Q: Do you have a current favourite show jumping horse?
Hmm. It’s a toss up between Dino (Dynamite Bay) and Lucy (Licaviv), but I love them all.
Q: What time does your day start, and end?
With horses there’re never set times. Feed up is at 7.30 in the morning here. During the summer we often have a big break on the hot days in the middle of the day to avoid the heat, then finish later. In winter, we finish when it’s dark.
Q: What do you think are things that can give you an edge as a competitive rider – rider fitness for example?
These days it is so highly competitive that attention to detail is even more important. Rider fitness is important, but not as much as horse fitness, soundness, correct shoeing and studding at comps. Correct preparation at home and in warm up so your horse goes into the ring in his best physical and mental frame.
Q: When you’re not riding, how do you relax?
I love mowing my jumping paddock and generally looking after my beautiful Mount White property.
Q: Who was your very first horse?
Gazelle was a hand-me-down jumping pony from my sister Joanne, who was just a superstar. Never knew how to stop and took me around Royal Show Juniors when I didn’t have a clue.
Q: Who do you most look up to in the equestrian world?
It’s a toss up between Bill Roycroft and George Morris. They were both superlative mentors. As I tell students, I don’t have an original thought in my head; all my knowledge has come principally from these two fabulous men, in amongst the other amazing horsemen and women I have been privileged to work with.
Q: If you could have, or breed, your dream horse what would it be?
I always loved Ratina Z. Hot like I love them, super careful and scopey.
Q: What is your favourite competition memory?
Winning the Grand Prix at Rome CSIO in 1987. In the field of 50 odd horses there was the 1984 Olympic Gold Medallist, Joe Fargis on Touch of Class, the 1988 Olympic Gold Medallist Pierre Durand and Jappeloup, and the then current World Cup champion Katherine Burdsall on The Natural. And it was won by a little Australian failed racehorse called Apache.
Q: What are your short-term goals?
Doing a few more World Cups this year on Dino.
Q: What are your long-term goals?
Bit hard to determine at my age!
Q: Do you have any foods you eat, or don’t eat, before a competition?
No, but I have to eat!
Q: If you were to give one piece of advice to a young show jumper what would it be?
Work hard and listen and learn from the best people who have proven track records.
Q: If you had to switch disciplines, what would you choose?
I had my turn at eventing. I was in the 1984 Olympic Team and I loved it, but we couldn’t afford to keep doing it in those days.
Q: If you had to stop riding completely, what would you do?
Go completely bat shit crazy.
Q: What is the wisest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When in doubt, kick!
Q: What are you most looking forward to during the rest of the year?
Doing some World Cups with Dino.
Q: What are the things you like most about yourself?
Q: What are the things you like least about yourself?
Stubborn, tend to open my mouth when I should shut up.
Q: If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
Maybe I should have stayed in Europe longer to compete and learn. But I love Australia and Mt White too much to be away for too long.
Q: What is your go-to motto, to keep you going?
Don’t let the turkeys get you down.