Susan's passion for riding started as a young girl, addicted to the riding schools every weekend. After saving every cent she could, she purchased her first horse at sixteen and took to the hunt field. Eventually Susan stepped into eventing. In 1979 Susan was one of three in the SA team that went to WA for their 3DE. Susan's mount at the time, Le Bronze, a talented station bred horse, helped secure the win for the SA team.
Susan acquired Eagles Dare (another talented station horse - even with feathered legs!) and competed in the Wimmera Run through VIC eight years in a row, usually winning enough money to stay on the road. Susan's proudest event: 2nd in a 6 Bar under lights at Horsham, with the last jump 5'6".
The plan was always to continue eventing, however the urge to do so had faded once her two children were born (1995 &1997) As soon as her youngest child was six months old, Susan purchased a new horse for dressage. "Brandwood Oasis" (affectionately known as Owl) had only just been started under saddle, had never been rugged or done a lot but was exceptionally trainable and fun. He was an awkwardly built gelding, sired by a Warmblood stallion and out of a 14.1h Arabian mare. He grew to be 17.1H!
Owl was reliable and progressed through the ranks very quickly. By 2004 he was sold as a schoolmaster at PSG / INTER I.
In the meantime in 2000 Susan had purchased a 6 month old WILD WB filly by FAX-TOO and out of an unknown mare. This young grey filly would soon be named Sheer Etiquette (Ellie). Right from the beginning, Susan sensed she was talented and they cruised through the grades with scores up to 74% and a constant ribbon winner.
In 2011 Ellie was renowned and going superbly in FEI. They jumped to Grand Prix CDN, and by the end of the year were transferred to International Level to reign as the longest standing international level combination in Australia (7 years). They sat 7th on the World Equestrian Games List in 2014 with scores between 64-67% consistently. During this time they had been in the top 15 dressage combinations in Australia, which secured invites to events such as Equitana. They were against the top Olympic Level Australian contenders such as Heath and Rozzie Ryan, Brett Parbery, Mary Hanna and Sue Hearn. Heath Ryan himself was fascinated to note that Sheer Etiquette was a mare who was simply "good at everything".
In 2021, Sheer Etiquette is set to return to competition following a 3 year "break" (was meant to be retirement but she isn't done yet!)
Susan is also campaigning a very talented black Irish Sport Horse Gelding, Patchwork Winterfell, whose first Preliminary start saw him win second place on 70%, with an error of course!
While following her own path, Susan encouraged her two children to ride. They attended many pony shows during the early 2000's. Her son, (1995) a very intellectually driven Robotic Engineer lost interest in riding early on, but her daughter is now a part of her passion and dream here at Patchwork Park.