Brennan and Sun Tzu Take It All at the Brownland Autumn Classic

By Toby Raymond for IDK Media Group

Penny Brennan and her prized, Sun Tzu, took the Brownland Autumn Classic by storm last month. The pair, who train at the prestigious Icon Sporthorse Training Facility in Friendsville, TN, blazed through a stunning jump-off  that stopped the timers a full second faster than the nearest competition, easily securing the win for them in the Grand Prix. 

According to Brennan, she went into it with a high standard of speed and clean rounds to overcome, but as true partners, she and Sun Tzu were together every step of the way, all the while seated in her CWD saddle that, she says, fits like a glove and allows for maximum freedom of movement. They had their challenges though, as Brennan recounts that they came to the last jump in just nine strides.

“He knew just what to do; he’s such a careful horse. But the best part – he was all about jumping with heart.”

The 12-year old Irish Sport Horse by Cruising, Sun Tzu is a product of two vigilant years, much love and quality nutrition thanks to Purina and Finish Line Products that she has poured into him. Having come to her as a sale prospect for one of her clients, she says she looked into his eyes and saw a champion. Fortunately for her, the client didn’t see it that way and refused him, so Brennan begged and borrowed most of the fee, and won the rest when Sun Tzu sailed to victory at the Fieldstone summer show in Halifax, MA.

And the rest is history, as the pair has been giving commanding performances ever since. On fire this year in particular, highlighted by the bling on her IRH helmet and the elegant La Fabbri boots, they have garnered two Grand Prix wins at Fox Lea Farm in Venice, FL, along with the top honors they earned at Gallop in the Glen in River Glen, TN, and Vermont’s Summer Festival Horse Shows in Manchester.

A native from Nottingham, England, Brennan has been competing at the highest levels since coming to the States in 1990, which she says has been a thrill, but which she also acknowledges is a team effort.

So, what’s next for the pair? Brennan has her sights set on the HITS Ocala Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, and judging from their rock star status, they are sure to be serious contenders.

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