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aboutAnna

Anna Connor is an accomplished equestrian professional with extensive experience in horse care, training, and competition. With a focus on Eventing and knowledge across disciplines, her mission is to produce successful partnerships between horse and rider.

Meet your Trainer

A Message from Anna :

Blue Flag Equestrian LLC was born from my desire to help riders and horse owners reach their goals, and to enhance quality of life for each horse I have the opportunity to know. My approach has been influenced by and includes the best practices of the esteemed riders, managers, and trainers from whom I have had the opportunity to learn. I continue to strive for better information, more knowledge, and new approaches, and I encourage you to do the same. I look forward to meeting you and your horse.

Philosophy :

My goal is to assist riders on their path to success by facilitating advancement of skills, understanding, and partnership with their horse. I strive to produce a happy and sound equine partner that enjoys their job and performs to their full potential. This is accomplished by utilizing a horse-centered approach in line with the German Training Scale, and establishing appropriate care and management practices to ensure the well being of the whole horse.

Credentials

Anna's equestrian experience spans more than twenty years and includes successful instruction, training, riding and grooming.  She has brought along young, green horses and OTTBs from starting under saddle to recognized competition, and taught students of all ages and disciplines. Many of her students are competing successfully from Starter through Training Level eventing, while others are enjoying improved relationship with their horse and utilizing their skills in non-competitive endeavors. Her patient and intuitive approach allows each horse and rider to work at their own pace, and she is passionate about understanding and working with the horses to bring out their full potential. She is currently pursuing instructor certification through the USEA Eventing Coaches Program ensuring she is aligned with industry standards for horse and rider development. Anna has benefitted from the guidance of Mary D'Arcy and Karen O'Connor overseeing her teaching in the ECP instructor workshops.

 

She earned her Bachelors degree from The Ohio State University with a Minor in Equine Science, then completed the Kentucky Equine Management Internship gaining a comprehensive educational experience in Thoroughbred Racing. The main focus of her time at Pin Oak Stud in Versailles, Kentucky was caring for 30 homebred yearlings and starting them under saddle in preparation for race training. Experiencing the full gamut from weaning through retirement, she witnessed the dedication and passion for each horse at every level, and further cemented her love of the Thoroughbred.

Her early years as a professional were focused on grooming, catering to each horse as an individual with the highest quality of care and attention to detail. After years of volunteering, catch riding, and working in barns, she dove in as a working student and soon earned the role of Head Groom for 4-star rider Emily Hansen-Palmus caring for upper level Eventing and Dressage horses at the farm and on the road. Her time in the barn and ringside offered opportunities to learn from respected professionals including Jim Wofford and Scott Keach. When the opportunity arose, Anna moved to Virginia to groom for Team USA rider Will Coleman tending to 5-star horses and youngsters alike with the highest standards in equestrian sport. Along the way she has honed skills from each experience that contribute to her program today.

Before relocating to Washington DC, Blue Flag Equestrian LLC operated a training and boarding facility in Ohio at the heart of USEA Area 8. She coached horse and rider pairs from their first local schooling show through national horse trials, instilling expert horse management skills all the while. In addition to lesson clients and horses in training, Anna partnered with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program taking in their OTTBs for training and adoption, and placing more than 50 OTTBs with adoptive partners from 2018-2020. Horses arrived directly from their racing trainers, sometimes shortly after their last race, to begin acclimating to off-track life and learning about new disciplines. She began freelancing in 2020 and continues to enjoy building working relationships with clients across disciplines and skill levels.

She has 2 horses of her own and completed the 2022 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover with her 2018 OTTB (JC Scar Face Tony) finishing 14th of 60 entries in the Eventing discipline. She and her long time partner Shadowplay are working towards the USDF Bronze Medal and aiming at an FEI 1-star.