Ellen McCourt

Ellen McCourt started work here at Ryans at the end of October 2020. Ellen hails from Port Augusta, South Australia and she came with her little thoroughbred horse, Archie. Ellen had been given Archie from a racehorse trainer in Port Augusta. Ellen grew up in the Port Augusta Pony Club and going around the Show Circuit with her mum competing in hacking and riding classes and One Day Events and gymkhanas and anything else within driving distance of Port Augusta. 

At the time of updating (26/12/2023) the Ellen McCourt profile, Ellen has been here at Ryans for just over three years. Archie has become very competitive in the dressage arena. Ellen today is schooling shoulder in, half pass in both trot and canter, medium trot and canter, walk and canter pirouettes and flying changes. Archie is about to have his first Medium Dressage start which is halfway to Grand Prix and a very good effort from both Ellen and Archie together. Archie is not a classical jumper but is fairly happy popping up over 1.10m and showing all the signs of going on from there. Archie is tough and very quick when galloping which to start with was not so funny but now as things become more refined, Archie probably does represent a horse with the potential to go 4* eventing and do well. 

In early 2022, Ellen was involved in breaking in horses here at Ryans which is part of staff activities. We do break in very gently and take much more time than a good professional breaker. We are very careful not do the bucking thing. Anyway, Ellen had a young three year old colt called Charlie to break in. Charlie is by Contendro I via frozen semen. Contendro I is a very fancy jumping stallion. Charlie was out of a mare called Futuristic Luck who was a full sister to All Luck. All Luck went around the Bejing Olympics in the Three Day Event discipline to win Team Silver Medal with Shane Rose in the saddle. So Charlie despite his fairly common name, was bred in the purple and was Ellen's responsibility to break in. This was Ellen's first go at breaking a young horse in. Anyway to cut a long story short, Ellen did a great job and Charlie went from a semi feral baby ruffian to a very nice young horse showing considerable talent. Of course Ellen fell in love with Charlie and convinced her Mum and Dad to buy him. Charlie has now been with Ellen for 18 months and is still showing signs of being a superstar and we are all holding our breath. The photos on this profile are all of Charlie and Ellen jumping. Ellen loves Charlie. Charlie however, is just 15.2hh which is a tad on the small side. Ellen on the other hand is 150cm tall or 4'9". That also is a tad on the small side!! So the partnership looks great and we do have big plans for Ellen and Charlie in terms of 4* Eventing and from there trialling for Olympic Teams.

Very interesting also is the fact that Charlie seems to be equally loved by the Dressage judges and is well scored whether he does a good or an indifferent test. He doesn't do a bad test because Ellen is a very clever competitor. But even an indifferent test can end up being in the lead and sometimes by an embarrassingly large margin. This does make Ellen very pleased with Charlie and her mum and dad very pleased with Ellen. 

Recently at the end of 2023, Ellen travelled to Queensland and bought yet another horse. A really tall chestnut thoroughbred standing at 17.1hh. Even so, Ellen still looks good on him. This horse is called The Red Wiggle!! The Red Wiggle is also an eventer and Ellen is really ramping up for a serious 2024 eventing campaign. 

Ellen has two broodmares here at Ryans and they are both state of the art. Her dressage broodmare is called Abby. Abby is by Desperados which is one of the best sires in the world and Abby's Dam is by Sunny Boy. Sunny Boy is by Sandro Hit which again is one of the best and most popular dressage bloodlines in the world. So Ellen doesn't have one broodmare but two!! Her second broodmare is a young mare who Ellen also is going to break in and ride. This second mare is called Sterntaler Rockabye which goes back to Diamant De Semilly. Also one of the greatest Show Jumping sires in the world. Rockabye is currently in foal to Balou du Rouet. Frozen semen from Germany. Such fabulous breeding. 

So you can see that in 3.5 years, Ellen has been very busy training and competing and positioning herself up with horse fire power that will more than hold its own at an Olympic level. Ellen is on fire and certainly surfing the crest of a wave. It will be so interesting to see just where this goes in the next two years. For this whole project to become a reality, Ellen has worked very hard.