Sappho joined the Ryan team in 2006 as a young SA rider who had enjoyed Pony Club and done some work experience at local riding clubs and also with some well known identities including Megan Jones. Sappho has always had as her goal to make the Australian Olympic Team in the Eventing discipline. Sappho has come from a very different background, being fluent in the languages of French, Chinese (Mandarin) and of course English. Sappho in an earlier life was very musical and has featured in public performances playing the Cello. Since being with the Ryans, Sappho has worked her way up through the grades in the Eventing discipline to FEI Four Star level. Sappho is also training seriously in the dressage discipline and trained her Three Star Eventer Hey Mish to Grand Prix Dressage. Sappho and Hey Mish would compete in a Grand Prix dressage class (CDI) one weekend and then the following weekend competed at a CIC One Day Event at 4* level. Just maybe no-one has ever done that before in the world all on the same horse!
In 2008 at the end of March Sappho accompanied Rozzie and Donna Carrera as groom to Holland to compete in the World Cup Dressage Final at s'Hertogenbosch. Rozzie went on from there to be travelling reserve for the Australian Olympic Dressage Team at Beijing China in mid August, and again Sappho took on the responsibility of travelling with Donna Carrera and looking after her.
Sappho has been very involved with the breeding programme at the Ryans. In years gone by she was largely responsible for maintaining accurate mare records and also for organising the day to day management of follicle testing, preg testing, foaling, weaning and sale preparations. Sappho is also very competent in handling the stallions during live cover procedures or fresh semen collection which is a very serious responsibility. Probably more than anyone else at Ryans Sappho knows each mare and youngster by sight and can recite off the top of her head their breeding. Sappho has her own little breeding programme in place. In actual fact it is bigger than Ben Hur and not such a "little" breeding programme. Some of Sappho's mares are straight Dressage mares carrying the JIVE MAGIC and REGARDEZ MOI bloodlines and so far she seems to have been very astute in organising which mares go to which stallions and the resulting progeny demanding premium prices. Under Sappho's direction the Ryans breeding program has in recent times become more and more involved with frozen semen such as Totilas, De Niro, Total Hope and For Romance.
Sappho also has her own little gamble going where she has invested in eventing mares with a view to producing a supply of superior eventing horses for herself to ride in competition. Again Sappho has broken away and used frozen semen such as Chilli Morning, Contendro I, Herald III and Kylie and Phillip Ewarts stallion Wimborne Constable who is the only 4* eventing stallion in Australia.
2020 looks like being a big year for Sappho.
- Desert Storm is a diminutive black 11 year old stallion standing 15.1hh. He actually has the most amazing dressage breeding and should stand 17.1hh! He carries Donnerhall bloodlines, Lauries Crusader, Florestan, Weltmyer and Rubenstein. As a jumper Desert Storm is spectacular and we do not understand where his jumping prowess comes from. Desert Storm is also a spectacular dressage horse and with Sappho in the saddle he is winning at official Grand Prix level dressage and is showing huge talent for piaffe, passage, canter pirouettes and one time flying changes! Yet another Sappho produced Grand Prix horse.
- Sappho has SR Penhaligon (Pia) which is an 10 year old chestnut mare bred by Sappho. This mare is Eventing bred and is by Promise R out of a straight thoroughbred mare Prozac who was a full sister to True Blue Toozak who won the 2003 Adelaide 4* with Boyd Martin in the saddle. Pia at the moment is being campaigned by Heath Ryan and is currently competing at 3* level.
- SR Barnaby is an 8 year old Bay thoroughbred 16.3hh gelding who is currently competing at 105cm Eventing. Barnaby was a little way ward to start with but is now really hitting his straps and we expect him to compete at 2* at his next start. Barnaby has wonderful dressage paces, amazing jumping talent and is super dooper careful over fences. He can gallop.
- Ronan R is a black gelding by Regardez Moi out of a Medallion mare called Marge R. Ronan R is in actual fact a full brother to Jess Clarks Grand Prix horse Remember Me. Sappho accquired Ronan R when he was 7 years of age and today he is 9 years of age. Ronan R is showing all the signs of being yet another Sappho produced Grand Prix dressage horse and we will just have to wait and see and watch this spot!
- Rouge R is by Regardez Moi out of a Byalee Briar mare which has produced a spectacular individual. Training Rouge R is still at the elementary stages however this mare may turn out to be Sapphos super dooper spectacular production.
Sappho has sat and passed her NCAS Level I exams and so is a qualified Riding Instructor. Sappho is an invaluable member of the Ryans team.