Sharon has ridden horses since borrowing a neighbours pony called Danny when she was 5 years old. This was in the small coastal farming township of Motueka, New Zealand. She and Danny were inseparable for the next 7 years.
Sharon with her baby sister Janine and family
pet Tammy on her first pony Danny - 1961.
Early in her teens, her mother tried to get her to give up horses in an attempt to become a young lady. Her Mum was obviously unsuccessful. Sharon had already rescued an old race horse she called Goldie. Goldie was her first trail horse. One summer school holiday when she was 15 years old, she and her 15 year old girl friend, Myra Friend, rode their horses, alone and without any adult backup, from Motueka, to an isolated spot on the wild West Coast of the South Island, NZ, called Patarau. They slept in hay barns, farmer's sheds and camped in sheep paddocks each night, trekking along isolated logging roads during the day until they came to their destination which was a coastal sheep station called Sandhill Creek. There they camped for a week before riding back to Motueka, a distance of about 100 miles each way. The whole journey took them 3 weeks. This journey would be impossible and unthinkable in today's times so even back then it was indeed a very impressive feat of teenage devotion to horses and trekking.
Sharon with farmer's children on trail ride to Patarau, New Zealand. Sharon leading Goldie and Myra riding Trigger through a mountain
pass on the trail ride to Patarau, West Coast of NZ
She and her friend Myra slept in this barn to escape bad weather.
Sharon's next stint with horses came with her first job in Australia - as a Jillaroo on a huge cattle property near Chinchilla, QLD. This life was tough for a young girl, with long hours in the saddle, mustering for days at a time when it was either freezing or sweltering, riding station horses and battling with a lecherous old station owner. A couple of years later saw her in the Territory working on a cattle station and owning and riding horses when she could. She then moved into the township of Alice Springs, put on a frock and got a job with TAA/Qantas where she worked for the next 20 years. Airline life and horse riding didn't mix well so she sold her horses so she could concentrate on her career. But all that time she worked, she dreamed, schemed, planned and saved every dollar for her dream life somewhere else where she could own and ride horses again.
In 1998 she found Cooktown. Cooktown reminded her of her home town of Motueka, New Zealand, as both are small rural seaside townships that are similar in their uniqueness and natural beauty. Just like Motueka had over 50 years ago, Cooktown is still blessed with miles and miles of fantastic horse riding country. In the first few months after arriving in Cooktown she purchased the purebred Arabians, Cherox Metalica and Baghaad Anook. Then the following year she bought Abdullah Bul Bul Amir Then history repeated itself when she rescued another old race horse called Bernie. Bernie was her first trail horse. There are even trails still named after him. Hidden Valley Trail Ride Stables were established in 2000 and with it came the greatest of pleasures of rescuing and buying more horses over the years since to fill them. Now, today, 2010, that dream of owning and riding horses and trail riding along the secret trails through hidden valleys has finally come true. She is living the dream!!
'GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GO TO ANY HEAVEN IN WHICH THERE ARE NO HORSES'