I was watching the Netflix series The Crown. In one of the episodes the Queen says: “Remember who wears the Crown.” I took that line from the show and use it towards my relationship with my mare Fancy That.Tina Busse Irwin
I hasten to add that Tina Irwin is not a Dressage Diva looking for a Crown or a Tiara. Tina’s mare Fancy That is an overachiever who sometimes needs to be reminded who is in charge, who is wearing the Crown! Tina was on the Canadian Dressage team for the Pan American Games in Lima 2019. The team won the Gold Medal and Tina was the individual Silver Medalist. Tina recently took the time to answer my questions about her journey toward Tokyo 2020.
You have declared. Have the Olympic Games been a lifetime dream since childhood?
Definitely. It has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember.
Tell me about your mare Fancy That.
I’ve had her since she was 6. ( She is now 14) She came to us ( Tina and her husband Jaimey) to be sold and it turned out that she was a very interesting horse so we partnered with another client to buy her. We are now in a second partnership with Susan Jones of Kentucky. When she first came she had only a single change and I have developed her to the Grand Prix level. She is only 16 hands so she is not tall but she is mighty! She is a confident mare; strong in mind and body and loves to work. She is very hot and very motivated. Sometimes a bit too much focused on her own agenda but she is fun to ride. She needs more time in the ring now to polish and get more experience putting it all together. She has the heart and the drive so I know she can do it.
What are your plans for the Florida season? Home?
Going to do the last shows here and continue through to the Ontario season but I’m not sure which shows we will do at home.
Do you find the qualifying competition season stressful?
It is always stressful when you are trying to go for a team but that is part of being an international rider. So as not to feel stressed I just take it one show at a time. It all has to come together in the ring so I can’t think too far ahead.
You and Jaimey are both trying for places on the Team. As husband and wife how difficult is that?
I am his eyes on the ground on a regular basis but he also rides with Robert Dover. For the high performance competition Robert is very helpful and they get along very well. Jaimey is my full time coach and that works for us although it is sometimes it is tricky as husband and wife. After all our marriage is more important; we have to be able to go home and be a couple and be parents. for our two kids.
Thank you Tina for making time to speak with me on your day off. I wish you and Fancy That all the best !