It’s been a big week at Byalee Stables!
Easter Monday saw me forced to jump off my stallion, Salao, as I was riding in the dressage arena to give an ABC radio interview on the complications of Equestrian Australia forming a partnership with pharmaceutical company Zoetis, manufacturer of the Hendra vaccine that has caused so much heartache and controversy. It was awesome, if a huge responsibility, to be the spokesperson for 60,000 equestrian riders in Australia! And then it got harder, as the next day I was skyped live on Mornings with Joe O’Brien on ABC-TV! It’s amazing – you only find out who those closet ABC viewers are when you appear on that channel! I was asked for my autograph at trivia that night! So funny! Not quite sure how I became an industry expert but when I look back, 30 years of experience has somehow been collected … time flies. Make the most of every ride!
Scary! Live TV with Joe O’Brien
More exciting for my work helping riders in their quest for confidence was the news the following day that I’ve been chosen as an educator at Equitana 2018, the biggest equestrian expo in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring only the crème de la crème of the horse world. Wow, I can still remember being awestruck at the first Equitana in Australia back in 1999, then competing under the spotlight in 2005, and now, almost 20 years later, I will be advertised as an attraction!
I couldn’t have been more proud on Thursday when Equestrian Australia announced that due to the reaction from the membership and the feedback from social media, they were terminating their agreement with Zoetis indefinitely – power to the people! It made me glad that I had made the effort and coped with the pressure of live TV.
The week continued with a request from the University of Newcastle for Byalee Stables to become part of its renowned Children’s University, and I can’t wait to see how our involvement adds to our range of work.
Best of all though, was undoubtedly our monthly Star Club Day today, where we taught 18 intellectually disabled special needs students, ranging from those with Downs Syndrome to cerebral palsy, non-verbal kids on the autism spectrum, and all kinds of conditions in between – why was it a highlight? It was because for the first time in his life, a 13yo said a word. Imagine watching the tears of joy run down his parents’ faces when he said ‘Whoa’ to the horse he was riding – having already mastered following instructions from his coach in the preceding weeks.
Ann-Maree and Sui
It was the icing on the cake of a wonderful week. Somtimes, despite the 16-hour days and the many kilometres ridden around the dressage arena, life really is an exciting ride … add a comment and let us know why your life was an exciting equestrian ride this week!