Branson loves the joy of the hunt

I lived my childhood on the Giddings family farm at Wangary. I went to Lake Wangary Primary School and then completed my schooling at Cummins Area School. At four years old I started riding horses, and at nine my parents (John and Veronica Giddings) realised I wasn’t growing out of the phase and gifted me my first pony.

I competed in shows, pony club, gymkhanas, hunting, stock work, dressage, show jumping and my biggest love, one-day events. After finishing school, I moved to the Northern Territory Rural College to become my dream job, ‘jillaroo’. I finished the year on Rosewood Station. When I came home for Christmas, I realised the Eyre Peninsula was for me and started work in hospitality.

At 21 I traveled to England on a working visa and after three days I had a job training English hunting horses. I spent two years with a beautiful couple, riding in hunts each week with the hounds and fields of up to 150 horses, a rare experience for a traveller. After travelling around the world I was ready to come home. I moved back to Port Lincoln for the next few years, trying to keep the travel bug at bay before moving to Cairns to work as an operations manager for a trail riding centre for 12 months.  Humidly it wasn’t for me so I came back home to our beautiful dry heat.

I was interested in the fitness industry and started to move from hotels to the PFM Gym. I love my new career as a personal trainer, group class instructor and massage therapist. Around this time, I reconnected with my childhood sweetheart Troy Branson. We first met on the back of our horses at around nine years old (the spark started way back then), we were sweet on each other in high school before we parted into adulthood. Ten years later we reconnected and were together two weeks later. We married in October 2009 and now live in Cummins, have two beautiful children and a horse for each family member (and Troy thought he was out of horses after school, how wrong he was!)

I’ve had my love for horses all my life, but my love for hunting (a traditional horse sport) really started in my 20s. On May 8, 2010 I had a life changing accident. At the opening hunt of the season on my trusted mare, I had a fall that left me in a very bad way. Troy and I were only married for seven months and what we would face would cement our love for each other. I spent many months in and out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital with my beautiful mum always by my bedside. It took 12 months to get my health back, during this time I fell pregnant with our beautiful miracle baby that helped heal the massive infection in my body. Our daughter Jordan was born on June 23, 2011.

At the end of 2011 we bought Cummins Hardware off of Troy’s parents and moved into the great Australian dream of being business owners. Our son Chase was born February 17, 2014 and completed our pigeon pair. I am now a dedicated member of the Southern Eyre Hunt Club. I am honoured to be in my third year as president and my first year as master. The highlight so far was winning the section fours at the Royal Adelaide Show last year with three other special ladies. My daughter has a dream to go hunting alongside her mummy and I have a dream, for an all Branson section four team at the Royal Adelaide Show. Watch this space. Tally ho!