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Established 1957

Reach for the Stars

NEWS !!         NEWS !!         NEWS !!         NEWS !!

Aug, 2011

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In spite of the prolonged wet weather this Winter, we have been very busy with our riding classes and activities.  The School Holidays saw people enjoying out Training Schools and the 4th Annual Marena Show.  This Show give our pupils the opportunity to test the skill they have learnt in lessons over the year and to participate in fun games.

Bronte Talbot continues to have a good year in Show competition.  The Talbot family moved to Wyong Creek two years ago and Karren, Bronte and Alexa commenced lessons here on our horses.  As the girls improved, Mum & Dad bought a galloway, Dashing, for Bronte and a pony, Mr. Darcy for Alexa.  In August Bronte did her first ever Dressage Test against strong competition from 30 riders and came first.  This family has a strong commitment to the sport of riding and a determination to achieve excellence.

Facebook - We will be building Marena Stud a presence on Facebook over the next few weeks.  You will be notified by Newsletter. 

Whilst we were in England we helped in the preparation of Dressage to music that Murrum Park Phantom performed recently to the rousing music of "I am Australian".  His entrance was to the music of Waltzing Matilda with a voice-over by Bruce Walker.  There is a wonderful video of the performance with glowing references to Marena Stud by the announcer on Facebook.

Show Results - The first for the season

Penrith Show - 27th August '11

Bamborough Talent Time: 1st Novice Pony Hack, 1st Open Pony Hack
Marena Twilights
: Reserve Champion Show Hunter Pony
Sandown Matinee Idol: 1st Open Galloway Hack
Majestic: Sarah Hooke's new mare, at her first Show won 1st in Novice Hack.
Marena Outback: 1st Child Show Hunter Galloway,
Marena Macquarie: Ridden by Nell Evans won 1st and Champion Show Hunter Hack

St. Ives Show  - 28th August '11

Breezy Street: Won 1st Novice Hack, Champion Led TB Mare & Champion Ridden TB , Supreme Led ANSA, Champion Ridden ANSA
Bamborough Talent Time: 1st Led Welsh B Gelding, Reserve Champion Led Welsh Exhibit, 1st Ridden Welsh B
Alexa Talbot: Riding her pony Mr Darcy for the first time in a Show, won 1st  in her Novice Rider, 2nd Novice Pony Hack and 3rd in Childs Pony.
Bronte Talbot: 1st Open Show Hunter Galloway, Reserve Champion Show Hunter on Stillbrook Dashing
Karren Talbot: 1st Lady's Show Hunter on Marena Outback
Sandown Matinee Idol: 1st Open Galloway Hack
Marena Twilights: Reserve Champion Led APSB & Champion Ridden APSB

Marena Show - 2011

Keeley, Elijah, Charlotte & Ashley

Samuel, Catlin & Imogen

Ellie, Bronte & Maddy Hodgetts

Anne, Alexa & Amy - the A-class

Courtney, Emily, Tailah & Maddy Weeks

Ella, Jacinta & Claire

Imogen, Samuel & Catlin - The Bubbas

Luck Entry prize was donated by Stable 8

Saturday 16th July was the special day for families of our pupils.  Many enjoyed a picnic during the lunch break.  .

It is wonderful to see a succession of young riders coming for lessons  but we must pay tribute to the older girls who find the time to help us and the younger riders as they were helped in their turn by older riders.  Our thanks go to Emma, Carlie, Maddy, Ellie and Alexa.

Thanks to our generous sponsors for their continued support -
                              Stable 8, Saddleworld - Wyong, and Horseland Tuggerah.

Kimberly Jones of Stable 8 attended to make her presentation.  Our thanks to Leanne Button for judging the day.   At right  - Meegan, Lea (judge), Karren & Sharron

The programme is divided in to 5 groups - The Mummas, Show, Intermediate, Starters & Bubbas (above) groups.

Mummas - Meegan , Karren &  Sharron

Show - Ellie, Bronte & Maddy

Intermediate - a group of happy kids!

Starters -a bigger group of happy kids!

Our Fancy Dress competition was enjoyed by all

Bronte Talbot

Elijah Forsythe

Samuel "Yeeha" Forsythe

Keeley - 2nd

Winner - Humpty Dumpty (aka Ella)

A Two Day School will be held in the October School Holidays and a Three Day School before Christmas.

 Click here to see the latest dates of our various Schools & Clinics.

Be quick if you have not booked yet so you can secure your favourite school horse.  Ring Lindy.

Our Trip to England – 2011

Bruce & I have just arrived home from a wonderful trip to the UK to stay with our friends the Marfleets.

The Marfleets lived and showed horses in Australia for 8 years then moved back to England in 2006.  Since then a constant flow of Aussie visitors have crossed their threshold.  Whilst we were there, Kerry & Kim Adby of Sydney and John Thompson of Mt Gambier stayed with them and added to our enjoyment.

There were lots of Australians in England at the time also and we caught up with a few including Allan Dillingham and Kier Ferry.

The English Show season was in full swing and we accompanied Amanda and Kate with their horses Captain Hastings, Valentino, Arthur, Twizzle and Murrum Park Phantom to many Shows including the Greater Yorkshire, Kent County, Gatwick, Royal International at Hickstead, New Forest, Bakewell, Malvern, Grantham, Veteran Qualifier in Surry and The Ponies UK at Newark.  It certainly was a feast of Shows and quite amazing how much travelling there is to do in a country a smaller than Victoria.  The heavy traffic on all roads made longer hours to reach a destination.  We saw some very nice horses and the professional competitors were - very “professional.” From an Australian’s point of view the results of the judging were sometimes mystifying, probably compounded by the classes being judges by two judges and mostly in four parts:

  1. Selection off the ring by the two judges – every horse is called in and gets a work-out,

  2. The rider does a work-out,

  3. The Riding judge rides the horse,

  4. The Conformation judge sees each horse led.

And then the points are tallied to achieve a final result – the judges confer throughout.

The schedule is made up a full programme for each Breed, Show Hunter Ponies, Riding Horses, Hacks and big Hunters.  The Hacks & Riding Horses are the most like our horses.

I gave a few lessons whilst I was there and enjoyed the Marfleet’s wonderful garden, relaxing between shows.

The best Show experience was the Game Fair held at Blenheim Palace this year.  It is like a Field Day with a difference – a wonderful  day in the extensive grounds of the Palace – it was quintessential rural Britain.  We met up with Kier Ferry from Wyong Creek (at left with Bruce) and enjoyed a wonderful day on the Green.  Kier is loving England but missing her riding, she is going to catch-up when she is at home over Christmas.

Kate Marfleet ridding side-saddle on Captain Hastings at Royal International, Hickstead

Kate riding Valentino -
First in the Show Hunter Pony at Greater Yorkshire

The week before we came home, Bruce and I went with Amanda and Freddy Marfleet through the Euro Tunnel by car to visit the WW1 War Cemeteries in France and Belgium.  From Calais we journeyed through the Somme valley to Villers Bretoneau and the very impressive the Australian War Memorial.

In the small town of Querrieau we found the grave of Bruce’s Uncle Bert.  It was hidden away on a small block in the middle of suburban houses.  It would appear that he died in a casualty station behind the lines of wounds he had received in battle.

We then went onto the British War Memorial at Thiepval; its huge arch can be seen for miles around.  This was close to Mouquet farm and Poisierres – the scenes of huge battles.

On our journey we passed lots of cemeteries, it was a shock for us to realise that there were so many poor souls buried across France – all the British forces; Australian, New Zealanders, Canadian, Indian, etc.  All these resting places with their rows of white headstones and gardens are immaculately maintained. 

One of the Memorials that had a big impact on us was a simple plaque in front of a few grassed over mounds of dirt marked on either side by an Australian flag and a British flag.  The plaque said that more Australians were killed there at the one time than any other place; that the earth was soaked with Australian blood.  Some of that earth was taken to the Canberra War Memorial and sprinkled over the Unknown Soldier's Grave.

We spent that night in Arras.  The next morning we set off for Formeilles and Pheasants Wood and the new Cemetery where 250 Australian and British bodies in mass graves have been recently recovered and identified.  That was the most harrying of all, by this time our feelings were close to the surface. 

Our next destination was in Belgium at Ypres to view the Menin Gate.  This Gate, on the road to Menin, was destroyed and was rebuilt after the War as a magnificent Memorial to all the British Empire soldiers with no known graves.  On the new Menin Gate, more than 54,000 names have been carved on stone panels.

We achieved our mission to find Uncle Bert's grave (at right) and felt the tragedy of his loss and all those others who fought for freedom.  Wherever we went we thought of Bruce’s Dad -- David John Walker -- spending years in that hell.   He came home safe to lead a good and productive life never asking any special treatment for the sacrifices he and others had made for our continued safety.

Tired and saddened we headed for home.  This was a trip that we are glad we have been fortunate enough to make.  Little do we know how lucky we are to live in Australia.


At the end of that week we went to Covent Garden to see the stage production of War Horse.  Quite appropriate after our continental trip as the subject was Horses participation in WW1.  It was a most magnificent and moving play and not to be missed if it comes to Australia.  We also visited the Stand in London to see Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s “Love never Dies”, the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera.

On the last day we capped off a truly wonderful holiday by visiting Buckingham Palace to view the State rooms, see Kate’s Wedding Dress and have lunch in the Palace gardens.  How’s that?”

The best part?  Putting our feet on Australian soil again and looking forward to the next time.

Good Luck to you all,
Maureen Walker

Quote of the Month

            “Kind hearts are the garden; kind thoughts are the roots; kind words are the blossoms; kind deeds are the fruits.”

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HB & M Walker

336 Yarramalong Road, Wyong NSW 2259          Phone/Fax: +61 (0)2 4352 1707
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