British showjumper Anna Power is a star of the European showjumping circuit. Since her teens, she has competed internationally, building up an impressive record of first place and leader board rankings. 2010 saw her coming of age, winning the coveted Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Royal International Horse Show and being part of the team that took the Nations Cup victory in Linz for Great Britain.

She was diagnosed with Addison's disease in April 2011. Since diagnosis she continues to compete internationally and in November 2022 was part of the British showjumping team for the Nation's Cup in Vilamoura, Portugal.

We caught up with her to find out how she competes at the top level with Addison's disease. From speaking with Anna we see how her positive outlook on life has helped her manage her everyday life. She shares insight into her diagnosis which is unfortunately an all-too-common story within the adrenal insufficiency community.

What were you experiencing before your diagnosis? 

"I felt incredibly run down for a week or two before I had a crisis, like I had a bad flu which robbed me of all energy, then the symptoms of a sickness bug kicked in on top of that until I felt like my body was completely shutting down on me. I ended up being taken to A&E and couldn’t get up off the floor in the waiting area. Even though there was a queue the other patients waiting around me were calling for the staff to see “the girl collapsed on the floor”. I ended up in intensive care for several days." 

How do you manage your job and life whilst living with a serious condition? 

"I’ve always been confident in my daily work life when it comes to Addison’s, I split into three dosages a day: when I wake up, midday and 5pm. My work has me outdoors all day and exercising and I’m a believer in energy breeds energy as in the more activity I do, the more energy I tend to have to do it (if I have a lazy day then I generally feel more tired or wiped out). I’m sensitive to how my body feels and adapt accordingly throughout my day. I don’t do less work but anything in addition, such as a gym or a swim, then I may do slightly fewer lengths or a less intense training session." 

"If I’m competing overseas or driving the horses then I sometimes experience a bit of a hangover affect where the disrupted sleep patterns and stress of driving a 26 tonne lorry filled with horses around Europe can leave me feeling exhausted for a day. I tend to batten down the hatches and get some good rest then I’m back up to speed."

What does an average day in your life look like? 

"Up around 7.30 am, I’ll take my morning Hydro/Fludro with a glass of water then I’m straight into mucking out the horses. I’ll come back in for breakfast then straight back out to ride the horses. If I’m heading to a domestic show then I’ll load the lorry with kit and horses and head off to compete for the day. I may also be coordinating vets, physios, health papers, travel arrangements, show applications etc. 

I generally finish the day with a swim then back home to cook and maybe watch a good TV show or film." 

Although horses fill most of her time, within her free time she enjoys cooking and "finding great little hidden gem restaurants". When travelling for competitions she enjoys exploring the different destinations whenever she can.


With Anna showjumping internationally she is often having to travel to countries all over the world for months at a time. During her early diagnosis she found it particularly stressful being abroad with Addison's, however, she tells us that she doesn't let her diagnosis hold her back. 

How do you prepare for potentially being under the care of the hospital systems in the countries you’re visiting or staying in? 

"I think you need to manage any anxiety around these types of situations. Early in my diagnosis I went on holiday to Egypt and felt under the weather and it tended to compound my stress and anxiety which made me feel worse to which I worried more and wasn’t coping particularly well, my fear of having a crisis and no access to medical care compounded the issue. We spoke to reception and the resort had a doctor on site, I was freaking out a little bit. However we went to see the doctor who is entirely aware of Addison’s disease. He was very calm and managed me very well, turned out I had a fever and he gave me a jab of Ibuprofen and I was absolutely fine."

"My point is I have to travel a lot for my work/sport, I can spend 5/6 months a year away from home/ from Italy, Poland, Portugal, Austria, wherever I need to be. I’ve learned that every country has people with the same illnesses and ailments and they understand and treat as effectively as we get at home."

"I really hope it never deters people from travelling. For me I had to quickly learn to focus on the reasons why I should travel rather than the reasons my brain may tell me I shouldn’t." 

Anna tells us if she finds herself competing late at night or if it’s a really big competition then she will take an extra dose of hydrocortisone to help cope with the additional stress.

What would your advice be to the newly diagnosed

"Don’t worry and don’t stress. I took the advice from my specialist, she told me what to take and when to take it and that’s what I did. I chose not to look too deeply into Addison’s and not to look at other people’s take on it. What I did do is look up all the high achievers who had it (there are Olympians and ultra-endurance athletes out there). I’ve represented Great Britain on several occasions whilst having Addison’s, I don’t feel limited by it." 

What is your greatest wish for the Addison’s community? 

"That we get easy access to better, ready-made injections. That some investment pours into research and improves knowledge of the disease and prevention/treatments."

"For the here and now, I hope we all keep our heads up and our chests puffed out and keep moving forward." 

Addison's Admin

How do you carry your injection kit? #ShareYourKit

"I thankfully haven’t ever needed it but it’s kept in the horse lorry which is 50 metres away from the house and always at competitions with me. If I ever have a fall or get sick etc it’s always to hand. On the odd occasion where I’ve felt ill, we’ve had it closer to hand and the people I’m with know how to administer it if ever needed."

In addition, Anna shares a useful tip to help explain to others how to administer emergency injections: "Use the ADSHG videos on YouTube about to mix the solution and administer the injection which can be really useful when explaining to a new person who may be travelling to shows with me."

How do you remember to take your tablets? 

"It’s part of my routine, I suppose my days are very routine-based as horses require that, it fits in. My worst habit is not always carrying spares with me, my husband always has spares in his wallet, pockets, car everywhere which has come in useful on the odd occasion." 

Thank you Anna for taking time out of your busy schedule to openly share your personal experience with Addison’s. Anna is clearly passionate about her showjumping, competing at top level internationally whilst balancing her Addison's diagnoisis.

"I think it’s been a great lesson in things aren’t as bad as you think! We all can be strong, resilient people and I added Addisons into my life and I got on with it.

Anna Power is best known as a British showjumping star within the European circuit. She won the coveted Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Royal International Horse Show 2010 and was part of the team that took the Nations Cup victory in Linz for Great Britain.

She continues to compete internationally and in November 2022 was part of the British showjumping team for the Nation's Cup in Vilamoura, Portugal.

To keep up-to-date follow Anna's instagram @AnnaPowerShowjumper, or visit her website.

This article was first published in the Summer 2022 edition of the ADSHG magazine.

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