Schooling at the Ryans are approximately 20 competition riding horses at any one time, some owned by outside clients and some home bred being specifically produced for Olympic participation. Some of these will be from time to time offered for sale.
Heath and Rozzie are both stalwart promoters of the industry, encouraging and motivating young and not so young riders around the country to always strive for their best.
They travel interstate numerous times throughout the year to conduct clinics and to speak at various functions.
The Ryans clientele is varied, there are paying students (regular and casual), owners of performance horses who send their horses for schooling and campaigning towards big competitions, owners who have young horses just starting out on their careers, young riders training hard towards Olympic participation and a career with horses and breeders who have bred young stock which need further training and handling before being marketed. During the course of each week there are always those interested enthusiasts who just drop by and we are always pleased to give a general tour to cure their curiosity. These people are always welcome. A phone call prior to arriving means we can look after you better!
There are a number of working pupil opportunities here at the Newcastle Equestrian Centre.
1. Students at university are welcome to apply for work experience which is in keeping with their studies.
2. International students or young people who are touring Australia and are horse enthusiasts and perhaps would like a week or two where they work for their keep are also welcome to apply.
3. Riders/young hopefuls who dream of being elite and riding for their country at Olympics and World Championships take part in a working pupil program which leads up to a staffing position and long term training situation here at the Newcastle Equestrian Centre.
Initially these people who are interested in long term training come for a 4 week trial similar to those in the first two categories. Some people just will not like the situation and so that is that, at least they will have had a moments insight into what we all do and dream about.
If the 4 weeks goes well and you are still keen, then these are the pre-requisites, goals and terms:
* Basically everyone working here wants to be a top of the range rider, Olympian. The dream is important.
* Prior experience and skills are an advantage, but not a necessity. An enthusiastic attitude and being prepared to work hard are a necessity.
* Most of our Working Pupils/Staff are between 17 years to 25 years of age.
* Most people average a stay of 3 years, in which time most riders will progress to being respectable advanced riders capable of considering taking part in Olympic trialling. Currently we have staff who have been here over 10 years and are winning World Cup competitions.
* After being here for 12 months, all staff are encouraged to study for their NCAS Level 1 instructors certificate. Most of our staff are qualified instructors.
* Working pupils need to bring their own horse. Most come with their Pony Club horse or youngster off the track or whatever. It is important that the horse is good enough so as to embrace a progressive classical training programme. Most horses actually surprise their owners and respond very well. If however, a horse struggles from a psychological point of view or with soundness issues then it is important that in the interests of the ongoing training of the rider that something more suitable is found. This does not necessarily mean expensive. We can help in this regard.
* After a year each rider is encouraged to have a broodmare which is bred to one of our stallions free of charge. The offspring can be marketed through private advertising or through ‘Auction of the Stars’ which is an entity run by Heath & Rozzie. Average prices for foals in auctions is $13,500.00 dollars with on-farm prices starting at $15,000.00. Some riders retain their foals as riding horses for themselves in the future or as breeding stock in a business programme.
* We all work a 6 day week with one day off. Each year each rider also gets 4 weeks holidays.
* Normally days start at 7.30 am and go through to job finish. On competition days however we will often start early, like 2.00 am and travel to Sydney or where ever for the show.
* Riders pay for their own entries, shoeing and feed extras over and above what we supply as standard. Transport is also paid for by the rider if they go to a competition which neither Heath nor Rozzie are traveling to. Riders also pay for any incurred vet expenses which certainly does happen especially with the broodmares for follicle testing and pregnancy testing, etc.
* Riders attending a 2 day competition may be required to forfeit their day off for that week.
* Riders are involved in all aspects of the Newcastle Equestrian Centre, mucking out, feeding, tacking up, grooming at shows, stud work, foaling, weaning, advertising, auction preparation, serving mares, record keeping, hospitality for clients, running of auctions, coaching, schooling young horses, maintenance of the property, and most importantly training hard to be a top rider.
* A crew of between 8 and 12 live-in staff members currently run the Newcastle Equestrian Centre. Staff come from all over Australia as well as overseas.
* Senior staff do get the opportunity to travel overseas with horses on teams. In 2008 two staff went to the Olympics in Hong Kong and in 2009 one staff member went to Las Vegas in the USA for the World Cup Final with Regardez Moi. Right now (2012) one staff member is in Holland grooming for the dressage Olympic qualifiers (Germany & France).
* Riders do not come to the Newcastle Equestrian Centre to make friends! They come wholly and solely to be brilliant riders. Of course most people make lifelong friendships with other riders from all over Australia and indeed the world, but it is important to remember that is not why one would consider a position with us.
* The team of riders at the Newcastle Equestrian Centre are driven and very special and we are very proud of them. We think they are arguably the best team of young riders anywhere in the world!
So that briefly is what is entailed with becoming a working pupil here at the Newcastle Equestrian Centre. If you think that is you, then email us or call us on the phone for a preliminary interview, perhaps supplying us with a CV and references, and then perhaps organize a date to start a 4 week trial!
We look forward to hearing from you.