Rachael Carr - Horse Manager Ballina
Meet the Surfing Cowboys
Marty Leacy - Head Trainer, Breaker and Polo Player
Marty Leacy - Head Trainer, Breaker and Polo Player
1. First Horse Memory/Encounter that made you fall in love with horses - Growing up around horses I guess you have so many moments that it is hard to remember all of them but the main one I do remember is when I was about 8 my brother and I used to go out in the middle of the night and jump on our ponies bareback with no bridles and fly around the paddock on them with the moon as our light, they had to jump gullies, rocks, logs and navigate their way around and those horses always delivered us back in one piece. That made me realize how much of a connection and trust you can create with horses.
2. Funny story about Lily (we all have at least one) - One day when having a business meeting outside under a tree we were all stuck into the meeting, computers going, taking notes and then next minute Lily is beside us with her head literally over our shoulders like she was reading and checking everything that was going on. I am sure that horse was part human because some of things she did, you just don’t see a normal horse doing those things.
3. Favourite Riding Song - The Gambler
4. Favourite Drink (alcoholic or not?) - Red wine
5. Most exciting young horse that you can't wait to see perform? Vogue, her 2 older sisters are amazing but Vogue is built like a world class athlete with a lot of scope, a super reactive but calm mind and is like she was born playing polo. I see her on the big stage that’s for sure.
6. Most rewarding part of your day/job?
From starting with breaking the babies in and then all the hard work and time to get them to the next level, this is such a long process it literally takes endless hours of riding and training.
Then all of a sudden you are out there playing them and you have 5 or 10 new horses in your string, to be able to experience playing them after all that hard work is amazing.
Also watching a horse you have been involved with in the process of training/breeding and raising out there playing the next level of polo by a pro is pretty special as well.
Makes me very proud of what we are all doing.
Rachael Carr - Horse Manager Sugar Beach
Born into a horse training family, I've never had the choice when it came to loving horses. Not that I'd change it for the world! My father was a cutting horse trainer in New Zealand, breeding Quarter Horses for as long as I can remember. We imported stallions from Australia, bred and trained our own 2 year olds for the futurity every year. I was riding before I could walk, and start competing at Western Performance horse shows in youth classes at an early age. In 2011 I represented NZ in a Transtasman competition against Australia, held in Tamworth. After finishing school, I moved to Australia to work full time for trainers Kyle and Kristy Mobberley, at Solitaire Performance Horses in Victoria. My claim to fame is winning the Youth Western Pleasure feature class at all 3 major shows the first year I arrived, on a beautiful Palomino mare also from NZ, named 'Kiwi'. (Pictured!) I loved working for Solitaire for the last 5 years, and after a change of direction and scenery,
moved to Ballina in January, where I was lucky enough to meet Marty, Stevey, Chris and Caroline at Branded BP. I've been working with the Team at Sugar Beach Ranch since June, and love learning the world of Polo!
1. First Horse Memory/Encounter that made you fall in love with horses - New Zealand has an unbelievable Youth program with Western Showing. Every school holidays Youth Camp's are held, ages from tiny tots to 18's mixed into teams, where you would improve your riding with special selected trainers, learn all you need to know about horses, reunite with the close knit western family, and play games and team building activities. At the end of the squad there is a two day show. These camp's were my highlight, and certainly the main part of my riding education and passion today. Not to mention making life long friends!
2. Funny story about Lily (we all have at least one) - On my very first day I drove up the driveway of Sugar Beach Ranch, as nervous as anything, I met the famous Lily in front of the main gate. Wanting to be running on time and looking professional, I jumped out of my car, gave her a pat and led her out of the way so that I could open the gate to go through. Maybe she was testing the newbie, or maybe she was waiting for her breakfast.. But there was no way she would let me through that gate. Every time I would lead her away, she would trot right back, and stand right in front of where I needed to go. It took a lot of bribery, and a good 15 mins, but she eventually got bored and let me through. And I didn't have the heart to tell Chris when I finally got there, why I was late and my boots and jeans were so muddy already!
3. Favourite Riding Song - 'Save a horse, ride a cowboy'! Big and Rich. Am I allowed to say that? Otherwise It would have to be 'Play something Country', Brooks and Dunn. Any Brooks and Dunn song for that matter. Country music for life!
4. Favourite Drink (alcoholic or not?) Since moving to North Coast, I've been hooked on Stone and Wood beer. Coors is a close second. Cheers!
5. Most exciting young horse that you can't wait to see perform? Very hard question. I've loved working with all of the young horses for so many different reasons. From the recent group of breakers, Spice and Stealth's trainability and quiet soft nature amazed me. However Vogue and Divine have this crazy raw talent, they are so naturally soft and athletic. Some special horses with a bright future!
6. Most rewarding part of your day/job? Training young horses is my favourite job in the world. Especially horses as willing to learn, and eager to please as I've found the Branded BP babies. It is always rewarding working with them, as the trust and respect they have for you is crazy. They progress so much every single ride, and are ready the next day to try their heart out for you yet again. Watching them learn and improve, and being such a big influence on their development makes me really proud. Sharing and practising my Knowledge, yet learning so much from them in return. You know it's a great job, when you can't wait to get back on them tomorrow!
Stevey and Nick Arena - Breeding Managers Archerfield Farm
1. First Horse Memory/Encounter that made you fall in love with horses - I have been surrounded by horses my entire life. Apparently I used to wake dad up when I was only 18 months of age (just old enough to crawl out of bed) to ask him to take me riding on our young Arab colt... I love nothing more than the freedom you get from being on the back of a horse... be it on a polo field, running wild through a 500 acre paddock or just talking a walk on a beach!
2. Funny story about Lily (we all have at least one) - I don't have just one story on Lily, there are too many to be told.... I do remember watching her when we lived in England and Lily LOVED polo so much she would load herself on and off the truck at both the stables and the pony lines. And whilst she stood on the sideline waiting for her turn to play she would grind her teeth with excitement to be part of the action! Then when we moved back to Australia and I was lucky enough to play her, she literally taught me how to play polo. She would follow that little white ball better than I ever could!
3. Favourite Riding Song - Superstylin, Groove Armada
4. Favourite Drink (alcoholic or not?) - Champagne
5. Most exciting young horse that you can't wait to see perform? It is simply too hard to pick just one... they all have a very special place in my heart!
6. Most rewarding part of your day/job? I love nothing more than watching our young horses develop and learn the art of polo. I am lucky enough to work with the foals and then get to see them play under some of Australia's most respected polo players.
1. First Horse Memory/Encounter that made you fall in love with horses - trail riding on a shetland pony named Tubby at Darks Forest. I loved the exhilaration of riding through the bush at high speed.
2. Funny story about Lily (we all have at least one) - When Lily lived at Archerfield Farm she had a paddock leave pass and thus had the run of the farm. At night when you were putting the chickens to bed she had a habit of appearing out of the darkness. She knew exactly how to creep up quietly and breathe down your neck giving you an almighty fright!
3. Favourite Riding Song - Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf
4. Favourite Drink (alcoholic or not?) - First coffee of the day.
5. Most exciting young horse that you can't wait to see perform? - Ferrari (Marakesh x Riverkid) she is a sweet filly who has spunk.
6. Most rewarding part of your day/job? - Waking up to find a new foal in the paddock!