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Delving into the minds of four-star riders: Ryan Wood (AUS) – Sponsored by FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips
There is a significant difference between an equestrian and an Eventer.
Equestrians push their minds and bodies of themselves and their horses to great lengths for sport, for fun, or perhaps to maintain their health. Eventers push their minds and abilities to the farthest possible limit with their equine partners while simultaneously taking calculated risks where a split second decision can be costly.
At the highest level of Eventing, four-star Eventers are in a class of their own. These extreme athletes are who we look to when trying to understand and measure what is possible for an equine partnership at the top. They serve as self-appointed test subjects, leaving most of the average population watching (and studying) in awe from afar.
Four-star riders continue to take on death-defying feats, again and again, chasing the adrenaline rush like drug addicts. They are truly a different breed.
It is fascinating to think what goes through the mind of a four-star Eventer. What makes them tick and how do they go about their lives out of the saddle? So we are introducing a new series allowing us to delve into the minds of four-star riders with some intriguing and fun questions to help figure out the mindset of these rare athletes.
Getting to know Ryan Wood
Ryan Wood was born and raised in Australia. He began riding when he is just eight years old and by the time he was just 19 he competed at his first CCI4*. His hunger for success on the international scene prompted his immigration to the United States in 2008, where he quickly worked his way to the top of the American Eventing scene. During his career so far, he has won countless FEI events on US and Australian soil aboard a variety of horses. Most recently, he won the Central Park $50,000 Arena Eventing competition alongside his countryman, Dom Schramm. Ryan has a strong shot of representing the Australian team at next year’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. This weekend, he is competing Powell at the Fair Hill International CCI3* and they are definitely the favourites for the win.
We are happy that he was able to spare some time out of his crazy schedule to answer our questions so we could find out what makes this legend in the making tick…
If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Argh geez. One meal… T-bone steak, medium.
Would you lie in court to protect a friend from going to jail?
Hahahaha! Well, that is a great question! I don’t know how to answer that, the politically right answer or the truth?
You need to tell the truth.
Of course, I’d lie.
Would you consider yourself high or low maintenance?
Low maintenance. Like I am simple, I probably got the same clothes in my wardrobe as I did 10 years ago. I keep everything pretty basic.
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, who would it be and what would be the first thing you’d do?
I would be Donald Trump. I would knock the wall down.
What do you worry about most?
I want to make sure I’ve done the best of my capabilities. Just worry about doing the best I can.
How would you describe Boyd as a friend?
Boyd is a great guy, loves a good time. He loves having fun at someone else’s expense. But he doesn’t take it well when it is at his expense, which I make sure that it is.
Great friend. He’s actually a big softie at heart. He’s very generous.
How would Lillian describe you?
What is the best prank you’ve ever played on someone?
When I was 8-years-old we had my grandma over for a Sunday roast dinner and I hid a toy mouse under her food. She started cutting into her meal and saw this mouse and fell back in her chair. I felt really bad after that but she survived. She was actually an instigator, we would go over to grandma’s place and she would have stuff set up to trick us. It was kind of repayment.
So far this year, what is the worst news that you’ve received?
We haven’t had too much bad news. Been a good year.
What is the best news you’ve received so far this year?
I’m going to say receiving three new young horses that we purchased last year. Shannondale Julius is a 4-year-old owned by Amy Peloquin, Tullabeg Dilson is another 4-year-old owned by Curran Simpson and Billy Mclusky is a 5-year-old owned by Linda Ledray.
Which are you more likely to fight for love or money? And why?
Love because with love comes money.
To keep up with Ryan on a regular basis, follow him on: