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American FEI Grand Prix dressage rider, and trainer Brittany Burson based in Union, Illinios and Wellington, Florida has made a name for herself  achieving many successes including earning Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals on her own self-trained horses. She’s enjoyed tremendous success with her horses Jazz Dance and Fiorenza including multiple regional and national wins. Recently, Brittany competed in her first CDI’s at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington with a top eight finish at small tour which allowed her to qualify in the I-1 championships where she finished 9th overall in the nation.


Tell us about you and your horses

Meet Brittany Burson, pictured here with Leonardo Z (Glamourdale / Havel). image courtesy of Bethany P Photography
      I’m an international USDF Gold Medalist and Diamond Achievement Recipient that’s been doing dressage professionally for the last fifteen years. Currently, I have a retired Grand Prix gelding (Johnson/Feiner Stern) who I trained myself named Jude and my 7-year-old mare Fia (Furstenball/Diomedes) is schooling the 4th Level work. Both have fun personalities – one playful and the other one sweet. With a client, I co-own some young horses over in Europe and I’m grateful for being able to begin a pipeline of horses to develop further potentially for sport or sale.

How did horses come into your life?

Britt riding Fiorenza at the USDF Region 4 Championships. image courtesy of John Borys Photography
I began riding the summer I turned seven at a local farm that my brother’s childhood friend’s mother owned. She taught eventers so my love of riding came first through eventing and the fast-paced rhythm of that discipline. However, I quickly fell in love with the intricacies of dressage and switched over to that by the time I was eleven years old. Both my Grand Prix gelding and my mare have been purchased off videos. My gelding came from the Oldenburg Verband auction in Germany where I had someone there representing me during the sale. My mare was purchased through a wonderful breeder/trainer Johannes Westendarp in Germany during COVID.

When and where do you ride?

Being a dressage trainer, I ride six days a week and spend nine months of the year in Illinois and three months out of the year in Wellington, FL.


Who do you train with? 

Britt Burson and Leonardo Z finishing 3rd Open Reserve Champion at 2023 US Dressage Finals. image courtesy of Susan Stickle
With the help within the last couple of years from Kasey Perry-Glass and Scott Hassler, I’ve felt it’s added a tremendous layer of detail with each of the horses. In Florida this last season, I worked with Scott two days a week, 2-3 lessons per time. Now that I’m back home, the virtual lessons and clinics will be fantastic to continue. Back in Illinois, my eyes on the ground is Heather McCarthy who has been my coach the last seventeen years.

What are you and your horses currently working on?

Each of my training horses is working on something different. I’m always striving for myself to have more lateral suppleness in each of them and trying to get each horse much further in their progress before the 2025 Florida season.

What do you love about riding?

Britt Burson dressage trainer and rider Illinois
Britt and Furst Emilio showing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. image courtesy of Susan Stickle
What I love is developing and training the horses and seeing how they transform. It brings me so much joy in taking an underdog and surprising people that way.

It takes a team to do dressage, who is in your support team?

It wouldn’t be possible without my parents and family who are incredibly supportive in everything I do.

What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

Brittany Burson dressage rider USA
Britt and Fiorenza 2nd Level Open 3rd Place at 2023 US Dressage Finals. image courtesy of Susan Stickle
For myself, I get so much joy in training young horses up through the levels so continuing to do that is a dream in itself. What I’d like to continuously strive for are the CDI’s and Festival of Champions and if anything, further presents itself, I’ll take it as it does at that point.

Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?  

Luckily, I don’t get nervous so that really helps me concentrate on the ride ahead.

Do you have any rituals before competing?

I wear two leather bracelets and a belt with my horses’ show names on them.  

Your Top Tip

Work hard. Stay humble. Be open to learning every day.


What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

Don’t let anyone change the core of who you are as a rider.  


Down the Centre Line

Who would be your dream horse to ride?

Right now, Dufour’s mare Zimillone.

Who is your equestrian hero?

From afar, Charlotte Dujardin and Cathrine Dufour because they’re such soft riders. Because I know her personally and she’s one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, Kasey Perry-Glass.

If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?

Probably the three riders from above plus Scott Hassler and Isabell Werth.

Favourite colour horse?


Favourite horse event?

Festival of Champions (Lamplight)

Favourite food?



Favourite way to relax?

Watching movies/TV

Favourite film?

Too many to choose but this year so far is Dune: Part 2

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Brittany you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here .  You can keep up with Britt’s progress and check out her instagram page here            

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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Hello My name is Sharon Howe and I am horse mad. This site is my place to scribble away my…


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