"Ben" as he is known to hi sfriends is an irrepressible brat. A much loved brat but still a brat.
He is a little over 16hh (most of which is wither). A very bright orange in colour with white stockings that are the bane of any poor soul that has ever had to be his groom. Oh yes plus a large white blaze that he specializes in keeping any colour other than white! SO thank goodness Bec and Lilly Hacket introduced us to Soc Ems.
Ben is an off the track Australian thorobred.  He was bred in South Australia by Made of Gold out of a Luskin Star mare in 2000.
Purchased as a yearling he came over to WA. It appears that he was quite fast on the track just not in the way that was required. His speed did not involve forward motion it was sideways. Ben could leap at least half way across a track in a single bound (obviously destined to jump tall buildings). He has since grown up a lot but even in a jump saddle it can be quite unseating. Im glad I never had to try and sit it in a race pad!
Anyway after a very undistinguished and very short career it was decided to sack him from racing. I can only imagine what a pain he was around the stables. One of the first things I had to do to him was introduce him to hobbles. Without them he would pace the box, with them he relaxed and ate.
Ben claims he does not look for mischief it just finds him. Why is it I don’t believe him? Perhaps because of the number of times I have seen him open doors find gates that were closed miraculously open. Lead ropes are only there as entertainment. You just undo them. All this is at its most fun if someone is close enough to watch.

Ben is also very lucky.  He has at least one guardian angel.
The first raised its head when he was rescued from the dog meat man. His trainer was at The vets and was chatting to a vet nurse there about this chestnut horse. Natasha Harrop-McGurk really liked the sound of him so Murdoch Uni gave her the opportunity to take the trainer up on his offer. If she beat the dogger to his place she could have him. Fortunately she did.
Natasha took him home and he would have been a pain. I believe her husband ended up saying "its that horse or me". So Ben was on the move.
He ended up with a 12 year old girl Caitlyn Foote. Funnily enough she found him a little much. So back on the market he went. At this stage a friend of mine Georgia Oakman Boyd rang me and said you have to buy it. Well I needed a horse like a hole in the head but Georgia has always found beautiful types so I went to look.
It was not love at first sight. He was scrawny and ADD.
However after a good friend Tyana Lawless who has produced dressage horses to FEI level told me it was trainable and after I jumped him. I thought well lets get him vetted. My wonderful Vet Michael Procter from Oakford Equine hospital liked it so home he came.
It was a long and slow road trying to teach it to concentrate. Jumping was always easy for him. However he came to the party.  Mostly I believe because Patch (Wayne Roycroft) was determined to teach Ben to trot!
Mind you I think Ben managed to send Patch even balder the day Jess Manson and I were staying with Patch and Francis and Ben decided he was bored so jumped in the dam and swam across to join us!
At this stage my great friend and adopted grandmother Olga Reveller decided she would like to own a horse. Olga’s daughter Nikki sent me to find something for her that I would ride. We looked in Europe couldn’t find anything at a realistic price I liked, so Nikki said what about Ben. I said no for a long time. Nikki Persisted and eventually Ben became Olgas.
Well what a little slime he is. Ben rapidly worked out Olga was the person to suck up to. Olga was not young. Ben seemed to work this out so was just so gentle with her. He would happily knock us over but with Olga he was so gentle.
Nikkis home Brookleigh is a particularly beautiful place. So much so that many weddings are held there. Hence you can imagine my embarrassment the day Ben escaped from his paddock, took off to the house jumped the box hedges across the lawn till he was standing on Olgas veranda. So not only has he trashed the lawn he wouldn’t let me catch him. It was only when Olga appeared with carrot in hand that he gave in.  It was but one of many times that he tried to trash Brookleigh where we all just said “thank God he is Olgas”

His eventing career always revolved around jumping. I describe riding him as feeling like he is playing chess. He sights a jump you feel him sum it up, then he goes in for the checkmate. It is the most unbelievable feeling and a privilege to sit on.
At home around the farm Ben happily chases sheep and unlike dear Ringwould Jaguar is not scared of cows. He is particularly funny with the alpacas with who there seems to be a strong mutual curiosity.
Ben a much-loved cheeky little toad. Not an ounce of malice but a ton of personality!