It was in 1972 that the Fields encouraged Carolyn to ride Mazeppa in the prestigious Garryowen class at Melbourne Royal. Mazeppa, himself a champion hack, and Carolyn a champion rider, was a pretty good start to a competitive edge! Needless to say, there was the costume and saddlery to be considered. Anne Field had already won the Garryowen and so her bridle and saddle were for Mazeppa. Carolyn was not prepared to spend a fortune on the costume but did get new boots and a new bowler, which she needed.
As for the breeches, it was the Harry Hall stretch breeches that were very “in” at the time and so Carolyn bought a new pair. Anne Field had them hand-stitched and the appropriate buttons for the bootstraps put in place. Her jacket was Pam Rose’s, and so her outfit was fairly neat and tidy despite no woollen traditional hand-picked breeches — and Carolyn was not punching a hole in her new bowler for a lanyard! Of course, Tony Haynes was there and presented Mazeppa immaculate to the nth degree.
It was not so long before the Royal that Carolyn had met John Lieutenant at a party in Sydney put on by a Swedish friend. He flew down to Melbourne to watch Carolyn and, despite not knowing a thing about what was going on, was the loyal supporter with a friend of Carolyn’s, Jeannie Paynter. John and Jeannie sat in the stand freezing to death watching and bolting to the bar for a whisky to keep warm, hoping not to miss Mazeppa, which they managed well.
Carolyn was legged up in the stables ready to go out in the class, when she felt that the zipper on the left side of her breeches had let go. In Carolyn’s words, “I was about to have a little tantrum, but after a few deep breaths and looking down from on top of Mazeppa at so many friends, I took a deep breath and thought ‘if I keep my elbow close to my side, no one will see’. I did just that and in those days you did not have to get off.”
Carolyn won this prestigious class. She remembers that the saddle was very high in the pommel and as she rode away from the judges she had to very cleverly pull herself back up to the front of the saddle as it was throwing her so far back. It was a prestigious win on a lovely horse that stays at the forefront of her memories.
Back to Tibor and Carolyn was still a working pupil, although John was now on the scene and they were becoming the best of friends. She believes that her parents were not so in favour of her move to Australia and would have preferred she had stayed in NZ, but Carolyn, in her strong, determined and attentive way, chose to take the chance.
Originally from Belgium, John was a very easy-going guy and a little older than Carolyn. She described him as a charming and well-mannered, easy to get along with gentleman. He was passionate and emotional and loved life. In 1973 they moved in together in Carlingford where Carolyn continued to commute to Tibor. It was at this time that more staff were put in place at Tibor and soon after Carolyn moved on…
Stay tuned for the next episode in an incredibly interesting equestrian life! EQ
Catch up on Part One of Carolyn’s story in our August issue here.
Catch up on Part Two of Carolyn’s story in our September issue here.