Paula followed in her parents footsteps and has been around horses before she could walk. She grew up involved with a trail riding school on the Mornington Peninsula.
She began Pony club at age 9 as a member at Rosebud Pony club. After developing a strong passion for eventing Main Ridge Pony club invited her to become a member which gave her a fantastic opportunity to really grown & follow her passion in Eventing.
During pony club she had a number of wins & places in both evening & show jumping. Competing at Royal Melbourne Equitation, club teams evening & was was first emergency on the state show jumping team. By age 16 she competed in her first EA competition in Junior pre-novice at Wandin. Jumping was always her strength.
Paula took about 6 years off riding while studying at university to become a nurse. She took an opportunity to work in the racing stables and worked for a number of top level racing trainers at Flemington.
In 2001 an opportunity to get back into riding occurred when a race horse (Mayshiel) who was imported from the U.K. was retired & the owners loved what Paula had done in the past & was excited to give her Mayshiel so she could get back into evening. Mayshiel & Paula competed through the grades to 1 star. She had a number of EA placing.
Unfortunately Mayshiel broke down due to Navicular & at the same time Paula's evening sport looked to come to an end, when she sustained a very severe spinal injury from nursing. After surgery & dedicated rehabilitation for the next 12 months and more she was able to ride again.
In 2008 she came across a young 2 year old horse (Oscar) unbroken who showed lovely movement & honesty that was very appealing. This gave her the opportunity to come back to riding very slowly. Don Oscardo was broken in 12 months later & he has never disappointed. A horse who is always willing to please.
His first couple of years eventing he was never out of the placing & winning his final Intro level. They even took 1 1/2 years off evening to concentrating on improving the quality of her dressage as this was always her weakest phase. During the first year they were scoring 70% in prelim & managed to qualify for Dressage Festival in 2013. Where they finished midfield against some classy dressage combinations.
With a couple of failed attempts back to eventing, Paula was really struggling even in her everyday life.
In November 2015 she had a 2nd round of spinal surgery to have a Neurostimulator implanted to help with pain management & sensation changes in her legs. In 2016 less that 12 months, she is finally back competing and placing 2nd in her first competition back even with a personal best dressage score of 77%.
Despite having a tough run over the last 10 years Paula is very excited about the future of her riding. She now has options & if evening can't be maintained moving into a dressage discipline is also very exciting. Her aspirations are to always be competitive & still strive to complete at 2 star level.
After owning a horse that's so honest, trainable & is easy to develop a strong partnership she decided to breed another from the same sire, in Don Duchovny. It's a very exciting October 2016 with the foal due in less than a week.