HOW IT BEGAN...
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 OWN COMPANY...
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.
TEACHING AND CLINICS
During the last 15 years I have enjoyed teaching and giving clinics in Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, North America and throughout Europe. I have been very fortunate to have worked with some highly successful trainers and riders over the years which exposed me to different training styles and systems. This same knowledge enables me to approach training issues from different angles when necessary. I don't believe that anyone training system fits all horses. Just like us horses are individuals with their own special needs and requirements. A few words that can best describe my teaching style are tempo control, softness, submission, self-carriage, relaxation and positive reinforcement. Each horse has different bio-mechanics, strengths, weaknesses, and character traits which I recognise, and my lessons are structured accordingly.
Jaimey and Tina Irwin
Stouffville, Ontario Canada
“We are extremely satisfied with the quality of service and horses that Geoff showed us when we traveled to Holland with three clients looking for three very different horses. Geoff listened to our wish list and hand picked horses that were exactly what we had asked for. The days were very well organized and we liked that Geoff had great relationships with all of the stables that we visited. One of our clients purchased a beautiful PSG/intermediare 1 Dutch warmblood that we have had immense success with! He is currently ranked number one in the country going into the pan American selection trials! Geoff was very accommodating to all of our needs and was fabulous to work with. He made our horse buying trip a productive one. We will definitely continue to work with him in the future.”
“I had the pleasure of working with Geoff in April 2014. I travelled to Holland from the U.S. with my trainer in search of a young dressage horse with the talent to move up through the levels. I had only 4 full days to spend horse shopping before I needed to return home. My experience could not have been better. Besides being a true professional, Geoff is extremely personable and immediately put me at ease. His rapport with the owners and knowledge of each horse’s pedigree was extremely impressive. He efficiently scheduled our days so that no time was wasted and we were able to see and try every horse that met my search criteria. Luckily, on the third day I found my ‘dream horse’ and was able to revisit him on day 4 before we flew home. Once the decision was made to purchase Dolcetto, Geoff immediately went above and beyond by scheduling the vetting and personally attending. He went on to handle all transportation arrangements, a process that I would have found daunting. The entire process went so smoothly and Dolcetto arrived at my barn in GA. 4 weeks later. Geoff checked in often to be sure the horse was adjusting well and to congratulate us on our subsequent successes once we started competing. I would highly recommend Geoff to anyone considering a European horse shopping trip.”
“I have been working with Geoff for several years and he has found us some really top horses for the Hunter, Jumper and Equitation rings in the US. The horses we have imported through Unique Sporthorses have exceeded our expectations both in their show performance and reliable characters.”