Welcome to Stella Bunn Eventing!
I am an event rider who earns a living from coaching all levels of riders, from happy hackers to successful eventers, dressage riders and showjumpers.
I have competed successfully at Advanced Level Eventing, attempted International 3* and also won at Foxhunter British ShowJumping plus competed at Advanced Medium Level Dressage. I retired my Advanced event horse Trefeinon Icon a few years ago and Mutiny Bay who also took me to advanced in the 1990s retired even longer ago. I love bringing on young horses and currently have so many nice ones it would be amazing if one of them was good enough to repeat the brilliance of Icon before I get too old!!! But in the meantime we are having fun training the younger horse at the lower level events. Love dreaming that one of them might be an advanced horse in the making!
One of my favourite annual holidays is spent helping groom for 4* rider Louise Harwood at Badminton and Burghley. It’s a fabulous experience I find working behind the scenes of a major competition helps me with my coaching skills also.
A Bit About My Background.
I was introduced to riding courtesy of a donkey called Muffin that was owned by a nieghbour and kept on my Grandmothers chicken farm. He was naughty and I fell off him lots. Then I rode friends ponies and worked for rides at a nearby riding school. Eventually at 12 years old I was allowed my own small fat naughty Welsh pony, I fell off him lots too. My parents are not horse people and hoped I would soon give up. I didn’t, although I had very little money to buy anything decent so when I left school I got an office job, so I could afford to event. I hated the office, but I had a free lift in to work with my Dad, meaning I could afford to run an old series 2 Landrover to tow my ancient rice trailer. My addiction to horses kept me imprsioned in the office job for 17 years, I honestly could never have afforded to do it if I had worked with horses, very penny was saved, I would pick apples in the Autumn and sell them to the local fruit farm anything for a few extra £.
The first horse I took clear round an Advanced was called Mutiny Bay he cost me just £900 as a green youngster off local dealer Janet Ball. Mutiny Bay was a head shaker and we were always last after dressage, I could only afford 2 lessons a year and these were always dressage. Working our way up the levels Mutiny Bay, he also wasn’t very sound, achieved the impossible and went clear round Weston Park Advanced along side horses being prepared for Badminton which was such a career highlight.
Since then I have taken 4 more horses to Intermediate including Toby Two Tone, a skewbald cob who cost £700 as a foal from Malvern Sales, Turbo Bill who was homebred by my husbands father Ron Bunn, Hartpury Take It 2 The Top whom we bought unbroken and Trefienon Icon who I also jumped clear round 4 Advanced tracks. Icon was the only one who had previously started Eventing when I purchased him. I am very proud to say I have never had a XC fault at Advanced but not so proud that I failed dismally when we attempted CIC 3*, the technicality of the 3* tracks just proved too much or maybe the nerves overtook us both, a vet check did show Icons bloods were not right so who knows, maybe I will have another chance to have a go one day !
Four of these horses got to these levels while I had no facilities and I used Castlemorton Common to train them on, the natural ditches, ponds and undulating terrain made an excellent playground for a future eventer.
Years ago I could never afford a ready made horse but luckily I just loved bringing on youngsters and found this was a cheaper way to find a nice horse, although it meant lots of waiting for them to grow up and could be disappointing if they didn’t turn out as talented as I had dreamt they might. I have started almost all of my horses from unbroken youngsters and believe that event horses thrive on the partnership of trust you build with them and in a similar vein I find this also applies to coaching horse and rider.
I hope my story inspires you to believe the seemingly impossible could be possible if you work hard and do it with a smile, support others and always treat your horse like a star then he will become one. People notice when you are successful, but they also notice how you got there.
Please feel free to browse my website – I hope you enjoy it. You can keep up to date with all my news throughout the year here on my Website Blog, Facebook and Twitter.