Marian Hutchings Story
Growing up in New Zealand and living next door to a horseracing track, it made sense that Marian developed her love for horses from a very early age. Combine that with netball and swimming, then being introduced to snow and water skiing, white water rafting, dragon boat racing, cycling and then eventually becoming an aerobic instructor whilst working 2 jobs you know this is one ‘full of life’ lady that is taking every opportunity she can. Read Marian’s story as she takes us through her journey to now travelling the globe with her horse and competing on the dressage circuit.
Keeping busy with life
I am the eldest of seven, born Netherby, Ashburton, NZ, 24 Nov 1956. We always were somewhere watching and being involved in sport with the other families most weekends. I played netball and swimming mainly. When I met my husband, I was introduced to snow skiing, water skiing & white water rafting. Boy, that was insane, nearly lost our lives a couple of times. When my children were born, 2 girls, 2 boys, it was hectic, but I managed to fit in becoming an aerobics instructor, and there was no child minding in those days, so the children were in the classes with me. It all worked, somehow. Once the children were at school their netball, swimming and rugby took over. So I got right on in there, umpiring, coaching, and time keeping. In amongst that I belonged to a team dragon boating and competed for a couple of seasons and we managed to bring home the gold! When the girls were at college my husband and I became involved in triathlons and we also teamed up with our girls, we loved it. Plus at the time, I was working 2 jobs! It was an amazing crazy adventure. Looking back, don't know how we did it all. We then moved to Australia in 2001 and it was the best thing we ever did. The children were all grown and going their own ways. We followed the sunshine to pursue our sports, which was mainly cycling. It was a great way to keep fit and we met some amazing people. We travelled to France, many times to tackle Mont Ventoux, followed the Tour both in France and Italy. They have such amazing mountains.
My love for horses became my life again
I was now at the stage where my horses were part of my life again. I was very lucky to be able to travel with a great team on our first trip overseas looking for some special dressage horses to bring back to Oz. That took us from The Netherlands, through to Belgium and onto Germany. The horses are amazing and have enriched my life so much. I became very busy with my horses about 3 years ago where I started taking things a little more serious. I absolutely love all aspects to this sport. The best part is the training, especially with an amazing coach who has a super eye for detail and is fussy for the little things. That makes a huge difference. Practice, practice, practice plus knowing your horse are how you get results. It is by no means easy. When you think you have one thing sorted, something else will pop up and you need to work on that. Next you work on the test movements, breaking them down and improving where you need to. There is always a warm-up and a cool-down to each session. The same for when you compete. You have a strategy with how you will warm-up, a timetable as to when you get your horse ready, and then yourself dressed, trying to stay cool, calm and collected all the while remembering your tests. This goes through your head a million times. Competition is the culmination of putting your training into practice. Your goal is to get the feeling from your work at home through to the arena in test conditions. More often than not this is euphoric. Like anything, you put in the hard work to get your desired results. It ends up being a long day with the drive to the competition grounds, all that goes with competing and then the drive home. You don't finish until, your dancing partner is washed and fed and rugged up for the night. Then you look back and reflect. Did I do that? I am competing with such amazing young talent, girls and guys out there. There is no discrimination. It can be such an amazing feeling. I am so blessed to be able to and have the support I have at home, to follow my dream.
Sadly after such a good 2018 dressage competition year, my beautiful boy North Carlos contracted a rare blood disorder and passed away at home. I had just landed in LA with my dear friend Karin on our way to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, the same place that hurricane was heading! We erred on the side of caution and hightailed it back to LA, not wanting to miss our connection back to Australia. But to be honest, I was grieving and could not have managed two weeks of horse stuff.
I have been so fortunate, my coach and best friend Nicole found me another beautiful mare Jaybee Angelina from Melbourne. We had her transported up to the Gold Coast and I am now involved wholeheartedly, not that I wasn't already, to riding her to the best I can be. She is everything and more and I am thankful every day.
What I will continue to do, feel and see
I have a gorgeous supportive husband, amazing family, two adorable granddaughters and beautiful friends around me. As long as I stay fit and healthy the sky is the limit, age to me is just a number. There are times when you need to stay focused, but then again, there are times you need to stop smell the roses and look around, the world is an incredible breathing, moving, changing entity, we are in amongst that and we make a difference!