Robison and Gorky 6th Equiline Grand Prix. Photo: Sportfot
By: Heather Vaxer
Audrey Robison, a young rising professional, horsewoman, and owner of Anvil Ridge Farm, has quietly made her way into the Grand Prix ring in Wellington, FL. During the recent ESP Holiday Festival I and II shows, Audrey and her horse Gorky jumped in the Thursday and Sunday Grand Prix classes without lowering a jump. Only two time faults kept the duo from a pair of fault free rounds over the tough tracks.The class was Gorky’s first Grand Prix and Audrey’s first Grand Prix in many years. The young professional rider and trainer felt concerned when walking on Sunday. “I had so much faith in him. I knew it was going to be a bit of a stretch and he might be surprised, but the good thing about him is he is always going,” explained Robison. “He jumped the first [class] well, but he jumped the second one even better.”
In between the two classes, Gorky just flatted. Robison believes in saving her horse by jumping less and working on flatwork, cavalettis, and relaxing trail rides. Robison attributes her return to big jumper classes to her other horse, Boccaccio, an older Nation’s Cup competitor that she shows in the 1.40m. Boccaccio’s experience and easy- going attitude is a boost to Robison’s confidence. She credits her husband, farrier John Anderson, with keeping her reliable partner sound.
Robison’s Anvil Ridge Farm is located in Loxahatchee, FL and Vernon Center, NY. She has a variety of horses in the barn, from clients’ amateur hunters and jumpers to green jumpers to Hunter Derby mounts. With the able help of her husband and farm manager Abby Stearns, Robison is able to run an organized, successful business.
As a young rider, Audrey worked with many top trainers as mentors and role models. Her junior career was primarily in the jumper ring although she was always intrigued by hunters. A job with David Raposa helped Audrey to learn how to prepare equitation horses, and he helps her in the show ring today. She says her biggest influence is Sissy Wickes, who took a chance on her with her first job at 20 years old. Sissy took the time to guide her and teach her how to be a professional in this business. Audrey says the best advice she received from Wickes was “to find your niche.” Robison discovered that she is very good at preparing horses for other people. “It takes a village,” she laughs, as she also thanked Anne Kursinski, Dee Thomas, and Kara Raposa.
With hopes of expanding her business to include more clients, she is also excited to continue to develop her many mounts. Look for Robison showing Gorky in the national Grand Prix’s and her young hunter, Silver Lining, in the Hunter Derbies. Audrey is proof that commitment, patience, talent, and hard work will pay off. She explains that to succeed you must learn from your mistakes, and to expect a lot of them. “It’s good having no expectations. You take the good and the bad with [horses]. They are animals and it’s our job to keep them happy and continue to make them want to do for us.” Her advice for anyone striving to become a professional in this business is to set your goals, make connections, and build confidence. Armed with these tenets, Robison will continue to rise through the equestrian ranks.