Born in the early 70’s, I was raised in the Mid-North country town of Jamestown, South Australia. I was fortunate to grow up on the now sixth generation family property – ‘Portlands’. The youngest of 4 children, my childhood was spent in the fallow, stubble, mud and dust where a love of the land, animals and the outdoors became entrenched.
From my earliest memories of ‘Blackie’, ‘Prince’ and ‘Lady’, there were numerous horses that passed through ‘Portlands’, each one offering a valuable lesson, experience and insight into the diverse temperaments of equines. Pony Club, Cross Country, Hacking, Western Pleasure, Droving and Dressage filled my weekends. Competition and showing was too ‘fickle’ for my liking, I much preferred riding for the pure pleasure, freedom and love of it.
A relic ‘jinker’ lived in the back corner of the cow shed since I can remember. With spindle detail and carry basket it was once the Porter familys treasured possession and main form of transport. Dad promised that one day we’d restore the old vehicle, we’d break a horse to harness and he’d teach me to ‘drive’. Well, that ‘jinker’ is still in need of much love, money and attention, but I’ve no doubt that sowed a seed in my mind.
Pursuing my ambition to become a nurse (my other love) meant a move to Adelaide at the age of 17, leaving my family and horses behind. 12 years living in the City until (at last) home became the gorgeous Adelaide Hills with a horse again in the paddock. ‘Tomcat’ a chestnut Quarter Horse was my induction back to riding, closely followed by a Welsh pony for my 2 daughters.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with a medical condition that had me give up nursing for 12 months and contemplate my future. Uncertain if I’d be able to work in the same capacity, I faced a change in direction.
I guess the business evolved from a bit of genetics, some nostalgia, a passion and opportunity. After some years of planning and preparation ‘Classic Carriage Drives’ was launched in October 2012.