THE STUD TAKES SHAPE
As for the property, it was eventually time to bite the bullet and build an indoor arena, and what a stunning arena it is. The surface by Equestrian Services Australia is sand, fibre and wax. It has stables across the short side as well as a tie-up area under cover and two outdoor washes, plus plenty of yards down the long side across a road for clients who come for lessons. There is a great lounge and sitting indoor area adjacent to the stables under the indoor roof that contains a small, self-contained unit with a bathroom and small kitchen.
The arena nestles into the hillside and the view out the open end is spectacular, looking down over the grassy green paddocks and forest beyond. The five-bedroom double house sits above the indoor almost out of sight with spectacular views over rolling hills. The property has forest on all sides so the serenity is extreme.
Still utilising her father’s 100 acres and then the 20 acres adjacent, the stud farm has plenty of room. There are eight stables, an outdoor 60x20m all-weather sand arena and a round yard. There are many large paddocks for mares and foals as well as yearlings, and then for the individual competition horses once broken in. In addition, cameras have been installed on the property so all of the horses can be seen in the stables and paddocks day and night! It is the most wonderful boutique warmblood stud.
The main focus on producing good competition horses sometimes comes with a down side in that the best are the ones that everyone wants. However, Katina is in a position now where she doesn’t have to sell her own competition horses… unless the ever-mindful accountant in her head overrules her heart. The other down side is that Katina can’t ride so many horses, so she needs to sell sometimes. That is the heart-breaking part, but to know they go to keen and inspired riders is always a plus and she still considers that part of her life’s ambition!
So what is it like producing horses from an idea and dream, to embryo to foal to yearling to breaking in, from that first competition to big wins and then FEI? Katina, with a wry grin and that very proud look in her eye, says: “Really exciting… truly exciting in fact, and it’s something I don’t think of really, but now you ask. To be up there and competitive with horses that are imported with great breeding, paces and schooling is amazing.
“To be able to hold my own on my Australian-bred horses, it’s a very good feeling. It’s fun and I love the fact that the horses I ride have been dreams in my mind from even before the mare and stallion were joined. It gives me great satisfaction to ride my dreams and hard work and then on top of that to be up with all those imported horses that are wonderfully produced.
“My horses make me feel proud. I am living a great life and it’s thanks to my family’s encouragement and acceptance that makes it this way. I wouldn’t trade it for the world — but don’t believe there are not heartaches along the way… that comes with the words ‘breeding horses’.
“I am so excited to continue the search to produce better progeny, better training and better riding. I will always learn… in fact, I do every day!” EQ