of his time jumping and has a lot to learn before becoming a dressage star but with such a lovely temperament we have every chance of this happening. It’s a longer term project with Brian, so I don’t have a firm competition plan yet, we will take however long it takes for him to understand me and what I am asking him to do.

It is exciting to have a new project to start and it was also exciting at the recent Parafed Canterbury Annual Awards to be named as Supreme Senior Sportsperson of the Year! I was very surprised to say the least!!! It was a really proud moment and great to be recognised for the massive effort and dedication, not to mention the improvement that I had made in the past 2 years. We now have a big trophy on the mantelpiece, and I had better invest in some Silvo to keep it looking good 

I was also awarded an Elite Sports Scholarship which will hopefully go a long way towards getting Mask & I to Feilding for the Para & Dressage Nationals in March. Christmas is just around the corner (which I am still in complete denial about) but first we will compete with Mask. Stay tuned for an update on how that goes!

Till next time



Brian & Mask - in their super flash sponsored boots by Willowhip NZ :)


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