I was brought up around horses , started riding at 3 years of age . All through school I attended Pony Club and started competing in eventing as a teenager.
My son and daughter where both riding from a very young age like I was and as a family we competed around New South Wales. In 1994 while competing at Berrima I had a nasty rotational fall that took the life of my beloved TB and put me in hospital for 6 months where I physically had to learn to walk again. Once better I had a short break from horses for awhile and when I came back into it I found my first Standardbred through the SPPHA NSW called Diamond River.
In 2015 we bought our property in Kurrajong and then we established Diamond Park Standardbreds. We have a Show team of 4 horses that we have successfully shown for many Champion and Supreme titles around NSW. I joined the SPPHA NSW committee in 2015 wanting to assist with getting this amazing breed out there and meeting others who share the passion.
I’m excited with where we are heading with the SPPHA NSW , with our current Harness Racing Off The Track Series and our first ever State Titles to be held in Tamworth next year . Looking forward to seeing more of our members at these events .
I’ve had a passion for horses since my dad bought me my first horse at the sales when I was 12. Nobody in my family had any idea about horses but this old stock horse taught me all i needed to know…like don’t ride under railway overpasses when a train is going overhead and if you take a corner too fast when riding bareback in the rain you’re likely to come off!!
When I was 18 my first Standardbred arrived and I’ve had one ever since!
My working career involved event coordinator at Sydney airport as hostess for visiting dignitaries/diplomats then moving into the sales and marketing team for Hamilton island for 4 years. In between was a great deal of overseas travel to Europe, India and Africa where horses and riding in very different climates enriched my horse knowledge immensely.
After a few years of marriage we wanted to start a family so I knew this would be my last chance to immerse myself in horses so I left the corporate world to work as a track rider for Tim Martin and then after a few months moved over to working for Chris Waller at Rosehill. The experiences of trucking and floating and racing horses all over New South Wales gave me a very up and close insight into the life of a racing horse.
When I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child I left and have been a stay at home mum since, with part time work in my own Nutrimetics business.
My association with SPPHA started 10 years ago when I was looking for a new standardbred and wanted the challenge of breaking a horse in to being totally traffic proof and obedient but with spirit to enjoying jumping and a good gallop and with that indefinable quality we call ” Presence…! ”
William Beech donated by the wonderful John and Ann Tapp became my perfect horse!! Quiet as a lamb on the roads in Westmead traffic and high rise construction, willing to have 200 school children surrounding him and then to be dancing on the spot in excitement for a chance to gallop up the hill!
So, after 10 yrs of commitment to the SPPHA I’ve definitely brought dedication and I also bring a strong sales and events background but most of all I bring passion for this wonderful breed and what we can do to help them find homes after racing!
If you’re ever in Parramatta and see a big bay standardbred with a blonde rider its going to be me so yell ‘Hi William!” Or you can toot your horn… ( everyone else does)
I look forward to seeing you at our Trivia night on June 23rd…Please come and introduce yourself as I love hearing everyone’s Standardbred stories!
I have joined the SPPHA NSW because of my love of Standardbreds (I know I have too many, but…). I bring to the SPPHA my interpersonal, administrative, organisational and communication skills, which I acquired during 25 years of service with the Australian Government, 12 of which were as a Federal Agent/Sworn member of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
One day I was minding my own business watching You Tube videos on how to renovate my house when I got a call from Amanda (Vice President), who was at the SPPHA NSW AGM in October 2016, asking if I would be treasurer. I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly after eating way too much ice cream – and I said ‘yes’. What a fool I thought, but since then you could say I soon got a promotion and ever since I’ve been in the Secretary roll, one of the biggest and craziest roller coaster rides ever.
Apart from the madness, I am semi-retired, currently taking up the massive one year project or renovating my own house (basically on my own) with limited help.
As a small child I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who had a strong connection to country life and spent a great deal of time in beautiful Gloucester rounding up cattle on horseback and weekends at Pony Club.
I was educated at Arden School at Beecroft and my senior school years were spent at Wenona School for Girls completing my Higher School Certificate in 1968.
In 1969 I worked at Hayes Advertising at McMahons Point as a media assistant and finally became the media manager of this boutique organisation. From there I moved on to the 2GB/Macquarie network in a promotional role to begin with, ending up in the sales team as an account executive. It was at this time that I met my future husband, John. Many nights were spent at Harold Park Paceway during our courting stage where John was the course commentator. In 1978 we bought a property in Sydney’s west where we bred, trained and raced our own standarbreds.
Our daughter Rebecca was born at the end of 1981 and was only 8 days old when she attended her first harness racing event – Fairfield Trials on a Wednesday.
At the beginning of 1986 John had a very serious race fall, 2GB dropped Racing and our property was bought by the Government for Sydney’s 2nd airport. These three events saw us move to Galston, cease training horses and John moving across to Radio 2UE with more responsibilies to the Channel 9 newsroom plus presenting on Sky Channel.
We were away from our beautiful Standardbreds for 9 years. During that time John was very busy with his media commitments and I spent my days between school activites (as a Mum) running the family business and fundraising for different charities, such as the Variety Club and diabetes Australia to mention a few. Many of the fund raising functions were held at Harold Park on a racenight. The Executive of the NSW harness Racing Club at Harold Park were always very generous with providing their magnificent function room and John and I forged a strong relationship with them which exists to this day. Over a period of about 10 years we were able to raise approximately 1 million dollars for various charities – something that would not have been possible without the support of then CEO of the NSW Harness Racing Club Peter Vlandys (Now CEO of Racing NSW) and the current CEO of Harness Racing NSW, Mr. John Dumesny.
In year 2000, we bought 25 acres at Ebenezer where we established our own training complex and operated from there right up to the end of 2016, – Back with the Standardbreds we love so much. During that time a yearling Standardbred came to us and he would give us the time of our lives. Winning the Bathurst Gold Crown as a 2yo he went through his classes and was racing at Interdominion level as an eight year old accruing $650,000 in prizemoney along the way. He is now a show horse and registered with the SPPHA.”
Ann pictured with Debra Holt and Chariot King at Luddenham Annual Ag Show 2017
Each month we will showcase one of our committee members in our newsletter.
A chance for our SPPHA NSW members to know more about the faces behind the association!
Our first committee member to showcase:
Ingrid is the current President of SPPHA NSW, joining the committee back in 2015.
Having grown up with horses being a rider for a top show stable at a younger age and also her family being involved with Standardbreds from breeding, training and driving over the years.
Ingrid is currently enjoying the dressage training and competing with her horse Arniwho, who she has brought up under saddle over the last few years. Arnie has developed into a beautiful dressage horse who is currently at EA Novice level.
Pair pictured here at the Kate Taylor-Wheat Dressage Clinic back in January 2017.