Here is the first of what I hope will be a series of blog posts on people in our club. Naturally the most obvious place to start is with our club president, Gayle Loose. Gayle runs our club, doing most of the behind the scenes organising and planning as well as being the “go to” person in the club house during competitions.
Here is her horsey story, in her own words.
I was born in NSW, then grew up in Tasmania
(home town Dunalley, which was the town scorched by the Christmas fires).
I was lucky to have my first pony at the age of 10, and yes, you guessed it, a little grey welsh pony mare. My first riding instructor was Capt. Harry Sanna (George Sanna’s dad). Dressage wasn’t on the favourite list than, it was just an element you had to do for eventing which was my passion at that time. My next horse was a big chestnut T/bred/clydie x gelding who I evented quite successfully. The Hunting bug had also bitten and I attended many hunts throughout Tasmania.
I joined the Air Force in 1976, so riding was on the backburner for a few years. With a posting to Richmond RAAF, I was able to connect with the horse community again. I hunted for 2 seasons with Sydney Hunt Club, on a borrowed horse. I was able to get a part-time job that fitted in with the RAAF work at a Thoroughbred Stud at Richmond and learnt a lot from the old hands there, preparing youngsters, spelling and mare management.
Married in 1982, to a non-horsey guy, soon to be converted, Dave, my rock.
Attended Hawkesbury Ag College and completed a course in Horse Health and Management. Was involved with getting a RAAF Riding Club organised and started getting lessons with Jackie Barlow. Jackie was the catalyst that gave me the Dressage addiction, Jackie was an A Level Judge and FEI competitor at the time and really gave me the insight into the beauty of training the Dressage Horse. Have had a few horses during this time, but the one that really gave me a lot of joy was a big black T/bred gelding – Just Rumours (George). He had been successfully campaigned by Roger Fitzharding to FEI before I was lucky enough to have him so the talent and movement were already established. With Clarendon grounds just across the road from us, it was easy to go and compete.
Retired from the RAAF after 20yrs and moved to the South Coast and had intentions of competing here, but unfortunately George had a serious injury, not long after the move, and I had to make that dreaded decision we all have to make at sometime in our lives. So still keen to be involved with dressage, Jane Stannard, invited me to attend a SDC committee meeting in 1999, and as you see I am still here. Just have 2 horses now, Shaq, most of you would remember from when Graeme Swan competed him at the Club, he will be 21 this year and is thoroughly enjoying his retirement with just an occasional ride out and Hannah, a beautiful grey mare Barb Vial has let me have to continue to enjoy my riding, albeit just lovely bush and beach rides. I could not imagine life without an equine friend to share it with.
I love being involved with our Club and meeting new members. and I have made life long friends. I started with just doing the time draw, then got lured into being the Secretary and then railroaded into being the President in 2007, and yes I am still doing the time draw….
Favourite Band: Dire Straits
Favourite Food: Dark Chocolate
Favourite Movie: Men in Black
Favourite Author: Jeffery Deaver
Favourite Sporting Team: Wallabies (Rugby Union)
Other Hobbies: Dog Agility Training, Orchid growing/gardening
Other Pets: 2 German Shorthaired Pointers, 3 mini goats and some chooks
Other Job: Managing a Farmstay guesthouse