Mitavite Partner Rider:
Gary is a consummate professional both in and out of the saddle. A high achieving dressage rider Gary has trained extensively in the US with Steffen Peters, even taking his beloved horse Winchester (Chester) to the States to make the most of Steffen’s input. Gary has a raft of loyal students spread throughout Australia and New Zealand which sees him travel extensively to conduct clinics.
Introduce your horses:
GB Winchester (aka Chester) – Hanoverian - 10 years old - 16.1hh chestnut gelding: Chester has the best character. He is a sensible, easy going yet a quiet high achiever. He is a dream to handle and I love his trainable mind, his fantastic work ethic and the ability to try his hardest for you. I throughly enjoy working with him each day. If I had to chose a person in the public eye that best describes him, I would have to pick “Anakin Skywalker from “Star Wars” - the kind, fearless warrior with a tough, no surrender attitude”.
Where did your love of horse-riding begin and when did you get started within your discipline?
I started riding at the age of 9 years old in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. I attended Bomana Pony Club and throughout my childhood and teenage years, I participated in the following disciplines: Showing, Dressage, Steeple chase racing, Show Jumping, Racing, Eventing, Polocrosse and Polo. Even though I did not specialise in one discipline, riding in all of these disciplines has helped shape my horsemanship skills and knowledge. In 1986 I moved to Brisbane and continued to trained and competed in eventing, showing and dressage and with all the gymnastic training I was using, I realised I preferred and appreciated the benefits of dressage training. This is when I decided to concentrate in dressage.
Did you have any horse-riding role-models as a beginner rider?
When I was a young rider, I had a number of role models. One that stood out for me was a friend name Karen Thomas. I admired her ability to ride and handle difficult horses with an independent seat and soft kind hands.
What have been some of your greatest achievements within your discipline?
Chester has won and placed in numerous State and National championship. He has been a top finalist in the 4, 5 and 6 Year Old Young Dressage Horse competitions at"The Dressage With The Stars" and "The Sydney International CDI Young Horse Championship". During one of these competitions, Chester received a perfect 10 for his walk from a panel of International judges. To this date, he is the only horse in Australia to receive this award.
What are your aspirations for your riding career? Where do you see yourself in the future?
My aspiration is to train and produce FEI horses and riders. I've had a once in a life time opportunity to train with Steffen Peters and his team in Del Mar in California and look forward to continue sharing the knowledge and experience I've gained.
Which Mitavite feeds and/or supplements do you use?
I feed a combination of Mitavite Xtra-Cool and Mitavite Munga with the Mitavite Bonafide supplement. Mitavite Xtra-Cool is a fantastic feed that I feed all my horses including horses that come for training. Regardless of each horse's training requirements and energy level, I have found Mitavite Xtra-Cool covers them all. I feel confident that each horse's needs are met. In addition to Mitavite Xtra-Cool, I add in Mitavite Munga for non-fizzy energy, fitness condition and top line that's second to none.
What is your all-time favourite Mitavite product and why?
My all-time favourite has to be Munga. Apart from loving the taste of it, every horse that I've put onto this feed has developed what I call the "Munga shape". The "Munga shape" is where your horse looks a million dollars oozing a healthy, shiny and show quality top line.
What has your experience as a Mitavite Partner Rider been like?
I've been a Mitavite partner rider for the last 12 months. Apart from the support and service they have provided me, my biggest compliment is that the feed is made with the freshest quality produce and the quality control is second to none. You know what your getting every time you open a new bag of Mitavite feed.
Do you have any advice for beginner / aspiring riders?
I have several pieces of advice for beginner and aspiring riders:
- Seek professional advice whether its selecting a suitable horse, training and competing or caring for your horse e.g feeding.
- Set yourself and your horse goal/s. Having a goal enables to stay focus and on the right track.
- Be safe. Handling and working with horses can sometimes be dangerous.
- Lastly, have fun.