Stars of the past
I have been very privileged to have had great horses accompanying my way in 40 years of Eventing at the International Top Level, please let me just introduce you to a few of the “stars of the past”
Where it all began - my beloved chestnut Shetland pony!
A borrowed “catch ride” ☺ from my uncle who started my riding career. I am still convinced that everyone who is able to get a Shetland pony from point A to point B on the desired line and speed will become an Olympic Champion!
Being bred for racing and having been raised on Texas cattle station in Southern Queensland Davey had the most extraordinary journey before being bought for me by my parents as my “Pony Club Horse” when I was 15.
Due to a drought in Queensland he travelled 1800 kilometers south to Wangaratta, Victoria with a trainload of horses to be sold through the Sales Ring. Bought by Dairy Farmer “Dave” – his name patron - to move dairy cattle on his farm he was sold on to local showjumper Helen Hanna before being purchased by my parents and moving to our home “Cornalla” near Albury, New South Wales. Davey took me to two Olympic Games, two World Championships and a Burghley Title!
A truly outstanding horse who I owe everything to!
The great grey wonderhorse who is still in the memories of so many people in his style of seemingly effortless floating around the world´s most difficult cross country courses.
Darien Powers joined me at the age of 6 and we went on to win 2 Olympic Gold Medals together. He has been a very special horse to me and to many people following his career - he will always have a place in my heart!
Named after the “Swizze Inn” Pub in Bermuda our relationship began as a “catch ride” winning Bramham International Horse Trials and peaked in winning an Individual Silver Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olmypics. He was a true “pocket rocket”!
One of my legendary 4* winners and ultimate tryer! Master Monarch has never been out of the top 10 in a 4* competition during our career together which speaks for his never-ending will to perform. A truly outstanding character and very special horse.
The ultimate “Doer” – no matter what he was asked to do, he did it to 110% of his ability. I have many great memories of our time together which led us to being part of the Australian team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as well as winning Luhmühlen International Horse Trials.
Hero of the year 2006 in winning Badminton and finishing 2nd at Burghley. Moonfleet started his career as Junior horse of Tom Magnier of the legendary Coolmore Stud and after supporting Tom with his riding skills I was very fortunate to be given the ride when Tom´s life turned to his duties in his family´s racing business.
Another lucky “catch ride” who ended up partnering me in the 1996 Olympic Games after claiming the title at Luhmühlen International Horse Trials. Gershwin was the most beautiful horse with great movements combined with a fantastic attitude towards the sport.
Algebra and I have a very special history together. Algebra was produced from Grassroots to international 4* level by Australian top Eventer Natalie Blundell and I was lucky to support both of them from the ground for many years.
When Natalie returned to Australia after her 2014 World Equestrian campaign, Algebra remained in my yard – with the aim to take life a little ‘slower’ and continue his career with a Junior. When the ‘right match’ couldn´t be found and Algebra proved in his daily training that he is far away from his ‘retirement age’, we decided together with Algebra´s owners – John Glenn & Julia McLean – to give it another year at the top level.
This ‘one year’ ended up being 3 years until Algebra´s happy and healthy retirement to his owners´ property in Australia at the age of 19. In the meantime we were able to win two major CCI3* competitions and be part of various Australian Nations Cups Teams. Algebra, small in size but large at heart, will always have a special place in my heart.
If you now want to know which is the best horse I have ever ridden – I cannot give you an answer! They are and have been such different personalities, individual characters and each of them is and has been wonderful in their own way. The one thing I can say the more riding I do the more I appreciate my early horses - my knowledge 40 years ago was so limited and the horses were fantastic to support the “gaps”.