BarnManager Q&A With: Corie Bannon
Corie Bannon, office manager for Hampton Green Farm and show groom for international dressage athlete Kerrigan Gluch, based out of Ocala, FL
What are three things that are always in your ring bag and why?
For my ringside bag, I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best. If it fits, it’s going into the bag. However, three things that are always there are extra white gloves, sugar, and a rag. Sometimes when everything is hot and sweaty the rider can’t grip the reins and fresh gloves are needed. Sugar is the reward and keeps the horse feeling good about their work. If you know me you know I don’t go anywhere without a rag on my belt. Such a simple thing has so many uses!
What’s something you learned early in your career that has stuck with you?
One thing that has always stuck with me is you never know when a new opportunity might arise. The majority of my opportunities presented themselves when I was least expecting them. I was at the right place at the right time when I met a rider in need of a groom to travel to the Olympics with them. This led to an incredible opportunity to travel and learn so much about the sport. Unfortunately, I was severely injured in a car accident, and I was taken out of my position very suddenly. The turn of events took me away from the job I had but a new opportunity as office manager presented itself. You never know what life might throw your way. Always stay positive, patient, and open-minded and things will work themselves out.
Who inspires you the most in the industry and why?
Lendon Gray inspires me the most in the industry. Lendon’s dedication and passion for the sport of dressage is unmatched. Not only did she have an amazing riding career, but now dedicates her time to her nonprofit organization, Dressage4Kids. Dressage4Kids focuses on education for all youth riders, no matter where they come from, what level they ride at, or how much their horse cost. I have been involved with the program for more than 20 years, and I can gratefully say that I would not have found success without the incredible work of Lendon. Dressage4Kids is continuing to create a pipeline of well-educated youth riders for the sport in the U.S.
What is your best tip for staying organized during a busy show day?
I need to have a plan the night before in order for me to stay as organized as possible. I like to make a list of show times and times riders would like to get on each horse. Then I work backward to determine the correct timing of tacking up, braiding, etc. Another thing that helps me on busy days is having my tack trunks super organized. Everything has its designated spot, and I know where it is without even needing to look. This is especially important when the day becomes chaotic because I don’t waste time looking for anything.
What is one horse show you have never been to but would love to attend?
I have been extremely fortunate in my career and have been able to groom at so many amazing shows. I have been able to be a spectator at Aachen, but I would love to be able to groom at this prestigious show. I feel this show is a huge accomplishment and dream for most riders and it would be amazing to be part of that dream!
Mares, geldings, or stallions? Why?
I don’t prefer one over the other. Every horse has their own individual personality. I have never worked with two horses alike, which keeps it entertaining. I tend to enjoy working with horses that have very loud personalities.
If you were a horse, what would you be and why?
If I were a horse, I would be mostly laid back, but I would enjoy keeping my rider on their toes. I like to think I have a good work ethic. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I feel like I would enjoy being a show pony.
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