Mary Ann Grant grew up under the tutelage of her parents, dressage trainer and United States Dressage Federation Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Grant and United States Equestrian Team member and Pan American double gold medalist Carole Grant. Her father, Chuck Grant (1914 – 1990) trained horses for the United States Army starting in 1934, then went on to judge the first Civil Dressage Show in Illinois in 1948. In the course of his career, he trained 17 horses to the Grand Prix level with 10 competing in the National Championships. Mary Ann’s Mom, Carol Grant represented the United States at the 1982 World Equestrian Games in Lausanne, Switzerland and went on to represent the USA during numerous international team competitions. Mary Ann has studied with Bernie Traurig, Robert Dover, and Johann Hinnemann in Germany. She was long listed with the United States Dressage Team from 1998 to 2000, placed 10th nationally at the Festival of Champions National Championships in Grand Prix in 1999, and 11th at CDI Berlin, Germany.
Mary Ann is also a FEI Young Rider individual silver medalist and a USDF gold medalist. She was selected as a demonstration rider for the 2006, 2009,and 2010 United States Dressage Federation Trainer’s Conference. She presently trains horses at Grant Farms in Wellington, Florida. She believes in her father’s motto, “Ask often, demand little, and reward generously.”
She shared, "My primary goal right now is to be ready for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. I have two fantastic horses, and feel so lucky and appreciative to have them in my life. Beilando is a seven year old dark chestnut gelding (Belissimo M X Don Primero). He has a lot of character and a fantastic gallop. I call him Secretariat. Weltregentrin is a 9 year old chestnut mare (Weltregent H X Lauries Crusader). She is very intelligent and special. She knows my footsteps and always greats me with a whinny. I have been with her since she was two years old. My mother bred her.
Loreto HM is a two year old chestnut colt (Londonderry X Don Bosco) who is beginning his training. He has three super gaits and a good character, and will be a great horse for the future. I really enjoy the process of bringing young horses along to Grand Prix. I am so happy when I feel the horses are really trying for me. That is the greatest part about riding, the partnership you make with a horse.
Our farm is located in Wellington, Florida. We have 25 acres, 16 stalls, many paddocks, a large grass field for riding, a large outdoor ring, lunging pen, and miles of trails to ride. Our new addition is a covered arena. We are planning to build a galloping track, and also put a few cross country jumps in the grass field.
I have great respect for the people who have taught me, and I carry that information forward to my students. My teaching is based on the classic principals. Always at the forefront, I constantly review the principals by reading and re-reading classical books. As a teacher, safety and good horsemanship come first. My students learn dressage through dedicated exercise patterns, which set them up for finding the feeling. Repetition of exercise patterns keep the horse and rider calm and focused. I give my students something which my father gave to me and goes beyond dressage. It is the knowledge of how to communicate and build a partnership with a horse, who does not speak out language."
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:
"As a survivor of Lymphoma, I make it my mission to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Determined to help in some way even before I finished my own treatment, I was inspired by the courage I saw in other patients, especially the children and their families. I met with the LLS Palm Beach Chapter with an idea for a fundraiser in Wellington, and they encouraged me. The first annual event started in 2003. I thought we could raise $5000.00 that year, and we ended up raising $120,000.00. The equestrian community was amazing and that gave me the confidence to carry on as chair through 2012.
I serve on the LLS South Florida Board, which allows me to stay current with how funds raised are used for research and patient services. The FDA just approved a new therapy called Gazyva, for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). It is an antibody which binds to the CD20 protein expressed on the surface of B cells, which are present in many types of cancer. Once bound to these cells, Gazyva causes cancer cells to die by engaging the patient’s own immune system. We believe that in our lifetime breakthroughs like Gazyva will cure cancer.
For me special activities are spending time with my husband James Whisenand, my dog Jill, and my horses. We try to make time to hike the back country in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I would like to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, and visit The Spanish Riding School and learn the airs above the ground."