Bermuda's
Endurance Pioneer

09 July 2018

Marvin Brangman of Bermuda will become his country’s first-ever Endurance entry in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ when he travels to Tryon in September.

Although a Bermuda resident, Marvin Brangman moved to the USA in 2000. He is a horse trainer in LaGrange, Georgia and an ordained minister at the Fellowship Christian Center International of Newman, Georgia.

 

His first Endurance ride was as recently as 2015, while he also trains in Dressage, Jumping, young horses and western. In May he completed the two-year process of qualifying for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG), where he will be riding MM Godiva Chokalat, who is owned by Lori Shifflet and Vicky Stanislawski.

 

With just two months until WEG 2018 begins, on September 11, we spoke to Marvin to find out more about what it means to represent his country of birth and the importance of his faith…

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5 things you should know about Marvin Brangman...

1. I was always crazy about horses.

When I was nine years old my mom asked me if I wanted to take riding lessons. From there I started showing, was in pony club and my riding career progressed.

 

In 1984, when I was 16-years old, I was selected to represent Bermuda on the youth Jumping team at a competition in Canada.

 

2.  I always wanted to ride for Bermuda again.

I met Christo Dinkelmann in 2012. He had 30 Arabian horses and needed help training them.

 

He does Endurance, and I thought it was crazy to do a 40km ride. Three years later, he finally convinced me to try one and I fell in love.

 

My second ride was an 80km ride on Aramais, owned by Susan Brooks, at the Alabama Yellowhammer Pioneer in March of 2016. We placed first. Christo told me about WEG, and I began the process of qualifying. Find out more about Endurance and the other WEG disciplines by clicking here.

 

 

3. I am honoured and privileged to ride MM Godiva Chokalat.

I rode Chokalat for the first time in March, and we connected instantly. She is a fabulous mare with courage, heart, and stamina. Chokalat always has more energy left, knows her job and has a good work ethic.

 

We both needed a 120km ride and a 160km ride to qualify. We were third in the 120km ride at FITS in March, and won the 160km ride at Biltmore in May to earn our COC. Lori is training us and our Chef d’Equipe for WEG.

 

4. My whole life is a ministry.

I’m always trying to impact people’s lives in a positive way; it’s a lifestyle. I love people. I meet someone for one minute and act like I’ve known them for years. I became an ordained minister in 2008 and teach Sunday School and Bible Studies.

 

The spirit of God has been a major influence and driven and channeled me. I’m ambitious, competitive and focused.

 

5. My wife Mary is not a horse person at all…

But when I told her what was coming up to qualify for WEG she was right on board with it, helping and learning as we go.

 

It’s a team sport; everyone has to be all in and know what their job is. Christo is also a huge influence, and has coached me the last two years as I rode with Dinkelmann Arabians and through the qualifying process.

 

The road to WEG qualification has been crazy and emotionally challenging. You and your horse can get pulled, you have to be so careful on the trail, and it’s not an easy process, but totally worth it.

 

Follow Marvin's progress at WEG on FEI TV, where action from two weeks of fantastic equestrian sport will be broadcast live between September 11-23...

 

Text by Stacey Stearns