HOW IT ALL BEGAN...

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MAR. 23, 2023

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My equestrian journey started many years ago as a young boy growing up in semi-rural Australia. I do not come from a horsey family, but from a young age horses and riding were my greatest passion. Over a 2-year period I saved up my lunch and pocket money and finally convinced my parents to allow me to buy a pony at the age of 13. This was the start of an obsession with horses that would consume my teenage years. I competed locally with reasonable success throughout this period and dreamed of one day having an international riding career. My mother had always encouraged me to dream big and her belief in me was a great source of courage throughout my younger years. With her support I was able to take a bold step and sell my car so I could finance a flight to Europe at the age of 22. Because I didn't have any contacts, I sent out letters to various known dressage trainers enquiring about working pupil positions and received a couple of replies. I wasn't confident in my current level of riding, but I was more than confident in my ability to work hard and learn, and that's exactly what I did. I worked in return for lessons and board. I started off at the bottom and after several years of working in England, Germany and Belgium I was given the opportunity to work and train under Anky van Grunsven and Sjef Janssen in The Netherlands. This meant once again starting at the bottom, but I didn't mind because I recognised what an incredibly opportunity it was. Over the next 7 years I worked my way up from being her international groom and stable rider to working as a horse sales agent. During this period, I was sent all over the world to scout and test horses for Anky and her various clients. I developed an eye for spotting talent in horses of all different levels while learning much about the horse sales industry. I also built up an impressive list of contacts. In 2009 I decided to take a big step and start my own company. For a foreigner living alone in Holland this felt very daunting, but with the support and encouragement of my friends and colleagues I took a leap of faith and launched Unique Sporthorses. As exciting as this was, this also brought with it a new set of challenges. To make ends meet I was riding horses on multiple locations, running my own stable and scouting sales horses for clients. It was also during this busy period that I attained my KNHS level 4 teaching diploma. After several months it became evident that there simply weren't enough hours in the day to meet all of these demands, so I decided to scale down the training of horses to focus more on sales and teaching. Connecting riders with their dream horses has become a passion of mine. I enjoy the process from the beginning until the end. Over the years I have been fortunate to have sold a number of high-quality horses that have ended up being internationally successful, but success isn't only measured in ribbons. I care about all horses and I care about my clients, so for me it's very important that both are happy with their perspective new partners. When given the opportunity I'm prepared to put a lot of time and energy into finding potential horses for my clients. I'm always prepared to give honest advice that is based on my many years of experience. The long-term happiness and satisfaction of my clients is always my main priority.