Anna and Sundayboy winning his last competition in Wellington. CDIO U-25 Nations Cup. Photo: Lilly Gorado
How and when did you start riding?
I was a competitive gymnast from ages 2-9 but I had to stop due to injuries and needed another athletic outlet. I always loved horses and begged my parent to take riding lessons. One day we got a referral to a barn and it just happened to be a dressage training stables, I didn’t know the disciplines at the time. I started riding at age 11 and never looked back!
You come from a very athletic and successful family. Tell us about them and how they have supported you in your riding career?
My family is everything to me, my parents helped make me who I am today by requiring us to give our very best no matter what we do. Their example of hard work and dedication made me work as hard as I possibly could in this sport. They’re so supportive of my dreams and have cheered me on every step of the way, I couldn’t asked for a better team.
Give us a look at the “Day in The Life” of Anna:
7:00 I’m at the barn to start prepping horses for lessons.
8-2 is usually spent riding my horses & riding and teaching clients with a lunch break in there somewhere
3-5 I go back to my horses to hand walk, graze, wrap, feed and just spend time with them.
6:00 I’ll do a work out either at my home gym or the beach
After that I’ll spend time with family & friends
I’m not good at staying up late so around 8:30 I start to get ready for bed and do it all over again the next day!
We are sorry to hear Sundayboy passed away recently. You had a tremendous amount of success on him! Tell us about Sundayboy, your Young Rider/U25 career, his comeback, and what he meant to you.
Sundayboy was everything to me. He got me my start in this sport and he taught me everything I know. Most importantly of all he was truly my best friend. I couldn’t have dreamed of the career we had together and I’m so grateful that I got to be his person for the latter half of his life. To go through Young Riders and U25 and end up one of the most successful horses in the history of US dressage is truly telling of his talent, character and his huge heart.
You acquired Wilton from Patrik Kittel. Give us some background on Wilton and how you faced his challenges?
Wilton was a Jazz and not all of them are bad but a lot of them can be super spooky and Wilton was one of them. When I moved to training with Guenter Seidel he really helped me figure him out and learn how to ride him well. It took a lot of years and so much patience but Wilton was the horse that taught me how to ride any horse that I get on no matter how difficult and I really owe him a lot for that.
Now you have the incredibly gorgeous mare, Davinia La Douce FRH by Don Frederico, that your trainer Guenter Seidel found for you. Tell us about her and your future goals.
Diva is my miracle mare that I am still in shock that I get to own and have the ride on. She is the kindest, sweetest, sassiest redhead with a huge heart. I’ve only had her for 6 months so my goal right now is just to get to know her better and show to the best of our ability but a huge life goal of mine is to compete overseas.
What advice would you like to give other Young Riders coming up the levels?
Sound cliche but hard work will get you everywhere. Have a good attitude, treat you horse and the people around you well. It goes by so fast so enjoy every second of it!
Who is one of your mentors in the Equestrian world?
Guenter Seidel is my biggest mentor in the equestrian world and I still can’t believe I get to say that. I’m so blessed to have him in my life.
What is one of your biggest life lessons you have learned competing in dressage?
Patience and mental toughness is key if you want to be a top rider in this sport. It’s not easy but it’s so worth it just hang in there.
What do you do on your days off?
I love love love going to the beach. I’m born and raised in San Diego so it’s just always been a part of my life. I love sleeping in on days off which is rare hahaha, hiking, finding new places, going on day trips with friends and family. I’m always up for anything and everything!
Anna’s Instagram is anna_buffini if you would like to contact her.
Thanks Anna for the interview!!!