PLUS: A BUSY HEATH RYAN, KERRY MACK ON WHIPS, RIDING THE PSG TEST WITH ROGER, CAROLYN LIEUTENANT, NEWMARKET AT DAYBREAK, MY FIRST PONY, NAVICULAR SYNDROME, HORSE HYDRATION, OTT TO HRCAV, KATINA’S CHOCOLATE SILK PIE… & MEDICINAL CANNABIS FOR HORSES!
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FROM THE CHAIRMAN
FROM THE CHAIRMAN ROBERT MCKAY
A BUSY, BUSY, BUSY CHRISTMAS AT RYANS
RYAN’S RAVE BY HEATH RYAN
KATINA SMITH, WARMBLOOD DYNAMO
BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE
MY FIRST PONY (Part 2)
BY ADELE SEVERS
NEWMARKET – ALWAYS ON TRACK FOR A GREAT TIME
BY ELLI BIRCH
SUPREME SEASON BECKONS FOR GREG MICKAN
BY AMANDA YOUNG
WHIPPING UP CONTROVERSY
BY DR KERRY MACK
10 TIPS FOR RIDING THE PRIX ST GEORGES TEST
BY EQ LIFE & ROGER FITZHARDINGE
MEDICINAL CANNABIS FOR HORSES
BY DR MAXINE BRAIN
THE SECRETS BEHIND ‘AUSTRALIA’
BY SUZY JARRATT
NAVICULAR SYNDROME EXPLAINED
BY DR JOHN KOHNKE BVSc RDA & GEORGIA GRECH BSc (ZOOLOGY)
OFF THE TRACK & ON THE RIGHT PATH
BY ADELE SEVERS
THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION
BY EQ LIFE
COURAGEOUS KIWI BLAZES HER OWN TRAIL (Part 5)
BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE
My Favourite Dish
CHOCOLATE SILK PIE
WITH KATINA SMITH
Warwick McLean and Eureka.
We all remember our first ponies. From the angelic to the unruly, we take a look at some of the ponies that helped shape our top riders and equestrian personalities. This month we hear from Warwick McLean, Sonja Johnson, Hayley Beresford and Carolyn Lieutenant.
“I was about two-and-a-half to three years old… and she was freshly backed!”
Warwick McLean, two-and-a-half years of age, aboard the freshly backed Eureka.
WARWICK MCLEAN & EUREKA
Now based in Germany, Aussie dressage rider Warwick McLean has made a name for himself not only as a successful competitor but also as an equine behaviour expert. Along with wife Carolina, Warwick runs McLean Reitsport where they train dressage horses from youngsters through to Grand Prix. Most recently, Warwick was named to represent Australia at the 2020 FEI/WBFSH Young Horse Dressage Championships in the six-year-old class with F-Type OLD; unfortunately this event has just been cancelled to due to Covid-19 restrictions in Europe.
Warwick grew up on a farm in Woodmount, Tasmania, as part of a very horsey family; his father Andrew is a renowned equine behavioural science expert, while brother Alistair McLean runs the acclaimed Australian Equine Behaviour Centre. As such, Warwick’s first pony came at a young age.
“Eureka was a pony that I chose. Mum and Dad got her for free because they broke in a lot of ponies for a Welsh Mountain stud in Tasmania. Dad backed her and in the photo I was about two-and-a-half to three years old… and she was freshly backed!”
Sonja Johnson and Cactus.
Sonja aboard Moonbeam with her grandmothers (Granny Hill in blue).
SONJA JOHNSON WITH CACTUS & MOONBEAM
International eventer and Olympic silver medallist, Sonja Johnson is one of Australia’s best. A dedicated competitor, incredibly Sonja is also a farmer, passionate about the production of quality Merino wool at the farm she manages in WA’s Stirling Ranges, whilst also riding at the top level.
“My earliest riding memory is from the Albany show,” explains Sonja. “I was about three, dressed as a ballerina in the fancy dress class on a pony named Cactus. Someone else was dressed as a gorilla. It scared the living daylights out of me and I left the ring in floods of tears!
“The first horse I actually owned was about 12.2hh, a bay mare called Riverside Moonbeam,” says Sonja. “Moonbeam was six years old when my Granny Hill gave her to me for my sixth birthday. She was the perfect pony for a six-year-old girl — if the goal was to put me off riding for life!” As Sonja explains, “Moonbeam bit at one end, kicked at the other, and bucked in the middle!”
“There were some redeeming features: she hacked, jumped and did novelties successfully at agricultural shows. She was also wicked at chasing cattle. I clearly remember one time we were shifting bulls and one would not move for my Mum and the stockwhip. Moonbeam was running loose and I clearly remember that she suddenly charged the bull, mouth open, ears back. The bull ran. Moonbeam worked it back to the cattle yards rather like a sheep dog! For all I am rude about her, she taught me a lot. She is one of those ponies that without her I would not know what I know now!”
Hayley Beresford and Rebana W, who is now expecting a foal in 2021.
Hayley Beresford and first pony Muffin.
“I must have been about three years old and was so cranky!”
HAYLEY BERESFORD & MUFFIN
Australian dressage star Hayley Beresford has been based in Germany since 2006, where she was initially based with Isabell Werth. Representing Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing with Relampago, she today operates her own business alongside Jule Fehl at Eiserner Hof in Germany. Her most recent Grand Prix horse, Rebana W, is currently having a rest as she is expecting a foal in 2021. Hayley explains that this year she has been very focused on her business, however there are some nice horses coming up the ranks at the moment in her stable — and we’ll hopefully hear more about that in future issues of Equestrian Life.
Reflecting on where it all began, Hayley recalls that her first pony was a shaggy, spotty Shetland by the name of Muffin, who she began riding when she was around three years old. One of Hayley’s earliest memories with Muffin was being stuck in the sheep yards with no one helping her get out. “I had to work out the steering and the gas if I wanted to navigate out of the yards and into the big paddock. I must have been about three years old and was so cranky!” recalls Hayley.
Carolyn and Minnie in the early days.
Carolyn and Minnie jumping.
Minnie became a successful competition pony.
Carolyn had Minnie for many years.
CAROLYN LIEUTENANT & MINNIE
Equestrian legend Carolyn Lieutenant, aged 81, has ridden some wonderful horses in her lifetime and remains involved with them to this day. The story of Carolyn’s first pony takes us back to life growing up on the North Island of New Zealand on her parents’ 1000-acre property.
The neighbouring children all had ponies, so Carolyn’s parents bought her one by the name of Minnie. Carolyn, with a wry chuckle, proclaims: “It was a three-year-old chestnut mare… just broken in!” Carolyn took Minnie to the local Pony Club, which was held in the flat hay paddock of her parents’ farm. “My sharp and hot pony was a challenge, but she progressed well and I really enjoyed the journey and the tribulations along the way,” she recalls.
Carolyn went on to compete Minnie with success, finishing second at the National Pony Club Championships at Rotarua one year. A year or so later, she went by plane to Blenheim in the north of the South Island to compete, and flew Minnie across the Cook Strait. “I remember so clearly when unloading on the way home, Minnie, being impatient, tried to jump clean out of the truck after being unloaded off the plane… she was always a little quirky!” EQ