Meet Daredevil, Jennie Brannigan who is jumping to the Top of Eventing! -Part 1

 

When I first met Jennie Brannigan, a couple of years ago, she has this great smile that lights up a room and a go get-em attitude which has probably been a key part of her success that she has had in her Eventing career.   Jennie has been rising to the top of the American & International Eventing Ranks with winning competition results.  Like others, there have some bumps in the road that Jennie has overcome and became stronger for it.  She has a great team of supporters and fans, which she continues to thank graciously.  She has definitely put her time in and has trained with the best to become the best of the best.

At age 12, Jennie started riding in Chicago, IL.  Her parents had a lake house in Illinois where she discovered horses.  From the very beginning Jennie wanted to get into eventing and soon thereafter, she became Alison Springer’s first working student.  Another tenacious, go- get-em, Eventing Equestrianista.

 

 

Jennie is a thrill seeking person by nature, so Eventing was a perfect fit for her.


 

Photo Credit: Alec Thayer 

Jennie’s cross country colors are Navy & White.

As you can see, she wears them on her helmet cover, under shirt, gloves, pants, belts, even the tape over her horses’ galloping boots.  This has been a common trend to wear your cross country colors in these places for many years.  She has fun and sometimes wears a studded belt out on course.

 

Where else does she wear her colors?  Going the extra mile for fashion!


 

JUST IN NEWS- Jennie found a new belt she’s sporting:  C4Belts!  She gets this style from her snowboarding, skater influences.    It’s a perfect belt for any eventer, you can custom color pretty much any color combo & they are made out of eco-friendly materials!   Below Jennie is showing off her C4 Navy & White Belt!


What else does she wear to add color while competing?

For fashion and function- Jennie opts to wear an ear bonnet on her horses.  The functional part is to soften sounds and help the horse concentrate out on course. The fashion part is that she sports her colors and a sponsor on the front of it.

TREND REPORT:  I’ve noticed others and Jennie is no exception- Jennie jumps in a Devoucoux saddle that is trimmed in Blue!  Other eventers are adding a touch of color on their saddles as well- keep an eye out for that.

Photo Credit Calina / Horse Junkies United

Notice the blue trim on the back of the saddle and thigh block? LOVE IT!!!!


What do you love about Eventing?


I love every aspect of it.  There’s always something new and fresh to try and do.  I really like improving all the different phases.  I enjoy perfecting each phase and juggling them to get the right combo before each event.  

Photo Credit   Lee Ann Zobbe

Where did you get your riding style from?


At age 16, I set sail for Southern California and worked for a top show jump rider in Indio, CA.  The West Coast riders have a lot of style.  I became friends with the owner of a local saddlery who was the first store in the States to carry Kingsland.  I  fell in love with that equestrian clothing line from the very beginning.  Kingsland is huge in Europe and is growing in the Eventing World here.  You can never go wrong with that clothing line, you look great, it’s comfortable and lasts forever.    I really got into the Show Jumping World, the custom boots, different brands and styles.  Looking neat and tidy has stayed with me in my eventing career. 

 

Kingsland Equestrian Gear

What are your Must-Haves?


For Riding:

I always ride in a hairnet.

I think a rider needs 3 really good pairs of riding breeches.  I really like Pikeur.

I jump in Kingsland Breeches.

You need a good tailored riding jacket to compete in.

I also look for good fitted jackets to ride in as well.  They look great and are no nonsense.  They make you look put together, even if you don’t feel like it.  With a good jacket, it is an easy transition from the barn to being on the go.

 

Photo Credit Lee Ann Zobbe

When Not Riding: 

Everyone needs a good pair of jeans.  Proper length, good dark color, well fitting!  It is a MUST.  

I also really like to have a couple of good tailored jackets.

A cute hat is always a great accessory.

Jennie (on left) with her Eventing gal-pals Hawley BennettShannon Kinsley and Andrea Leatherman.

Stay Tuned for tomorrow!   Jennie goes into her style, who influences her, her wishlist, Rider on the Go Tips, Jennie’s go to pieces, and much much more!


Priscilla Miller- Lifestyle portraiture for the entire family


 

Priscilla K. Miller Photography specializes in sporting lifestyle portraiture and traditional portraiture of the entire family capturing those special moments of your life.

 

 

 What do you love to photograph most?

 

“I am a country girl at heart, and love photographing people and their horses, children and their ponies, and all the other animals in their lives.  

 And of course that includes dogs, cats and other pets, as well as livestock!”

 

  What would you say your “style” is?

“I photograph in an environmental style, blending the natural beauty of the location into the portrait. I shoot mostly with natural light, on location at my client’s home, garden, barn, field etc.  Sometimes we will shoot at other locations, I keep a list of interesting spots, and am always scouting for fun locations.”

 

“I love to work with horses and pets and their owners capturing the bond between them.”

 

What do you do when not working?

 

I follow both Essex Fox Hounds & Amwell Valley Hounds in NJ both during foxhunting season, and through the off season, too.  I also hunt behind a foot pack on Sunday afternoons, so my weekends are always full. And I always have a camera with me!

 

I am also in very involved with New Jersey’s largest equestrian events, with over 40,000 spectators-  the Far Hills Race Meeting!

 

I love steeplechasing and it has deep roots in foxhunting.  Many retired ‘chasers are found in the hunt field, happy in their new jobs

Priscilla’s work has been featured in: Town & Country Magazine, The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse News, Rowing News, Horse Sport Canada and Pennsylvania Equestrian.  Priscilla maintains a membership with the Equine Photographer’s Network, NAPP,  and the ASMP as an Associate Member.

When she’s not behind the camera, Priscilla enjoys exploring near and a far.

 

 

Priscilla is currently is booking portrait commissions for 2013.


Please contact her at:  pkmillerphotography@gmail.com

To view photos from events and portrait session please click below.


Thank you Brandy

Thank you Brandy for sharing your tips tricks and secrets on fashion for the equestrian woman.  I hope you all enjoyed meeting her and picked up something new to try!

Photo Credit: Saskia Paulussen Photography

Most Equestrianista’s have a sidekick- Meet Dixie!

Photo Credit: Jim Dratfield

Dixie is Brandy’s 7year old, “Croatian Squirrel Terrier.” I’m only kidding…She’s a mutt of some sorts, Yorkie & Jack Russell???    Regardless, she’s tan and wirey and fearless, like most terriers.

Dixie enjoys going out to the barn and roaming around checking her special spots for creatures to torture.  She’s actually famous and has appeared on a Hallmark Card!  Be on the look out for Dixie in the Hallmark Stores!

Brandy has had some great dogs in the past. Many of them have happily entered into their 20′s!  Brandy’s secret to longevity is horse poo and letting a dog be a dog!  She also recommends that they are horse conscious!  She doesn’t follow anything special with diet, just having a good life with lots of outside fun times.

Dixie’s doggy accessories consist of a dog blanket for the cold winter and a Christmas dress that she puts up with.

 

Dixie
Photo Credit: Jim Dratfield

“I’d rather be white than wrinkled!” – Brandy

Beauty & Keeping Fit…What’s Brandy’s Routine


#1 Must is SUNSCREEN all the times!!!! 

 

K

eeping your skin in good shape is just as important then anything else.  Winter you need extra moisturizer and in the summer, please order an extra side of sunscreen! -Brandy

Brandy recently became an Arbonne Independent Consultant.   She highly recommends these opportunities for people looking for extra income. She loves that it easily fits into being a horse person and this type of job can be as big or little as you need it to be.

 

Here is her story:

I was courted in Network Marketing for many years and always ran, SPRINTED in fact, away from the opportunity. I vaguely understood the concept and certainly respected the people that wanted me to join their businesses, but I knew it wasn’t for me.  I watched their wonderfully happy lives revolve around making huge businesses and serious financial freedom, but I didn’t get out of my own way until the spring of 2012.
 
Most of my adult life has been spent breeding and importing horses from Ireland. My family built a substantial business out of a life long passion for horses.  At one point our farm was the largest and most successful breeding operation for Irish Draught horses in all of North America.  Business was great.   However, like so many others, the industry was being affected by the change in the global economic climate.  In 2006 the business started downsizing and I went back to a previous career as a retail buyer for a local boutique.
 
In the fall of 2011, I hit a professional ceiling and was looking for a serious career change.  I left the boutique industry I adored for over 15 years and subsequently got certified to teach and opened a Pilates studio.  Health and wellness has always been a factor in my life, particularly as my husband and I started family planning.  However, I was concerned more about fitness and non-GMO food without ever considering what I was putting on my skin!
 
As a self-proclaimed product junkie, I have used IT ALL.  No matter the cost, no matter the promise. Previously, if it cost me $300 for .5oz of voodoo eye cream to magically rid me of a wrinkle or two, I was SOLD.  All it took was literally 3 days with the Arbonne RE9 line for me to see a difference in my skin, and make the decision to change my life.  It was finally time for me to join Arbonne.
 
So, I did my business order, scheduled my launch, signed a few people and headed to GTC all in 5 days!  I finished DM in ten days and there has been no stopping the momentum.  It is possible for financial freedom and all the time you want to enjoy it.  


With Arbonne, I am feeding my inner entrepreneur, creating a huge income working for myself, look younger and feel better, promoting a much healthier lifestyle to those around me and am really enjoying the ride.

Click here for Brandy’s Arbonne Website for more info               

 

 

Brandy also discovered Pilates.  As a serious horsewoman, she was experiencing back problems and friends suggested Pilates to strengthen and stretch her core to support her back and improve conditions. In 2007, she became a student of Pilates.   Soon after, she started teaching classes,  her practice has changed every aspect of her life. In 2011 she evolved her practice from being a student to teacher in an effort to spread the joy that Pilates has brought her. She has been certified by Power Pilates and is now available to teach you in the comfort of your own home or in her private studio in Bluemont, Virginia.

                Core Curriculum Website- Click Here

 

 

Enjoy life and live healthy!


 

If you are interested in taking better care of your skin or improving your core and flexibility- Brandy offers support at all levels to improve your lifestyle and enjoy every part!  Please feel free to get in contact with her.  Both pictures above will link you directly to her sites.

 

Equestrianista, Brandy Greenwell- What’s Trending and Brands

Brandy does try to keep up with the trends.  Her advice is to purchase less expensive trendy stuff that you might just wear for a season or two…She’s a fan of Target to find some fun trendy items.

She shared that she really digs the nautical look – Incorporating stripes into her wardrobe.  Here are some horsey company items on how to add some stripes into your outfits.

 

Stripes
As much as Brandy claims that her basic wardrobe is kind of boring with Brown, Navy, Black and Gray as main colors, the designer brands she follows are quite colorful!   Priorities are horses first then clothes, she tries to be thrifty where she can and is a big fan of ebay when following designer brands.

Brands she follows:  Tina Turk ,  Lanette Laporte ,   Carmen Marc Valvo ,  Tracey Reese ,   Polo- Ralph Lauren
Designers Brandy Follows


Equestrianista, Brandy Greenwell’s Basics, Must Haves’, & Do’s & Don’ts

There are some basic wardrobe rules that Brandy follows. She invests in good key pieces,  spends less on trendy items, and has a couple must-haves that she can’t live without!

Brandy's Basics

 

Brandy’s Basic Wardrobe Rules & Advice:


 

1.  Every woman needs a little black dress.

2. You always need a good pair of jeans. There are lots of styles, you can never go wrong with a moderate boot cut.  It seems to flatter every figure. Make sure they are the proper length.  I like – It! Jeans and Miss Me Jeans for fit.

3. It is essential to every women’s wardrobe to have a nice pair of nude pumps.  They go with everything and make your legs look longer and leaner. It’s a Win-Win!

4. Go for classic pieces.  I think I have about 6 pairs of black cashmere sweaters!  You can always dress them up with a scarf, jewelry, or belt!  

5. In the winter, I like tall boots to keep me warm. 

6. In the summer, I love a chunky heel or a wedge so I can go to outdoor horse events without sinking into the grass!

7. Every woman needs a fun pair of cowboy boots.

8. I love a coach or classic Louis Vuitton bag.  I have had my LV bag for over 20 years.  They never go out of style.

Other general rules that Brandy follows:


I tend to go for basic things that are timeless.

I invest in good quality basic pieces and buy less expensive trendy pieces and accessories.

 Black, Navy, Brown, & Gray items are my basic colors- That way I can dress up just about anything with colorful scarves and accessories.  You can always mix and match your basic pieces and get a lot of use out of them.

 *** Make sure your jeans are the proper length and are clean!  Your jeans should just show some shoe- that way your legs will look long and won’t cut you off at the ankle.  Also no coppertox on them!  Try not to mix your barn wear with your outside of the barn wear!  I am a huge fan of coveralls in the barn!  I love my big canvas brown coveralls for going out to the barn and doing work out there.  They are great for throwing on in the morning with your pj’s underneath to feed.  If I need to run out to the barn with nice clothes on, I just throw my coveralls on and I don’d have to worry about getting hay on me or anything! 

Brandy's Must Haves

Brandy’s Must Haves:


Lip Gloss

Arbonne RE9 Anti-ageing products

Salt baths for sore muscles and detoxifying

Baseball caps- * Clean and coordinated.

Brandy’s Fashion Blunders & No- Nos’-


 

No-No: Never ride in low rise breeches!  Whoever thought that low rise breeches goes well with a Shadbelly didn’t read this article!

Fashion blunder- I have recently noticed some makeup on my stocktie! I have to work on that.

Brandy & Nick at the Middleburg Hunt Ball 2012

More tomorrow on styles, brands, and trends that Brandy follows….


Meet Foxhunting Equestrianista- Brandy Greenwell

Meet Equestrianista Brandy Greenwell.


 

Photo by: Saskia Paulussen Photography

Brandy was born in the heart of foxhunting country- Loudon County, VA.  Her family has been involved with horses for  generations.  It started with her grandfather who was in the thoroughbred race industry.  Brandy’s mother, Brianne Sells was a pony girl from an early age and  Brandy started riding even before she was born!  Brandy’s mom is an avid foxhunter and even hunted pregnant until her jacket wouldn’t button anymore!  While pregnant, she did a 100 mile endurance ride and continued riding until she was 6 weeks due.  A true horsewoman!

Brandy foxhunted as a kid and did local hunter shows.  She states: Foxhunting is a family tradition- the whole family enjoys it.”  Brandy took a break from riding while attending college and had intentions of returning to the hunter ring after graduating.  Quickly her love for foxhunting took over.  Her mom had a fabulous foxhunter which probably helped with the decision to go back.   With the love and passion for foxhunting, Brandy and her mother started importing and breeding Irish Draught horses- Bridon Irish Draughts.  At the height of their breeding program, they had five stallions and five to twelve mares foaling a year!  They have since downsized to a more manageable herd.

Photo Credit: : Liz Callar

Above, Brandy and her beloved homebred grey mare, happily kicking over a big stone wall, while foxhunting.  She commented that if she could clone 100 of her, she would. She thinks the world of her.

 

 

I asked Brandy: What does she love about her sport?


 

Brandy replied:  I just love nature.  The most amazing thing is to be able watch nature on horseback.  It is magical to witness the hunt unfold in front of your eyes and it is breathtaking to watch the huntsmen and hounds work together.  

 

 

She goes on to explain the dress and styles within foxhunting:

Your typical hunt is like a Ralph Lauren ad, there are beautiful tweeds worn during cubbing season and at the Christmas breakfast.   During cubbing season you can express your style a little more with different tweeds, stocktie pins and stocktie patterns.  During the hunt season Brandy will wear a black or navy coat with tan breeches, a white on white stocktie and she adds her own style with a monogrammed pin.

Brandy Hunt Attire
She gets all of her hunt coats from Alexander James, a tailor and cutter in the UK.  She discovered them at the Dublin Horse Show one year and fell in love their impeccable tailoring!

Her drink of choice for foxhunting is a blackberry brandy.  She keeps warm while hunting with silk underwear  and a heavy melton wool hunt coat.  Brandy describes herself as a “sane” foxhunter.

I’m not a diehard.  You won’t find me in terrible wet cold weather hunting. I’m just as happy curled up on the couch staying warm with some hot chocolate, my husband Nick, and my dog Dixie!

When Brandy is not hunting, during the off season, she enjoys being a spectator at a big Grand Prix or at a steeplechase!      She will also spend time in the spring with the foals being born and getting fit again for the next foxhunting season!  She’s also a big fan of great hats….

Brandy came third in the Hat contest at the Radnor Hunt Races in 2012!

Last but not least, one of Brandy’s mottos is to Pay It Forward!  She truly believes in helping others, doing good deeds and receiving it back in due time.


 

 

Read tomorrow Brandy’s Basics, Must Haves, and Do’s & Don’ts….


 

Behind the scenes of the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2012 Campaign!

Irecently caught up with a friend and avid foxhunter Nick Greenwell, of Middleburg Hunt,  who was part of the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2012 Campaign photo shoot!

 

Nick along with four other Middleburg Hunt members were part of the  Tommy Hilfiger photo shoot that took place at the beautiful Airlie Plantation Conference Center which is nestled in Northern Virginia’s Piedmont foothills in Warrenton, VA.

The Airlie Plantation Center was founded as an “Island of Thought” more than 50 years ago, Airlie combines experienced leadership in conference and event planning with diversified meeting facilities, a secluded 1,200 acre campus and an ongoing commitment to sustainable and green initiatives.


The photo shoot was five days long.  Nick was amazed with the equipment that was shipped in to be used for the photo shoot!

 

“There were truck loads of leaves brought in and leaf blowers running to create Fall looking photos!”

 

“There were snow makers running!”

 

 

“There were fog machines used in many of the shots to create a misty Foxhunt morning!”




The most interesting part of the whole photo shoot for Nick was working with the animals.  The horses and hounds for the most part were well behaved, but there were times that they interrupted the shot!

“It was hard to stop the horses from eating the hay!”

 

Nick had to at one point, had to lay behind a hay bale under the Grand Cherokee while holding a horse for the perfect shot!

 

“Comic relief ” came from the beloved hounds… Hounds will be hounds.  They are pack dogs and tend to be a little rough around the edges, lack manners and etiquette.   Nick explained, ” the hardest part was trying not to get a photo of a hound pooping in the background! The worst was when a hound would jump on or pee on one of the models who was wearing a one of a kind couture outfit! You really couldn’t do much except for cringe and then laugh about it”

 

 

 

All in all, Nick and the rest of the hunt members had an amazing experience and would do it all again!

 

Meet Marion Maggiolo, the Equestrianista – Go To Guru of Fox Hunting

Every Fox Hunting Equestrian I have spoken to recently asks, “Have you spoken to Marion?” She’s the person who knows everything about Fox Hunting Fashion, Styles, and Trends! She’s the Go To Guru of Fox Hunting…”

Picture from Horse Country Online Store

Recently, I had the pleasure of briefly chatting with Marion Maggiolo – owner of Horse Country Saddlery in Warrenton, Virginia.

She joked that she’s probably the “Go To” person about Fox Hunting Fashion because “she’s been around the longest”… I beg to differ.

Her interest in all things equestrian started on her parents’ farm in the heart of New Jersey horse country, Hunterdon County. Her parents had met through their mutual interest in horses and she recounts stories of others meeting through love of horses.  She shared with me a story of a gentleman complimenting a lady on her equestrian outfit one day.  They got to know each other and now are happily married. - Equestrianistas…you never know who you’re going to meet when wearing an equestrian inspired outfit!

In 1970, Marion’s parents opened a saddlery in Warrenton, VA.  The shop was small but soon developed into a leading store for quality show ring attire.  By 1980, the sport of fox hunting was growing and Marion recognized the need for a suitable riding kit for hunting enthusiasts.  The store began to specialize in traditional English made attire.  Today, Horse Country carries the largest and most comprehensive array of fine fox hunting attire and equipment in the world.   The store has a large eclectic variety of items for the home and stable in vintage and antique wares, rare books,   jewelry and art.

“ Walking through the store, you’ll find one-of-a-kind antiques, exquisite gold and 
silver jewelry, and old Welsh blankets. From tall top hats to scarlet coats and 
shadbellys, superior hunting bridles and saddles to saddle soaps and polishes, 
English country clothing to adorable plush toys for children, Horse Country is the 
one-stop shop for many horsemen.”

 

Trending Report:

Good Tweeds are hot right now- every wardrobe should include several classic jackets and equestrian accessories hit the mark. – Says Marion


 

Other Inspirations:


When Marion is not at the store, she finds inspiration on the streets of London and Manhattan, visiting the traditional bespoke shops and antique centers, reading classic sporting books from the early 20th Century and walking Aga and Bunsen, her two Scottish Terriers, in the Fauquier County countryside.

She also finds herself rushing home on Sundays to catch the next episode of Downton Abbey!  She’s enjoying the new season which started recently!

 

2013 Bucketlist of places to go….


 

If you are looking to find authentic Fox Hunting Attire or want to emerge yourself in the Country Life Style-Take a trip this year to Marion’s store Horse Country, in Warrenton, VA. You never know what treasure you may find!

 

Horse Counry Life

 

 

 

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