A little bit about me...............
and the evolution of Kadon Park Performance Horses
I am just a regular person, a mum, a small business owner and am passionate about horses. I ride regularly (as often as I can) still have lessons from coaches of all disciplines and compete in several disciplines when I can. I don't own an arena or fancy stables. I ride at lower levels, I aim for higher levels, I hope to get there one day, but the sense of fulfillment I get is second to none.
If I am on a horse, I am happy.
I started riding horses when I was 8.......... my parents recognised team sports were not really my thing. Weekly riding lessons on the instructors horse soon progressed to owning my first pony. Most of my early years were spent trail riding in groups or with family friends in the Victorian High Country. In my spare time I rode my pony around the back roads in the countryside. Eventually I got a bigger horse, a 15hh palomino that took me to pony club. Within a few months I went to my first grade 5 pony club ODE, not even really knowing what that was. (Yep I had no idea what a cross country course was). We won the dressage section - my first test ever, clear showjumping and clear cross country, to win overall on my dressage score!!! I was immediately hooked on eventing and my parents took me all around Victoria as I progressed up the grades. My next horse was an OTT 6 year old chestnut mare which my parents purchased one sided and lame. That mare was bold and kind, and with fortnightly lessons I progressed that mare to level 1 dressage & level 2 eventing, ( I think level 2 was about the limit of my bravery!!) as well as competing at state level mounted games twice and even had a go at Mountain Cattlemans mountain racing 2 years in a row. I loved the sense of achievement I felt with that mare, every comp was better than the last and every ride we were always working on something and improving something. However most of my friends would say I was probably a better dressage rider than an eventer or games rider.
Then I went to Uni - 10 years out of the saddle.......
My next horse, a warmblood "Kenlock Super Smooth" aka Cooper, I fell in love at first sight and purchased as a yearling. I again wanted to make something of my own, build a partnership, a friendship and not purchase a ready made item. He went from a breaker doing rides around the block and trail rides to sucessfully competing at level 2 HRCAV dressage, level 3 HRCAV Combined training and level 4 ODE (we were always too slow!!! so many time faults!!) we even had a 3 day clinic in working equitation, which we both loved - a little too much!!! His first competition, level 4 HRCAV ODE we were eliminated in dressage, but rode HC a lovely clear SJ and clear XC with time faults. Little did I know I was 13 weeks pregnant and our first comp was our last for a little bit. Of course with work commitments, family commitments and injury his training was far slower (he had 2 years off with the birth of my son Alex!!) but still as rewarding. Cooper had the most amazing movement, he just floated, so many people commented how amazing he looked. And I could feel it! he had so much power.
It was here that I became more interested in bloodlines, it was Cooper that inspired the research and following equine family trees and researching the talents of certain warmblood lines. Cooper was out of a Richmeed Medallion broodmare and I felt his big floaty trot was from her. I started purchasing a few well bred broodmares, the aim to breed a foal that I could succesfully compete in dressage and eventing in the future. But I was always on the hunt for a Richmeed Medallion mare - call it future proofing!!!
My son Alex started riding when he was 2 - on lead - on his shetland "Danny". By 5 he was comfortable in the bush and in open spaces off lead, and attended his first 2 gymkhanas with huge success. By 6 he was cantering by my side in National parks and doing river crossings. At 7 he joined pony club, and I feel the next few years will be very busy on weekends!
I recognised after an injury and a lengthy time out of the saddle that I could not have a dressage horse at this point in my life, I could not keep the work up and I needed to prioritise Alex. I sold "Kenlock Super Smooth" to an amazing home and purchased my next horse "Kevin From Colorado". I needed to shift discipline to something both Alex and I could enjoy, which at the time, I thought was a safe trail riding mount. Kevin was a very green wobbly breaker but he made me smile. Kevin attended a western clinic after 30 rides, a showjumping clinic after 60 rides and a 3 day working equitation clinic after 100 rides. Talk about a sense of achievement, despite most of his rides being in the bush, he is capable of elementary dressage movements, rein back to canter, a small jumps course, technical obstacles and cutting out a steer!!! Kevin will be my working equitation mount and trail riding horse for the next few years, and then will be the perfect safe horse for my son to move onto when he gets to tall for Danny. And what better of a sport for a young boy to get involved in!
Probably Kevin's spots is what lead me to the under-utilised but multitalented Knabstrupper bred.........
and noticing more Andalusians in GP dressage and the rise in popularity of working equitation in Australia...........
So the shift from needing my next eventer, to my next dressage star, to my next versatile working equitation mount has lead to the shift in focus in my stud. However, I always use stallions that are proven in their field and choose temperament over flash looks or movement. I only breed foals that I would be delighted to own if for what ever reason they do not sell or return to stud. I love each and every one of my babies.
And then along came HERO... well actually Hero never left the stud! Hero was a very special foal that I bred for two people whos circumstances changed when he was a yearling. As promised, I purchased him back, as in my eyes he was the perfect combination of temperament and movement. Hero is sired by the Andalusian Hatero De PB out of my Olympic Ferro mare Olly. From the day he was born he was the most sensible and people loving horse you could imagine. I am delighted that he is home-bred and that he is mine! A classic wobbly breaker at the moment but has spend some time in the high country as well as the arena. Watch this space as I can ensure some amazing things will eventuate with this boy!