Belinda Trussell:Competing for the Worlds.

This winter show season in Wellington, Florida, I will be interviewing some of the Canadian Dressage riders who are here to compete and who hope to get scores that will qualify them to be chosen to represent Canada at the World Equestrian Games  in Tryon, North Carolina, this September.  My first interview is with Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell.

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Belinda Trussell  and Tattoo competing under the lights at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 2018

 

When did you start riding?  When I was ten. We were living in the Philippines and our family joined an athletic club and one of the sports offered was horseback riding. So my sister and I told out parents we wanted go riding. “Riding what? ” they asked. “Horses!” we said

When did you decide that you wanted to be a professional rider? “In my thirties. I never intended to be a professional rider. I had done the Young Riders but I thought I wanted to be a chef and ride as a hobby. I went to college to train to be a chef and found I hated it. I never wanted to have to cut up another julienned vegetable in my life! I went to Germany to  ride and train with Canadian Olympian Christilot Boylen with the idea that I could ride for Canada in the Pan Am Games. After one year there I was told I was not nearly good enough to do that. So I stayed for another year of training and thought I would have to look for a “real job”. Then Christilot told me I should think about being a coach. “Canada needs coaches,” she told me. I was 26 or 27 at this point and I was still not sure about what I wanted to do. But over time horses and training and coaching evolved into what I really wanted to do and loved doing.

 What major championships have you competed in?  I have ridden for Canada in the Dressage World Cup in 2004, the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in 2002, Kentucky in 2010, and Normandy in  2014. Also I rode in the Athens Olympics in 2004 and Rio 2016.

Tell us about the horse you will be competing with in Florida to qualify for the  World Equestrian Games in Tryon North Carolina in September of this year.

My horse is Tattoo. He is 15 years old and this is his second year competing at the Grand Prix level.  Tattoo is an emotional and sensitive horse and he can be quite dramatic! When I bought him he was 10 years old and had lived with his owner, in Germany, his whole life. When he came to me, in Canada, he was in shock. The stress of a new place and the loss of his old owner caused him to colic and he had to have surgery and then he developed allergies.  We have worked through all of that now. I just love this horse and he brings me joy every single day.  Tattoo is a horse that will be concerned if the sky is a different color but I have developed a very deep connection with him and we have formed the best partnership now.

What is the most difficult or challenging part about a competition season like this one , leading up to World Equestrian Games team selection? Being away from my family for five to six weeks at a time. I have a son 12 years old and a daughter 11. I miss them and it tears at your heart as a wife and Mum.  I want to be a great  example to other women but I am torn between my home life and my dreams. For me that is harder than anything.  For the competitions I must strategize so as not to burn out, either myself or my horse. The strategy is different for each horse  and rider combination. It cannot be a one size fits all.

If you had not become a professional rider what other career might you have chosen?  Not to be a chef!  I like horticulture so perhaps something to do with working in a greenhouse or garden center.

If you could ride any horse, of any discipline and either alive or dead , which horse would it be?  My first choice would be my horse Tattoo!  And…..my second choice would be……. Desperados ( German rider Kristina Sprehe’s stallion)

Thank you Belinda and the best of luck to you and Tattoo for the competition season. 

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Belinda Trussell riding her horse Anton at the Olympics in Rio 2016.
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Belinda Trussell and Tattoo Adequan Global Dressage Festival 2018

18 Comments Add yours

  1. docummins says:

    in this whole world. I, too, wanted to be a professional dressage rider. There is absolutely nothing like feeling at one with your horse. Really feeling connected. Feeling every muscle he makes, moves, flinches, and relaxes. You even know when he’s smiling and when he’s angry. Totally awesome. I wish you the best of the best for the Tryon shows. I live in Greenville, SC and Tryon is a “hop and a skip” away for me, so I WILL BE THERE cheering you and tattoo on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. docummins says:

    Awesome – totally awesome! I’m 59 and started riding when I was 11. I was able to ride until 4 years ago when I had my last fall. My back is in bad shape now, too bad to ever ride again. But I would never trade my riding experiences and memories for ANYTHING or ANYBODY

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. It is hard luck that your back will not permit riding. But…’tis better to have ridden and have it lost than never to have ridden at all!🐎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. docummins says:

        Ah, I want to cry. I so want to ride again; however, I can ride again – in my mind! Just to smell their neck under the mane, see them through their eyes and nose! Best of all to watch the horse and rider as they are one!. I think that’s the best! You, I’m sure, will do well. God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. sandyjwhite says:

    Reading this made me think about Biasini. When you were recovering from surgery and unable to ride for awhile, I would guess this may have caused him a bit of stress. That bond between rider and horse is so strong…like all good relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is. It may sound odd but i have an animal communicator who tells me what is on Biasini’s mind and she said he was nervous. So she told him to be there with me when i came round from the surgery. Not physically of course. Anyway when i came round i did have a sense that he was there. This is a bit “out there” and i have no explanation for it but that bond transcends what we can see and touch and goes to some other level. Thanks for commenting Sandy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        You are welcome, Anne. And I too believe strong bonds go beyond normal bounds.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It is amazing what twists and turns our life makes, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    Very interesting that Tattoo was clearly very upset when he had to leave his first home and owner. I always wonder about how tough it must be to sell your horse for the owner, I hadn’t really thought about the impact on the horse. How old is too old for a dressage horse, by the way?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      For a dressage horse they can continue to compete at the highest levels up to and including 19 years of age.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice answers and tattoo is a great name for horse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting Vikram. It is a good name for him!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow…interesting:) she really loves that Tattoo horse, who seems got a difficult character 😅🙃 haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      A great deal of time, effort and patience has gone into developing trust and a strong bond between this horse and Belinda. Thanks for your comment you have seen the truth in this work between them.

      Like

  8. I love how she describes her horse as dramatic. That suggests the real relationship she has with her horse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes she does have a real bond with this horse. He is very talented but not an easy ride. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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