Name: Fiona Gordon
Location: Henty NSW
I was lucky enough to grow up on a cattle property where horses were an essential tool on the farm. We didn’t have fancy horses; they were pretty much whatever horses our parents were give so they were a mixed bag. It wasn’t until my teenage years that I was introduced to the incredible Australian Stockhorse. I’ll never forget the feeling I got getting on my first well-bred and trained horse and from that moment I was hooked. I think this is where I learnt the importance of good breeding, type and having a well-trained horse.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ride a number of lovely show stockhorses which started me down the path of showing horses in the ring. From there I branched out into campdrafting which brought my heritage of cattlework and more recent love of horses together.
Competing Stockhorses in different disciplines has taught me importance of breeding an all-rounder to be versatile enough to have the ability and willingness to take on whatever is thrown at it and the most rewarding think you can do as a competitor is to breed the horses you step out on.
Alongside breeding and competing my own horses, I break-in, train and campaign client horses as well as running our property which keeps me very busy.
Top 5 best performances:
1) Supreme ridden Hack ASH National show 2016
2) Champion Hack and Working Sydney Royal 2019
3) RM Williams most Versatile ASH Sydney Royal 2019
4) Champion Hack and Working 4yrold ASH National Show 2019
5) Winner of the Maturity Plate ASH National Show 2019
What Qualities do you look for when choosing a new horse:
Type and confirmation has to be the number one thing for me, I’m looking for a balanced horse, one with length of shoulder and hip, a clean front ended horse with an open gullet and length of rein. Their legs have to be correct and have a hind leg that can get up underneath themselves and have a natural stop and turn around.
How do you deal with the lows of the sport:
Horse training is most defiantly not for the fain hearted, there are a lot of lows. You have to be patient yet pig headed and have a good support team around you.
I try to remind myself when things go wrong to go back through the building blocks and work back through my programme and hopefully find a weak link to fix and come out the other side with a better result, tomorrow is always another day.
One of the hardest things when you are someone with so much passion and determination to succeed is to continue to better yourself, like the saying “it’s hard to get to the top but even harder to stay there” .
What would be your advice be to any aspiring professional?
I am a prime example of someone having to start at the bottom but if you want it bad enough with the drive and determination anyone can succeed. Don’t be afraid to approach people that you admire, ask questions, go to clinics, sit on the fence and watch at events never stop learning no matter what stage you are at.
What Toprail products do you like and use the most?
I was first drawn to Toprail products for their bits. Having the correct bits that are designed well is one of the most important train tools. Toprail have bits that suit my training from breaking-in to top level competition stage.
I am also a fan of the Toprail leg protection range from their bell boots to splint boots which are a must every time I step out when training and competing.
Toprail provide the ASH competitor with a full range of affordable eye catching show ring outfit which is a must to obtain that 10 for presentation.
To breed and train the ultimate all round stockhorse to compete at the highest level in both the showring and the campdraft arena.