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.