THE ROAD BACK TO HORSES… & ART
Terri has loved horses all her life. Growing up in a non-horsey family in California, she still managed to receive her first pony as a child. “I was very much the kid that was without a saddle the first year!” she laughs. However, that didn’t slow her down and it wasn’t long before she was at Pony Club.
“Portola Valley in California was a very horsey town. We had fantastic coaches and a very competitive cohort of riders,” Terri recalls. She competed in all the Olympic disciplines into her teenage years, and then her career in the saddle was traded for study. “I was told, ‘right, now you go off to university’.”
Terri got a Masters degree, a career, and eventually moved to Australia where she obtained a role that involved teaching at university for 20 years, and had children. “And so I had a 25-year break from horses,” she explains. “My daughter drew me back to riding when she was eight years old. She was one of those kids who had the mutant horse gene,” Terri admits at the time she didn’t know much about horse ownership in Australia, or about the country’s rich equestrian history — but she was about to find out.
“I bought (my daughter) a shaggy little pony, and she was dragging that around jumping courses before I knew it!” Next came “a gun little horse” that would see Terri attending endless interschool events where her daughter competed across five disciplines. “She dragged me up and down the east coast of Australia competing, and ended up with a scholarship due to her riding.”
For Terri, the opportunity to get back in the saddle herself eventually won over. “I got my own horse, an Anamour gelding. I was really hoping he would become an eventer… it took a little while because he really wanted to be a dressage horse. In the end, we had a number of wins at the ‘old’ pre-novice and one star. We saw a lot of Australia competing, however, I did lose him in his prime, which was really sad.”
The next horse that stepped into Terri’s life was Estrellas Remarkablez, a warmblood mare by Renegade Z. “She’s been a really big project,” explains Terri. Not long after purchasing her, an injury sidelined Terri for some time. “While I was out, I took up some art, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and never ever had space in my life with all the other things I did. And one thing led to another and the artist came on very quickly.”
While Terri was sidelined, opportunity saw Estrellas Remarkablez taking the leap from eventing project to art muse. “I had a friend that I would run with, and she’d hear about the horses constantly… especially this new one. She said, ‘why don’t you paint the horse in life size? And I said, ‘well, okay!’”