The 2028 U.S. Eventing Team is already out there somewhere, and it’s up to us all to nurture their talent and their big dreams. “2028 Olympic Talent Watch” is an (adorable) new series in which we identify junior eventers who are already exhibiting the heart and the guts to lead American eventing to glory in the (distant) future. Any short-stirrup riders you know come to mind? Email us their story at [email protected] This week’s edition features Georgia junior rider "Mighty Maren" Hanson, age 10, nominated by mom Christie!
I am the momager and super groom working for Ryan Bell as he ventures off from Grand Prix dressage into eventing and blogs for EN. But truth be told, his inspiration is actually my 10-year-old daughter Maren and her pony Sir Chancelot.
I took the leap back in as a professional groom as a 40-plus mom to get training for the last son of my show horse, a Hanoverian stallion, age 6. What they didn’t know was the horse is actually the love and passion project of my daughter and my true hope was this would show her a world of horses most kids dream of!
I am a homeschool parent which meant Maren had to come along to work with me. This was the first thing I figured would put off my potential employers, but she knows true horse management as her base of everything. As a graduate Pony Clubber, I am now District Commisioner of our Hilltoppers Pony Club, and Maren already earned her C1 certification at age 9 riding Beginner Novice Test A and jumping 2’9″.
After a few months working her way up with me for the dressage sales barn, she proved she could actually help pitch in with grooming and even warmed up or cooled out our stallion. Then they caught on to her success at the local jumper shows and events through my Facebook posts. Next thing you know she is inspiring Ryan to join USPC and to get out eventing, and just last week she just completed her first recognized horse trial at Chattahoochee Hills as part of their team. She even caught the eye of our stabling neighbor Becky Holder who called her out for being such a hard worker!
Maren is always working, riding and making sure things run smoothly at the work barn as well as with our horses at home. You can catch her riding an upper level dressage sales horse, jumping her pony, then schooling the young stallion all in a day, and now she is ready to tackle some recognized horse trials this fall. She is such a powerhouse we call her Mighty Maren!