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Established 1957

Reach for the Stars

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

March, 2013

Click here for earlier News:   Past News Features and Newsletters

Advance Notice of the Launch of our new Saddle

I have been teaching riders of all ages for most of my life.  It has always been difficult to find a suitable saddle for very small children.  Those available in early days were either too flat or too big to assist the child achieve the correct position on the horse.

Normal saddles looked too big on ponies and lots of small saddles gave very little comfort to the horses back; especially when we saw older children or adults riding in small saddles on ponies.  The rider being too big for the saddle put their weight in the back of the saddle causing pressure on most venerable part of the horse’s back.

The very essence of riding is a correct, balanced position; my aim has always been to achieve that.

So would it not be desirable to have a saddle that was pleasing to the eye, gave comfort to the horse and assisted the rider’s position, which competitively priced?

There was clearly an opening in the market for value-for-money saddles that fitted the horse and assisted the rider to achieve the correct position, so I decided to fill this market niche.

For over twelve months we have been busy developing a new show saddle that not only looks good but feels good for rider and horse.  We have been testing these saddles on all our horses of different sizes with different riders.  The result is our new handmade saddle, available in sizes from 15’’ to 18’’, to suit all sizes of Australian riders and Australian horses.

This new saddle will be released shortly.

Marena Sky Dance
showing off our new saddle

Please contact us if you are interested and we can give you more details.

Canberra Royal - A good time was had by all - the Walker, Evans, Talbot, Nichols and Hooke Families.  Zoe came to visit us for a few days to lend a hand.  Ellie came home from a holiday from Bali and high tailed it down the day she landed.  We must say that the officials and Office Staff were very helpful this year, thank you that makes the competitors job that much easier.

Sandown Musical Note - 1st Open Galloway, Resv. Champion Led Galloway Mare
Marena Twilights - Champion Ridden APSB (this is Twilights' 8th Royal Show Championship) - ridden by Bronte Talbot, 1st Led APSB Mare (third year in a row), led by Sarah Hooke,
Marena Amber Wish - 1st & Resv. Champion ASP mare ne 14.2hh,

Lindy & Keeley won 2nd in Parent & Child, Karren & Alexa Talbot won 4th

Pictured at right is Lindy being presented with First place ribbon after Open Galloway Hack by Governor General, Quentin Bryce.

That was the week of floods on the Central Coast but we were lucky down at Canberra as we had no serious rain until Sunday the last day.  However there were a few dramatic moments when we received word that some of our horses were in trouble at home due to the floods.  This was a big surprise to us as we never have flooding problems that threaten our horses.  It turned out to be OK when the kindly neighbours came to our rescue and confirmed that the horses were quite safe.

Sad news – There have been some very sad times for us over couple of weeks...

Just before we left for Canberra we lost one of our mares through an accident, to lose a horse is always sad.

When we arrived at Canberra on Monday 18th February, we heard that Bryson Bensley who had been sick for a long time had passed away.  A nice gathering of his friends was held in the Grandstand on the Wednesday after the show closed for the day - many tributes and stories were told about Bryson.  His funeral was held at Goulburn on the following Wednesday 27th so we brought the horses home and went back for the funeral.  His wife Joanne and his two sons were very brave and grateful for the good life they had had with Bryson.

Most people had heard of the two fire-fighters who were killed when a tree fell over their vehicle in the fires in Victoria, a young 19 year old girl and a 36 year old man.  We were dismayed to learn that that man was one of my pupils, for about 10 years when he was a boy.  He and his sister Elissa attended the Royals with us many times.  Bruce, Lindy and I went to his Memorial Service the next Saturday 2nd March.

I remember Steven, the boy, with deep affection and Steven, the man, with admiration.

There was still more sadness to come as Colin Westbrooke, well-known horseman, and owner of Cessnock Horse Transport lost his long and courageous battle with cancer.  Lindy and I attended his funeral at Macquarie Memorial Park on Thursday 14th March.

So many times now we only see old friends at such times, but it does give us a chance  to catch up, shed a little tear and talk with some pleasure about the absent person we knew and loved.  It was evident how much Colin was regarded for his honesty, humour and dedication to his work.  His wife of 45 years Nancy showed such courage to now go it alone.


Good News - Let’s have some good news now!  

Marena Outback has been sold to Laughlin family from Baxter in Victoria.  They love him and his young rider has had him out to competition.  He is another lucky Marena horse.

Horses sold in our reduction sales of 2012 have all found good homes and their new owners are delighted with them.  Seeing our clients get the great pleasure of owning a special horse makes us so happy - it is what has been keeping us going well after retirement.

Horses for Sale - We still have some prize winning horses for sale and others in training for the future.  Our 2012 foals are growing up and are giving our future a rosy look, we will have 4 of then for sale as geldings.

We are taking Marena Amber Wish to Sydney so she may be viewed there; just turn up and ask for Lindy, who will be pleased to show you this stunning pony.

At Canberra Marena Amber Wish won 1st and Reserve Champion and performed in her usual implacable, unflustered manner.

Marena Salute - Head shotIf you are looking for a pony for your child I believe we have the one for you.  She is a pretty dappled grey with all the good qualities that her famous sire has pasted on to her.  She has proved herself a winner in the Show ring, has attended many Schools and Clinics, is a keen jumper, handled the “big time” at Canberra Royal as though she had done that all her life, is well trained and has been ridden by children of different ages.  We recommend to you Marena Sky Dance, pictured above, wearing our new saddle, which will be released to the public shortly.  For more details about Marena Sky Dance , click here.

Marena Salute - at Left - We are still looking for a suitable home for our wonderful Warmblood stallion.  This horse has so many good qualities to pass on future generations of performance horses.  Look at his pictures on out Horses for Sale page, or Contact us for full details.

Sydney Royal – Easter is early this year so there is not much breathing space between it and Canberra.  We will be taking 8 horses and the usual gang of riders and helpers.  We would love to see any of other pupils that are visiting the Show when they are down there.  Most pupils ride to learn correctly and safely and enjoy the horses and may never compete however they are just as much part of our team as those competing.

All at Marena Stud wishing a very good Easter and are looking  forward to seeing you at the Show
Maureen Walker

 Quote  of the Month

Remember we all used to have an Autograph Book when we were young? 

Do young people keep them now?  A great thing to look back on. 

My son Peter has a signature and a drawing by the great artist Sid Nichols the creator of the comic ”Ginger Meggs.” 

My own held many treasures, including the following:
“Your life lies before you
Like a path of untrodden snow,
Be careful how you tread it
For every mark will show.”

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Contact - Maureen, Bruce or Lindy

HB & M Walker

336 Yarramalong Road, Wyong NSW 2259          Phone/Fax: +61 (0)2 4352 1707
Mobile: +61 (0)418 433 710 or +61 (0)400 551 403        E-mail:

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