Mary Nitschke

Mary Nitschke's association with Ryans started a long long time ago. Actually it started in 2013 when Mary was just 15 years of age and with her Mum, Anna,  and her little sister, Claire, she watched Equitana in Melbourne and the Freestyle to Music Dressage competition. At this competition Heath Ryan and Regardez Moi were storming around the arena at the top of their game and Mary decided that she was going to ride Grand Prix and ride at Equitana in the Freestyle to Music as soon as she could. Well in 2018 Mary and her Mum again, with her Dad, Ian, on the phone, attended the Auction of the Stars at Heatherbrae and bought Regardez Moi's son, Utopian Cardinal. With Utopian Cardinal, Mary went on to become two times the South Australian Grand Prix Dressage Champion.

In 2019 at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre at Mary's first CDI and her first Under 25 Grand Prix she was the winner! Mary has great memories of the Sydney CDI because she went on and won the Under 25 Grand Prix again in 2021 and again in 2022.

In 2022 Utopain Cardinal and Mary became the Australian Under 25 Grand Prix Champions. Actually in 2022, Mary won at least one class at every CDI Under 25 competition in Australia and was ranked number 1 Under 25 Grand Prix Dressage rider in Australia and 25th in the whole world!

At the end of 2022 Mary completed a whole circle and went back to Melbourne Equitana with Utopian Cardinal and competed in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle. So in 9 years Mary had gone from a 15 year old kid in the audience at Equitana watching the Grand Prix Freestyle competition to evolving into one of Australia's top Young Grand Prix riders who came back to where it all began in Equitana. How good is that!

Mary has been based here at Ryans for the past two and a half years and is responsible for much of the office work, doing entries and staying up all night to type out Heath's columns which appear in Equestrian Life each month. Mary is in charge of registrations, trying to get the website up to date (still trying...), volunteering without realising it to champion the Virtus Global Games Fundraiser which by the way was a marvelous success raising $80,000.00 through the help of the Australian Equestrian fraternity who donated the most marvelous products which were auctioned. The Australian Virtus Global Games Equestrian team put icing on the cake and to everyone's shock and amazement, won two Individual Gold Medals and an Individual Silver Medal and the three riders won the Team Gold Medal for Australia and that is the best performance any Equestrian Team representing Australia has ever achieved!! Mary was front and fore in the fundraising for this amazing adventure.

Mary is also in charge of trying to get late entries into competitions when Heath or the staff decide they would like to attend a competition but have missed the close of entries. This is not always possible but it is Mary who has the onerous task of approaching event organisers who often are not that pleased about the phone call! 

At the time of writing, Mary in conjuction with Jenny Lamb is working like mad on a new and exciting Auction of the Stars platform. This will be a reinvention and updating of the Auction of the Stars and will be very exciting and no one really knows about it just yet. It is exciting just like the Virtus Global Games fundraiser. Exciting for the Virtus riders who had been selected for Australia, exciting for the Australian coaches and team managers who then had a team to coach in France, exciting for all of us watching the most unexpected success story, and absolutely not so exciting for Mary who is a natural stresser and was exhausted. So stand by! Here comes the new Auction platform for Auction of the Stars!! Exciting. 

Mary has a natural gift of knowing everyone in the Australian horse industry and if she doesn't she is very quick to find them on Facebook or through other social media avenues. Mary loves people and talking to people. Mary and her family are very involved in breeding top of the range Dressage horses and so Mary is all over the Ryans breeding program. So when Ryans are selling horses, more and more Mary is the appointed contact person which just makes sense and this has been very successful for people wishing to buy horses and for Ryans wishing to sell horses. Mary has become 'the go to girl' for people wishing to make an enquiry about purchasing Olympic standard horses from Ryans. In actual fact, a long time ago the Nitschke family in Victoria, had a very big Thoroughbred Stud, The Nook Stud, with foals from just the best Champion Stallions available in Australia. So this breeding and selling of horses at the very top end, is very much in Mary's blood! 

Finally, Mary is naturally organised and when Rozzie is away, Mary can produce the evening meals for Heath and all the staff at Ryans. This traditionally was something that Heath would do however, by popular demand Heath has pretty much been sacked! 

After all that, Mary is here at Ryans mainly for the riding. Mary is determined to make the Australian Dressage Team in the near future and in the next eight years become as good as she can for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics. 

Mary's long standing partnership with Utopian Cardinal seems to be just now coming to an end. Utopian Cardinal is 20 years of age. Utopian Cardinal is near retirement and once officially retired, he will go back down to Mary's family property, Inverwood, in South Australia to live the rest of his days out in luxury.

Coming up behind Utopian Cardinal Mary has Astronomical who she has had for nearly 2 years and who has already won six Grand Prix competitions. Astronomical is clearly going very well with Mary but is yet to stamp his presence on the Australian scene like Utopian Cardinal did. We have very high hopes for Astronomical as he is excitingly talented in flying changes, piaffe and passage, all the two track work and super dynamic extended and collected trot. To date, Mary has been concentrating on doing mistake free Grand Prix tests and these have been pretty good and more than a little successful. We do feel however that Astronomical has the potential to go all the way to the top in Senior Competition once his potentials are developed to a point where he can shine in the competition arena. Mary is working on that every day right now!  This is a very interesting journey evolving as we speak. 

New to Mary's competition team is Dudansa or Dani as she is known in the stables. Dani is a mare who has been campaigned until recently by Niki Rose. Dani is entered for her first Prix St George and Intermediate 1 competition mid January 2024 with Mary. That will be very interesting. 

Mary is campaiging a young black mare called Rosella R. This is a Regardez Moi mare out of a Fiji R x Jive Magic mare. Rosella R is called Rumpet in the stables. At the moment Rumpet is competing at Preliminary and Novice Level Dressage and at the time of writing, had just started her very first flying changes in schooling. We would like to report that the first schooling session produced very promising clean straight changes. It is always good to get that recorded because given a little bit of time and as the horse understands flying changes a little bit more, then Mary can try too hard and the horse can also try and help and sometimes what starts out as a great beginning does go through a bit of an unsettled and difficult period. At the moment, everyone is happy!!! Hopefully it stays like that...

Mary has a baby three year old called Theo which is his stable name. He will get a fancy competition name in due time. Theo is by the Grand Prix stallion Total Hope, and out of a Negro mare. This breeding is state of the art and Theo is just beautiful and very aristocratic. We shall see but everyone is very excited about Theo. 

Dancing around the paddocks at Inverwood in South Australia are some of the most magnificent Totilas foals, Sir Donnerhall foals, and any day now three Glamourdale foals will soon be prancing around the paddocks at Mary's parents property. So exciting. 

Mary and Rozzie are the two specialist Dressage riders at Ryans with everyone else being Eventers. Heath does have a couple of Grand Prix Dressage horses and so does sometimes go to Dressage competitions with Mary and Rozzie however Heath is always getting in the way and Mary and Rozzie are very relieved when Heath goes off with the rest of the staff Eventing!