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The Story of Cate and Queenie: Determination and Passion

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

A Thousand Hooves: Stories of the Moreton Bay Equestrian Community

In the town of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, a captivating tale unfolded. It revolved around a young woman named Cate, whose profound connection with horses would shape her life in remarkable ways. This is the story of Cate, a true equestrian enthusiast, whose journey into the world of horses is a true inspiration.

From a young age, Cate found herself captivated by the presence of ponies and horses. At the age of 5, she experienced her first ride, a moment that ignited a spark within her soul. Determined to unravel the mysteries of these majestic creatures, she immersed herself in learning the art of riding and training. This marked the beginning of a lifelong passion.

But Cate's fascination with horses did not arise overnight. As a young girl, she had already developed a deep appreciation for these magnificent animals. It was at the age of 13 that her passion truly bloomed, and she eagerly sought to absorb every bit of knowledge about the equine world. Her dedication and commitment were evident to those around her as she relentlessly sought volunteer and training opportunities at various equestrian centres and businesses.

At 17, Cate embarked on a new adventure, leaving home to work at a major cattle farm in central Queensland. Here, she honed her skills in various aspects of ranch work, from herding cattle to repairing trucks and building fences. However, it was her discovery of the art of horse training that left an indelible mark on her journey. Cate was captivated by the process of breaking in horses, building trust, and establishing a lifelong bond.

Upon moving to the Moreton Bay at the age of 18, Cate found herself at the Gympie sale yard, where here equine dreams would be realized. She was there to bid on 10yr old buckskin mare, but her gaze was drawn to Queenie, a stunning 14hh Chestnut mare, which Cate affectionately refers to as the "dragon trifecta." Cate waited patiently for the bidding to begin. Little did she know that Queenie would become her true equine companion, marking the beginning of their journey.

Cate promptly began pouring countless hours into training Queenie, who’s loyalty and playfulness mirrored that of a 400-kilogram dog, always eager to explore, sniff, and lick everything in sight. Cates dedication and hard work paid off, and Queenie quickly transformed into a joy to ride and they became great friends.

However, life had a different path in mind. For years, Cate had experienced a multitude of unexplained symptoms, enduring the frustrating challenge of seeking a diagnosis for her persistent pains and fatigue. At the age of 19, after enduring countless doctors' visits and tests, she finally found clarity in the diagnosis of endometriosis, a condition where the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of it, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and fertility issues and Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a group of genetic disorders that affect the connective tissues in the body, resulting in joint hypermobility, skin fragility, and chronic pain. These conditions can significantly impact one's quality of life, making even simple tasks a daily struggle. Around the same time, Cate experienced an intensification of her symptoms, making it necessary for her to rely more on a wheelchair for support in her day-to-day activities. It was a challenging adjustment, but she refused to let her conditions define her or hinder her love for horses.

Cate's involvement in the local equestrian community grew, as she joined the Burpengary Western Performance Club, Reining Australia, and the Stock Horse Society. These affiliations provided her with a vibrant network and an array of activities to indulge in her equine interests. Despite her physical limitations, Cate gracefully navigated the equestrian world, participating in para riding competitions across areas such as western dressage, AQHA showing, reining, and countless trail rides.

Recently, Cate and Queen Bee embarked on a remarkable feat, competing in a Western Dressage Competition held at the Burpengary Equestrian Centre for the first time. Their perseverance and hard work were rewarded when they emerged victorious, securing the coveted overall High Point Buckle. This triumph highlighted the unwavering bond between Cate and Queenie, forged through countless hours of dedication and an unbreakable commitment to one another.

Cate's advice to aspiring horse owners is profound yet simple: “Get out there and find a good place to get lessons and/or volunteer at! It’s how I made it into the industry and got horse time with a family that liked horses. Volunteering is an awesome way to learn about horses and spend a lot of time with them.”

Cate's story stands as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the enduring power of the human-animal bond. It serves as an inspiration to horse lovers worldwide, showcasing that with hard work, determination, and an unwavering love for these majestic creatures, anything is possible. In the face of adversity, one can always find a way to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, let Cate's story ignite the fire within you and propel you towards your equestrian aspirations. As the journey continues, may your trails be happy and filled with the magic of the horse.

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All Photos are Copyright of Novina Photography

This Project was made possible through RADF

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

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