Paris isn’t front of mind for David McKinnon… or is it? “We will take it as it is comes,” he tells Roger Fitzhardinge with all the gravitas of a football coach. Dave, of course, is talking of Forlan, or ‘Alan’, the impressive chestnut gelding that Carol and Sandy Oatley purchased from Patrik Kittel and is now under his tutelage. Roger introduces us to this intriguing character as he takes us through Dave and Robbie McKinnon’s wonderful journey in establishing their premiere dressage stables.
Riding or breeding winning horses is what we aim for – doing both is the ultimate as Stuart Jenkins knows. Having ridden both her parents, the show jumping veteran was thrilled to helm his homebred mare Fairview Alicana to claim the Senior Title at the Australian Jumping Championships. And again, is Paris on the cards? “We’re having a lot of those ideas thrown at us as we speak,” he laughingly tells us. One game at a time…
Chris Bartle knows Olympics having worked for the British and German eventing teams, but he stayed grounded at his dressage masterclass in Sydney. Eyewitness Roger Fitzhardinge reports how refreshing it was to hear Chris reiterate the simplicity of riding as he conducted his classes through Novice to Grand Prix.
So much to take in and so much more… Adele brings us a wonderful read on how a long-distance love affair with dressage blossoms in the Northern Territory; veterinarian Dr Maxine Brain explains how easily young horses can suffer jaw injuries; and Kerry Mack offers valuable advice on being safe around handling horses where the risk of injury is 20 times greater than motorbike riding! We also check in with Glenhill Sporthorses, where breeding and competition go side by side.
Our horse movie critic Suzy Jarratt not only brings her insights into the making of rugged western The Harder They Fall, she reports on Sydney expat Bella Mowbray who packed bags and horse and to make her mark in California – lovely holiday reading.
And, hey, if you’re grumbling about your summer barn and training chores, sit back and read Katrina Lodge’s interview with the inspirational para dressage rider Suzin Wells, who reminds us all of the joy to be found with our horses.
The EQ Life Team