For years, Molly Greene has been behind the scenes, working hard taking care of and riding horses in the worlds of foxhunting, showing and steeplechasing. But on Oct. 17, it was Greene’s moment in the spotlight, as she claimed the blue in the ladies’ hunter under saddle class and picked up the Leading Lady Rider title from Hunt Night at the Pennsylvania National.
“Even the next day, after getting home at whatever ridiculous time in the morning, I wasn’t tired at all. I was still so thrilled,” Greene said. “I have not had that much fun in a long time. I’d never done [hunt night] before, and it was kind of a bucket list thing for me. I’ve always wanted to do it.”
Greene, 36 and from Sparks, Md., rode a borrowed horse—Mary Ter Louw’s staff and field horse Codependent—to the titles and represented Green Spring Valley Hounds (Md.). “I was going to do it with my dad’s little foxhunter, who is a nice horse but not really fancy. But a friend offered for me to use her horse, who has hunted a lot and done a lot of showing as well. I was super-excited to be able to ride a nice horse who has been in an environment like that before,” she said.
“It was super fun. I’ve done some showing in my past and I tend to get really nervous, but for some reason that night I didn’t get that nervous,” said Greene.
Molly Greene and Codependent (center) joined Alma Nicholson on Laugh Out Loud (left) and Elizabeth Scully on Girls Rule The World (right) on Green Spring Valley Hounds’ team on hunt night at the Pennsylvania National.
And the next morning, Greene was up with the sun as she always is, overseeing the boarding stable at Green Spring Valley’s kennels. “I have anywhere between 12 and 18 horses in the barn. I do a little bit of everything. I ride, groom, muck, fix fences, anything that needs to be done!” she said.
And while Greene doesn’t currently have a horse of her own to ride—she has two retired Thoroughbreds she used to show who now live as pasture puffs—she does get to hunt with Green Spring Valley. “I hunt about once a week on average; it’s as needed,” she said.
“If I have a green horse who needs to learn or a horse that needs to go out for fitness, I’ll take them out. Especially during cubbing, I hunt a lot more, getting horses fit and going. I love it. My boarders all have super-nice horses, so it’s really fun to be out with Green Spring galloping over big jumps. It’s not bad at all!”
Molly Greene out hunting with Green Spring Valley.
Greene grew up in the area and her parents were friends with Richie and Beverly Solter. So Greene grew up riding and foxhunting and showing. “I worked for Beverly when I was a kid and started going on the road with them when I was 16,” she said. “After college, I went to work for Elizabeth Solter when she was starting her business back on the Eastern Shore. Those were a great few years for me, working for her. My riding improved a million times over.”
Greene worked for Elizabeth for a few years and then took a job breaking racehorses for trainer Billy Santoro for five years. During that time, she also groomed for a few different people in the steeplechase world. Then, in 2009, she took over the barn at Green Spring Valley.
In her “spare time,” Greene says with a laugh, she helps Regina Welsh organize and run the Shetland steeplechases of U.S. Pony Racing. “That’s been my new side job/hobby. I’ve had so much fun with it,” Greene said.
“Regina and I get along really well. I’ve had great opportunities—we went to the Central Park Horse Show [N.Y.] and up to the Royal Winter Fair [Toronto] and to Washington [D.C.] and Devon [Pa.]. It’s just so much fun, getting these kids interested in racing. We’ve got to keep the sport going. Regina does such a great job promoting the sport to the rest of the world and getting the kids to be interested, safe and riding well.”
Molly Greene in her steeplechase groom role.
Next month will bring another transition for Greene as she’s headed back to the horse show world. She’s accepted a job working for Katie Cooper at Caves Farm in Owings Mills, Md.
“I cannot imagine life without horses. It’s just my world,” she said. “I got a degree and I just knew this is what I wanted to do. I’ve been working with horses since I was 6 years old. I just thrive off working hard. I’ve slowed down a bit—I don’t have quite as crazy a schedule as I used to have. But I just adore being around horses.
“I love figuring out what makes each one tick and how I can make them better. If something’s bothering them, I like finding a way to make them feel better and make their job easier for them,” Greene said. “Any time I get to gallop around the countryside or have a good jump school or even a good flat session, it puts a big smile on my face.”
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