A Thousand Hooves: Stories of the Moreton Bay Equestrian Community
In the beautiful location of Beachmere, a heart warming story unfolds—a tale of community, compassion, and the profound connection between humans and horses. Meet Bek, a lovely individual whose life is interwoven with the world of equestrianism. Growing up, Bek’s family's roots based around Upper Caboolture. Her family heritage played an integral role in shaping her affinity for horses. Her mother, aunt, and grandmother were proudly known for their beloved pinto horses. The family’s love for horses instilled in Bek an understanding of and appreciation for horses and the family that was built around them.
Bek's mother, Michelle, underwent a heart-breaking experience when she lost her cherished horse Thunder to a venomous snake bite, shortly after Bek was born. Faced with this tragedy, Michelle decided to shift her attention towards nurturing her family and temporarily distancing herself from the equestrian world. It wasn't until Bek reached the age of six that Michelle felt ready to rekindle her connection with horses, leading them to welcome Meg, a cheeky grey stockhorse mare, and Tess, into their lives. With these two equine companions, a fresh chapter unfurled for both Bek and her mother, which has been endured through the years and given them a shared passion and bond.
Lacey, another special equine companion, entered Bek's life with a unique tale. Lacey's mother was purchased and lived at Bek’s grandmothers’ home, however one day the fence between her and the neighbours stud yard was broken. The boys there were more than enamoured, and it is still unknown which one sired Lacey. The gorgeous little foal was born at Bek’s grandmothers’ property and has been a part of her life ever since. For the first decade Lacey was stubborn and refused to jump, canter, or do the most basic commands, but at 10years she finally realised the fun that could be had navigating courses and now approaches them almost too enthusiastically. Lacey lives with Bek now and enjoys entertaining young and new riders with rides around the property or at the beach and occasionally goes out to show off at local riding events.
However, it was Skippy, the enchanting Gypsy Cob, who embodied Bek's lifelong dream. As an adult, Bek finally had the means to welcome Skippy into her life. With his long mane, feathered legs, and cheeky attitude, Skippy epitomised the beauty of Gypsy Cobs, known for their unique appearance and gentle nature. Despite being a breed historically used more for show than performance, their talents in dressage and competition are now becoming more recognised and celebrated in Australia. Bek and Skippy are often seen together, spectacularly dressed to theme, at many of the events hosted at the Burpengary Equestrian Centre held by the Northern District Hack and Dressage, which she joined when she was 12yrs old. The prep for these events is always a lot of splish-and-splash fun with Skippy’s mane and leg feather easily requiring a whole bottle of shampoo to shine. He certainly is always recognisable on the field.
Bek's engagement within the equestrian community extends far beyond her personal participation; she actively serves as the sponsorship coordinator for the Northern Districts Hack and Dressage, becoming a guiding light that unites fellow enthusiasts through virtual connections. Her dedicated efforts have fostered a platform of camaraderie, positivity, and event promotion, nurturing a sense of togetherness. Even as she embarks on her own equestrian journey, Bek's compassion radiates outward, as she employs her unique skills as a support worker to enable individuals with limitations to partake in the joy of equestrianism, ensuring para-riders can pursue their passion for horses.
Additionally, Bek is a catalyst for community and opportunity, welcoming riders from across South East Queensland to her Beachmere abode. Starting with modest intentions, these gatherings have blossomed into a vibrant community of over 20 riders who embark on rides to the picturesque waterside, where the pleasures of sun, sand, and water are relished. Beyond the riding itself, these gatherings are an opportunity for forging lasting friendships, where shared passions and sizzling sausages are the basis of creating fond memories.
Though life is recently ushering in many distractions and changes—new jobs, relocations, and more—Bek's commitment to the equestrian world remains steadfast. She continues to be a driving force in her community, adapting to new challenges while maintaining a vital role in the Northern Districts Hack and Dressage group. As Bek looks toward new opportunities, her dedication to horses and community shines brightly, illuminating a path for others to follow—a path defined by love, connection, and the enduring magic of the equestrian world. Bek’s advice to those pursuing an equestrian life is “Don’t give up! There is no correct way to get to the end goal, sometimes you need to just stop, take a break, enjoy riding again try something new, and come back to working on your goal another day.”
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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.