Thursday, February 4, 2010

Susie Hutchison Puts Her Best Foot Forward. You Can Too.

We wrap things up with Susie Huchison here with an impossibly cute puppy, what's really going on on the inside, and some really, really cool pictures.

Q. Are you in a relationship?

A. I’ve had a boyfriend for twelve years. He doesn’t have much to do with horses. I guess he’s kind of the calming one to come home to when all else is crazy. He has that calm easy way about himself. I hold a lot inside. I think I appear to be calm on the outside. A lot of people don’t realize there’s a lot more emotion going on inside than I tend to display. I just had a dog die on Thanksgiving. It had cancer but I thought we’d get through Thanksgiving. He died in my arms. It makes you appreciate every day and appreciate the people who are around and be happy and healthy and do what you want to do. If you’ve got your health you’ve got everything.

Susie's adorable, new puppy

photo courtesy of Susie Hutchison

Q. Do you find it hard to balance a professional showjumping career with relationship/ life/ etc?

A. Well, it depends on the person. My boyfriend puts up with it! It’s really different now than it was. It was much better then. It was eleven shows a year to try to get medals. The shows would be two weeks: Del Mar, Santa Barbara, etc. There would be all the different disciplines. It made it so much more special. The Oaks, when it first started, had three days of three classes a day, and grad prix at the end. Now they’re cookie-cutter horse shows with the same classes at the same venues. I’m tired of it all really. But I take that back--if you have a top grand prix horse. The amount of money you can win is incredible: $1,000,000 at Spruce Meadows. For that aspect it’s fabulous and makes having a top horse worthwhile.

1978 All Women's Nations Cup Team

Left to Right: Dianne Grod, Linda Allen, Anne Kurzinski, Susan Hutchison

photo courtesy of Susie Hutchison

Q. Do eventers carry similar patterns in their showjumping or is it really person by person?

A. It’s person to person. You ride cross-country the way you ride showjumping: there’s a gallop between fences, there’s a balance the horses need to maintain, and you ride the distance to the fences. The top riders do that. I’ve helped quite a few of the top event riders-they ride to a distance and the horse has to be balanced and that has to carry through.

Q. Do you feel like the mental focus is as important as the physical skill?

A. For me it is. I can’t say that for everyone. Everyone finds a different way of getting themselves organized and directed. I definitely spend a lot of time focusing. I watch a certain amount of horses and then I ride the course over and over again in my head until I feel I’ve ridden it perfectly.

Susie on Bionic Woman jumping 6'9", 1984

photo courtesy of Susie Hutchison

Q. So there are eventers and showjumpers out there who want to be as great as you are. What should they do?

A. Today it’s harder than ever before. But never give up. Get on like Jennie’s done and ride anything and everything and put your best foot forward in front of everyone you can is the way to go about it.

photo courtesy of Susie Hutchison

1 comment:

  1. Tell Susie her little Bluetick Coonhound is ADORABLE!


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