Meet rider and coach Sharon Hunt, our latest brand ambassador!
Sharon is a long-time Sundown customer, using both our Sundown Yellow chopped rapeseed straw bedding and Sun-e-bed straw pellet bedding for her competition and breeding horses. Read more about Sharon, her horses, and why she loves her Sundown bedding so much.
What are you best known for?
I’m probably best known for winning bronze for Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics on my amazing hose Tankers Town. We went on to compete at 11 CCI5* events, including seven consecutive Badmintons, two Burghleys, one Pau, and one Luhmühlen which we won in 2010! We also competed at one World Equestrian Games.
How did you get into eventing?
I come from a non-horsey family, but my father started it all off by learning to ride at the age of 37. I was put on a beach donkey by my grandparents at the age of seven and never looked back. I always said that they made our most expensive mistake that day on the beach!
I stumbled into eventing really. I was based on an eventing livery yard and loved learning about cross county and jumping in general. We bought my first good horse from Andrew Nicholson, called Double Edge. He took me on to my first advanced course and really gave me the bug.
We bought Tankers Town as a four-year-old and I produced him myself (all except for one intermediate-level event, where my friend competed after I had dislocated my shoulder on a novice horse!).
What is your focus now?
We had a big and successful eventing team for many years but more recently I have bred a small team of showjumpers using my successful competition mares. The oldest is now rising five, so a few years yet to wait until they are my main competition horses.
However, I have two older showjumpers, which are jumping 1.30 and about to step up to 1.40. I also compete at Prix St Georges level dressage with Loughnatousa Winston, a 14-year-old Irish Sports Horse who has been to the Winter Nationals for the past three years. He will step up to Intermediate 1 this summer.
I am also a busy coach, which I fit around my competitions. In the past successfully trained the British Eventing U18’s in the East region for six years. I loved passing on my knowledge to the juniors who were like sponges!
We moved to Buckinghamshire from Suffolk 18 months ago to be more central and support my young team to have access to better local competitions, such as Addington.
We have been taking more time out for competitions recently, which means less time for coaching, but I am working towards a better balance as I really enjoy holding clinics at our new base.
What made you switch to Sundown Bedding for your horses?
I switched from wood shavings to Sundown’s Sun-e-bed straw pellet bedding a few years ago, primarily because of its superior absorption properties. Shavings were also getting so expensive and hard to source, plus the quality can really vary and be rather dusty. The low dust levels of Sundown’s bedding is really important, especially for my competition horses and their wind quality.
I now have a muck skip at the yard, which we pay to have emptied. Reducing the volume of waste saves us money, and with Sun-e-bed I can muck-out five loose boxes, or six on a good day, into one barrow now, so it was an obvious choice for me.
I was also introduced to Sundown Yellow rapeseed chopped straw bedding and have been very impressed. It’s incredibly absorbent and the eucalyptus smell is amazing. The yard even smells nice too!
Compared to the wood shavings we were using, I find there is far more Sundown Yellow in the bale, and it’s easier to muck out and sift through the bedding.
We used to use three bales of bedding a week and now we’re down to just one or two Sundown Yellow, so the financial savings make a big impact as the cost of everything continues to go up! We were spending time regularly putting more bedding in and now we can get on with other important jobs making life far easier all around.
When I hack through my village I’ve noticed Sundown Yellow bags on various yards, so it’s clearly a popular product.
I have been totally converted to Sundown Yellow and Sun-e-bed over any shavings and I’m so pleased to be a brand ambassador. I love their bedding and it’s great to be supporting a family business that understands the equine community and uses sustainable materials from local farms. I’m excited to be working with Sundown!
You can find out more about Sharon on her website.