Ian and Jenny Bryant are fifth and sixth generation Australians, all of whom have lived on the land around Cowra in Central West NSW. They run sheep and cattle and grow lucerne on the large property they have had for 27 years, never afraid of the hard work and long hours involved, even baling hay through the night! They were both involved with horses as they grew up; Ian working with horses in general cattle and farm work, and Jenny riding for fun at Pony Club and shows with a growing interest in all equestrian sports and competitions. After marrying Ian, she had several horses, including Mayfield Cadence, whom she competed on in dressage after daughter Megan and son were Matthew born.
Young Matthew followed Megan to Pony Club – but rode ponies like he was on a motorbike, which to him was a lot more fun. His interest waned as he became passionate about the farm and bikes and tractors, which suited Jenny and Megan as it allowed them to pursue their passions.
Megan started riding as a small child but at that time was very timid and introverted. By the same token, she was extremely talented with a steady temperament that was never fazed. As a scholar she was super intelligent and topped all her subjects and could have chosen any career path. She went through to year twelve with flying colours and did extension maths, having a very logical, mathematical and ordered brain. Always the quiet achiever, she decided to herself that she would pursue riding to the best of her ability – and she is doing exactly this.
She was never in anyone’s face about her dream, keeping to herself and soaking up every bit of help and information she could without imposing on anyone. She attended local clinics whenever she could but remained a family team player who was totally at home on the farm. Megan loved dressage and had the brain to work it out.
After taking her grey pony and then a galloway to Elementary, she took on her mother’s horse Cadence and produced him from Elementary to Inter I in 12 months, consistently scoring around 64%. Cadence was a smart, fabulous horse of riding pony and stock horse breeding, but not overly genetically born with expressive paces.
Next was Answers, an amazing brown thoroughbred she leased from good friend and mentor Karen Glendenning, a passionate dressage enthusiast from a harness racing background and secretary and a great promoter of the Young Dressage Association for 25 years. Answers was Medium at that time and before long Megan had him at Inter I scoring mid to high 60%. He wasn’t always so easy, but Megan connected well and he taught her all about dealing with tension and excitability.
Then there was another stock horse, Talinga Cavalier, who had a hot and willful mind and was very stubborn. Megan decided eventing was the go for Cav, and as anticipated, she had him winning at big events up to three-star. Megan’s ability to remain calm and logical was formidable, even on this hot and complicated character, and the dressage was not a real problem if Cav was on song, and they were usually in the lead after that phase.