20 Questions with Olivia Barton

May 19, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

Photo Credit: Brittany Grovenor

Where are you currently based/ training with?

I am currently based with Prue and Craig Barrett in the Hunter Valley.

Were horses always part of your life? 

My family is a pretty horsey family so growing up we were always surrounded by horses, I think I was riding a horse before I could walk! 

Describe a typical day for you.

I ride and train horses for a living so a typical day would start with feeding the horses at around 6:30/7 and then depending on how many horses are in work I start riding at around 7:30/8. I can have anywhere between 8-11 horses in work at a time so schooling them as well as managing them takes me pretty much the whole day! 

What horses are currently on your team, do you have any exciting young horses coming through?

My 2 top horses at the moment are Hollyander HG (Holly) and Henrik APH (Henry) who both are currently at 3* level. I have a nice young one APH Sebastian (Sebastian) who has only started his eventing career this year and was 6th in his first 1* at Sydney 3DE this year.

What are your expectations for the 2022 competition season?

Hopefully to run Holly at Wallaby Hill in the 4*L at the end of the year. The plan for Henry is to get qualified to compete 4*.

Describe your long term equestrian goals? 

To represent Australia at a WEG and/or Olympic Games and to compete at a 5*.

You have a great talent at producing young horses into successful high-level event horses, what attributes do you look for in a young horse?

I find that if they have a willingness to learn and a bit of natural talent for jumping it makes it much easier to produce them through the grades of eventing. 

How have you been able to successfully develop a partnership with your main superstar Holly? 

My main superstar at the moment is Holly who I was kindly given to ride by Bob and Ela Weight when she was 4. She was very quirky when I first got her but over the years we have formed a really great partnership! A lot of time and patience went into gaining her trust.   

Photo Credit Jo Jennings

Do you have any advice would you give to younger riders coming through the eventing grades at the moment? 

My advice would be just to have fun and enjoy the sport. Also never give up!

What are 3 essential items packed in your tack box for every show?

I never go anywhere without my Penelope Bridle, my saddles of course and boots/bandages.

Do you have a favourite Penelope Store Australia Product?

That’s such a hard question! My favourite item would have to be my waterproof Ugg Boots, they get worn everywhere!

How do you overcome the challenges you face within the sport? 

I think you just learn to be resilient when you’re faced with challenges. You also need to remind yourself of why your in the sport and what made you passionate about horses in the first place, I find that this helps to keep you driven through the lows of the sport.

What are the 3 essential items you bring to competitions? 

To a competition, I always bring my Penelope show jacket, final touch shine spray and my Penelope saddle pads.

Do you have a routine/any superstitions before a competition? 

I don’t really have a routine, I try to be as organised as possible the day before especially when I have 4 or 5 horses competing. On competition day there is usually always someone around willing to give me a hand,  it’s usually mum and we always manage to make it work!

What is your favourite aspect of the sport? 

My favourite aspect of the sport would have to be the community that comes with it and also the complexity of the sport. It’s definitely not an easy sport but it’s so rewarding when you finally achieve a result that you’ve been striving for!

Greatest competition highlight? 

My greatest competition highlight would still have to be being a part of the winning Australian young rider team at the Oceania Championships in Melbourne in 2017. It was such an amazing experience.

Do you have a favourite quote or saying? 

A favourite quote would have to be “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

What advice would you give your younger self? 

I would say to always be open to new ideas and opportunities as they are what helps you to learn and grow. 

What is your favourite competition or location to compete at? 

My favourite competition would have to be Adelaide 3DE, it is such an incredible location and has a great atmosphere.

When you’re not riding what do you get up to? 

There is much time when I’m not riding but if there’s time I always try to catch up with friends!