Introducing our new sponsored rider...
For 2023 we wanted to start our year off trying new things... one of them being with this blog! We recently opened up applications for a sponsored rider position which we have never done before. We were super excited to have selected Emilie Raymond who I have already had the pleasure of collaborating with before.
Emilie has a passion for horses and particularly the Clydesdale breed, so much so she has three of her own! She is very active in promoting the breed and how versatile they are. We asked Emilie some questions to find out more about her life with horses and more on her gorgeous boys!
More about Emilie...
Originally from a small town in Berowra, her passion for horses started at a young age. At only 25 she has achieved at a lot with her horses including 2 consecutive Royal titles!
Where does her passion for horses come from?
"My passion for horses is definitely in my blood. My grandmother was one of the original founders of the RDA and although I didn't get to spend too many years with her, it's clear her passion for horses got carried through to me. As a toddler, I would ride the ponies at any event that had pony rides running. Quite often, my parents couldn't get me off them so I just kept doing rounds! A few years after that I started getting lessons on some ponies and from then, my love for riding grew bigger by the day".
What disciplines does she do?
"I spent many years dedicating my riding life to Dressage and it was only in 2018 that I decided to enter the show ring as well!"
Let's find out about Ranger, Huey & Flash!
"Flash is a 17yo Bay Roan Clydesdale Gelding who was born and bred by Duneske Clydesdales in QLD. My favourite thing about Flash is he is a horse who wears his heart on his sleeve. As soon as Flash stepped off the float at any competition, he had his game face on. He knew his job and made sure to show off his fancy movement whenever he could! Although he's a gentle Clydesdale, Flash can get anxious in situations, and over the years, our partnership grew and he knew we were there to "hold his feather" (as we say...) in certain situations. On a funny note, Flash has a phobia of Cactus' ... yep! That's right! Whenever we walk past one, he is sure to give it a sneaky side eye and make sure it won't eat him. However... back in 2019, we were competing in the Ridden Clydesdale at Sydney Royal (which we won for 2 consecutive Royals!) and I remember walking into the stadium, and realising they had our class set up next to a steel cage where motorbike riders rode loops in it. I prepared for the worse however we were all surprised to find out Flash didn't find it scary! Horses! We will never understand why some things are scarier than others!
Ranger is an 8yo Bay Clydesdale Gelding. Ranger is a close relative of Flash's who was also born and bred by Duneske Clydesdales in QLD. Ranger was never for sale however his breeder knew us well and after watching Flash do so well in NSW, sold him to me which I will be forever grateful for. Ranger had a successful career in QLD winning many gelding classes and junior championships. While in QLD, Ranger was also one of the 6 Clydesdales that participated in the Cob and Co Run trekking 80km in harness as part of the 95th-anniversary reenactment where he was said to have pulled most of the load. Now that I can believe as Ranger's work ethic is the best I have ever seen in a horse. Ranger is the first to greet you at the gate, will lower his head into the halter, and as soon as I get in the saddle, is putting 110% effort into his work. It's hard to pick a favourite thing about Ranger as he is an absolute delight in every way (okay... his lengthen trot is pretty special... he has some impressive knee and hock movement for a Clydesdale). which is why he is a very special horse to me.
Huey is a 3yo Bright Bay Clydesdale Gelding. Huey was born and bred by Elemer Clydesdales in the Southern Highlands with both his dam and sire being very successful ridden and harness horses. Huey came to us in 2021 and watching him grow up and become a big boy is definitely a rewarding process. We often describe Huey as a little kid. He has a short attention span and will easily be distracted by the littlest of things, a butterfly fluttering near him to name one thing. Huey is still enjoying life growing up in the paddock and competing alongside Ranger in led and soon-to-be long reining classes. My favourite thing about Huey would have to be his big soft eyes. His eyes glisten all day long and he softens anytime you are around him".
Why Clydesdales? Why should someone choose this breed?
"I decided to focus on Clydesdales to assist in boosting breed awareness and recognition for the breed. To me, Clydesdale's are a unique breed not only in their looks but in how diverse their jobs can be. It ranges from being in harness solo or in a team, plowing the fields, or riding a dressage test, a Clydesdale will put all their effort into their job.
Their sweet disposition means they will be kind to you, your family, and anyone around you. They will be sure to put all their effort into what you ask from them and give you 110% (they also grow mustaches!)".
What are her goals for the future?
"My goal for Flash is for him to enjoy semi-retirement, he has earnt it!
My goals for Ranger are to get him competing Medium in Dressage and get him back in Harness to show off his talents as a multi-disciplinary Clydesdale.
My goals for Huey are similar to Rangers, I hope to showcase him as a multi-disciplinary Clydesdale, but for now... keeping him focused while working, he's like a little kid in school!"
If there was one thing she would tell her younger self it would be...
"Keep doing what you are doing and continue putting all your effort into the things you do. The life you are dreaming of will become a reality".
We are so excited to have Emilie join us for 2023. Keep an eye out for more updates from her on our socials or follow her on instagram! @emilieraymond