ISSUE 67
JUNE 2021
TAYLA & MAUS
MAKE MAGIC

REGARDEZ MOI,
LOOK AT ME NOW!
SAM LYLE & BF VALOUR
5 STARS IN THEIR EYES

PLUS: BRETT DAVEY STEPS INTO NEW ROLE, ROGER FITZHARDINGE’S GRAND PRIX TIPS, KERRY MACK’S LUNGE LESSONS, KAREN PET’S PROPERTY, GERMAN PONIES, WINTER HEALTH, BARNYARD CHEMISTRY, WILLINGA’S EQUINE HOSPITAL, OTT VETERAN’S NEW START, PLUS A ‘CONCRETE COWBOY’ & A SINGING DENTIST!

AUSTRALIA`S BEST EQUINE MAGAZINE
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ISSUE 67

CONTENTS

JUNE 2021
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A few Words

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

ROBERT MCKAY

Ryan's Rave

NEW ERA FOR AUSTRALIAN DRESSAGE

BY HEATH RYAN

Dressage

TAYLA & MAUS MAKE MAGIC IN GERMANY

BY ADELE SEVERS

Eventing

ALFIE & SAM LYLE, GOING THE EXTRA MILE

BY AMANDA YOUNG

Off the Track

GENERAL READY TO CONQUER AGAIN

BY AMANDA YOUNG

Property

PET PROJECT: KAREN’S ARCADIAN SHOWPIECE

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Dressage

REGARDEZ MOI,
LOOK AT ME NOW!

BY ADELE SEVERS

Health

HEADS UP
FOR THE BIG CHILL

BY DR MAXINE BRAIN

Breeding

THE VERSATILITY OF THE GERMAN RIDING PONY

BY STEPH HALLIGAN

Health

REPRODUCTIVE EXPERT HEADS WILLINGA’S EQUINE HOSPITAL

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Training

TAKING THE PLUNGE WITH THE LUNGE

BY DR KERRY MACK

Lifestyle

‘CONCRETE COWBOY’ SETS RECORD STRAIGHT

BY SUZY JARRATT

Dressage

10 TIPS FOR RIDING THE GRAND PRIX TEST

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE / EQ LIFE

Health

BARNYARD CHEMISTRY: pH & THE EQUINE DIGESTIVE TRACT

BY KENTUCKY EQUINE RESEARCH

Lifestyle

LEITH RYAN, THE SINGING HORSE DENTIST

BY SUZY JARRATT
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Showing stalwart, adrenaline junkie, ski race boat driver and now dressage rider, Karen Pet has applied her perfectionist skills and eye for detail to establishing a high-end agistment and training centre at Arcadia.

If there is one seriously passionate and driven horsewoman who has stayed modest and true to her love of beautiful horses and all that goes with them, it is Karen Pet. Her world prior to, and since leaving school, has always revolved around horses and also wonderful loyal friends who are always closely associated with her life.

Karen was born in Sydney where her father was a well-respected builder, but neither of her parents had any real interest in horses and had not ridden. As a girl growing up, and like a lot of girls, she was pony-obsessed. It was by chance that a debt in her father’s building trade resulted in part-payment to her father being given a pony. So… the story began!

At this time, Karen’s family were living in Hornsby out of Sydney on a residential block. The pony was agisted at a friend’s place in Kenthurst and so the riding originated… or was it that the falling-off and the concussions started? Karen did not need to toughen up in the world of NRL, she had pony riding!

As luck would have it, not too far away was the renowned instructor and mentor for Karen in Marj Taylor and her daughter Amanda. It was out of the frying pan and into the fire for Karen. Marj took Karen under her wing and what a start she was lucky to have! Much to Marj’s dismay, Karen chose to buy a purebred Arabian gelding from Greg, Julie and Jane Farrell at Mulawa Arabians, who to this day some 40 years later remain great friends and mentors. At this time Karen would have been all of 12 and took her treasured Arabian to Pony Club and learnt so much about riding and all that went along with the many sports within Pony Club.

Karen attributes her early enjoyment and understanding to Marj. It was tagging along with Marj and Amanda to shows that Karen met the Walker family of Marena Stud. The inevitable happened and, lo and behold, a show pony eventuated. Then another and another, and it was obviously time for Karen’s parents to follow suit and move to a property in Arcadia north of Sydney where stables and facilities were built to accommodate their daughter’s passion.

Karen continued to ride and become seriously interested in showing hacks. By the age of 16 and having left school, she was starting to run an agistment centre from her parents’ property, riding not only her own horses but also some clients’ horses. The mare Marena Penny Lane was one of her first success stories, winning the Crane Trophy at Sydney Royal and her lady riding class as well. Then there was Marena Viva, and the list of Marena horses went on and on.

Her love of her Arabian from Mulawa brought her, for some reason, to purchase the purebred Arabian stallion Applause. She trained this stallion but she was not able to compete him until she was 18 years old, so Lindy Walker rode him until Karen turned 18. Once Karen started to show him there was no looking back. He was two times Australian Champion Arabian under saddle, four times East Coast Champion, and twice won his ridden stallion class at Sydney Royal, not to mention the myriad accolades and the many other shows they attended.

Karen’s attention to detail in life and with her horses put her amongst the best there was in the showing world of hacks, and in the Arabian ridden classes she was second to none. Along the way she became friends and had tuition from the likes of Maureen and Lindy Walker, Vince Corvi, Matthew Dowsley, Carolyn Lieutenant and Caroline Hooper.

When she met Malcolm, her partner now of 25 years, it was all about water skiing and speedboat racing. Malcolm is a marine mechanic and builds motors for speedboat racing and high-end ski boats. As with everything Karen turns her hand to, she is fastidious and modest yet seriously competitive. She became an expert powerboat driver, once winning NSW ski race boat of the year. Her riding career never stopped but took a back seat there for a while.

Being a bit of an adrenaline junkie – not that Karen will admit it – she loved skiing and racing as well as snow skiing. With all the wear and tear on her body, it was her back that created grief; not to be beaten here, she had a spinal fusion that has been highly successful and has allowed her return to competitive riding.

Karen has always been one with a keen eye for perfection and discipline. With a family background in design and with her father being a high-end builder, it’s no wonder she has set about developing the most beautiful boutique property.

She and Malcolm purchased five acres at Glenorie, but needed more room so they bought 25 acres in a great location in nearby Arcadia, 40 minutes west of Sydney’s CBD. It was a property with the sales pitch of “renovator’s delight!” A dump, as Karen recalls, but one with fabulous potential in a great location.

During this time Karen still continued to show hacks and Arabians. Gleniph Jasperanza was an Anglo-Arabian who won Supreme Champion and the East Coast Cup, going on to be sold to Dale Plumb. Karen also showed horses for Mulawa with great success for many years, and her association with the Farrells is longstanding and mutually respectful. Karen has always produced horses from youngsters to wonderfully presented, conditioned and trained champions and has always been logical in that they need to be sold and moved on to produce more and more. That’s what she has done, along with a greatly successful agistment centre with top clients who are like family. Her degree of care is outstanding with no corners cut and where everything is so well organised with expert care and knowledge gained over years of experience.

With the property, one of the first things was to set up a workshop for Malcolm to work on marine motors as he is the NSW high-performance Mercury dealer. Karen, being one for elegance and structural importance, chose the Hamptons Style, and with her landscaping skills and love of hedges, it all seemed to fall in to place.

The stunning seven-horse barn is beautiful, to say the least, with a Soiltex 60x20m outdoor, all-weather arena and an ebb and flow roundyard. There are 10 outdoor paddocks with four having their own shelters and all with wonderful post-and-rail fencing. Karen and Malcolm love the garden-scaping and the clean lines of their property and it certainly is a wonderful feel when opening the gates to the luxury of this heartfelt home.

The property is a high-end agistment centre that caters for trainers to keep clients’ horses and to train from the property each day. All the horses are competition horses and at the moment, John Thompson trains part-time using the facility. What a great asset to his business when it is a sport that lends itself in structure and beauty to be surrounded by such delightful ambience.

What is interesting now is that, as with so many of her friends, Karen has turned her riding skills to the Olympic sport of dressage. Funnily enough now with two Mulawa-bred horses both by Aber Hallo 29, in Aber Pascal who is an 18-hand gelding and now with the well-established and credentialed Aber Fontaine, who won the five-year-old class at the Sydney CD-Lite this year. The wheel turns and Mulawa seems to be a great constant in Karen’s career. Karen has now taken over the ride under the guidance of John Thompson.

On asking Karen why she has taken a shine to dressage, she replies: “All my friends, or people I have been inspired by from my showing days, have all taken to dressage from their showing days and I guessed that there must be something in it. The likes of Caroline Hooper, Matthew Dowsley, Gina Montgomery, Maree Tomkinson and Caroline Wagner to mention a few. They all love the sport and are going so well, and I believe that the hacking background really gives an added extra.

“I have always trained along dressage lines and have had many lessons with dressage people, yet it was only last weekend that I rode my first ever dressage test, having now been riding for over 35 years! I am on a high now and there’s going to be no stopping me. I rode my young horse Pascal in two tests. There is a lot more mental thought in riding a dressage test and I like the challenge. John Thompson is my trainer and has started this journey for me and made it all possible.

“There is no way that I am giving up showing horses as I love beautiful horses, presentation and that elegance. My two dressage horses will be presented to the best of my experience, and so it can always be ‘fake it ’til you make it’ I guess!”

Be assured there’s no faking it with Karen. She is the consummate rider and competitor, and with a wealth of experience and knowledge the transition to dressage will be seamless. Watch this space for yet another hacking rider being transformed into a national champion in the dressage arena. EQ

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