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  "name": "Horse Whisperers Of Hospitality",
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Lee Bradford contributes to the infectious\nsense of energy and enthusiasm at\nRicky’s River Bar & Restaurant, as she\nglides across the floor serving food, wine\nand produce knowledge with a smile at the\nabsolute waterfront address. No wonder\nshe’s earned the admiration of many.

\nBut take her away from the bright lights\nof work she’ll often head straight to the\nhills to follow her passion of endurance\nhorse riding. The long-distance

\ncompetition against the clock, tests the\nspeed and endurance of a horse, challenges\nthe rider over the effective use of pace,\nthe thorough knowledge of the horse’s\ncapabilities, also its ability to cross all\nkinds of terrain.

\n“Although the rides are timed, the\nemphasis is on finishing in good condition,\nnot coming first,” explains Lee who grew\nup with endurance and race horses on\na farm in the central NSW town of\nTooraweenah. “And regardless of the\nrider’s skill or the ability of the horse,\nthere’s always an element of danger.”

\nIt was a fortuitous return to riding last\nJanuary when Lee met Jim and Denise\nGreen, regular diners at Ricky’s and owner/\nbreeders of pure-bred Arabian horses,\nconsidered to be the Rolls Royce of\nendurance riding.

\n“They were promoting the Tom Quilty\nGold Cup aka Australian National\nChampionships for Endurance Riding,”\nshe said. “I told them Tooraweenah was\nthe host town for the championships in\n1991. They invited me for a ride and so far,\nI have successfully completed three 40km\nevents.

\n“Even more thrilling is next year, when\nthe Stirling’s Crossing Endurance Club (my\nclub based in Imbil), will host the TQ Gold\nCup, one of the most famous endurance\nrides in the world. But for me to qualify, I\nmust complete two 40km and three 80km\nrides plus one 160km ride successfully.

\n\"It’s every endurance rider’s dream to\nobtain the coveted TQ Buckle.”

\nLee, who rides horses from various\nstables, in competitions around the country\nsays her best memory was vetting-in after\ncompleting her first 40km ride which was\non Chelleason Rembrandt (Remi) owned by\nthe Greens.

\nBeside horses, another great love is\npartner Andy Davies. “We met about eight\nyears ago in Bondi,” recalls Lee. “He became\npart owner and head chef of Bondi Trattoria,\nwhich I managed. About three years ago, we\nmoved to Noosa with daughter Isla who will\nbe 7-years-old on Christmas Day, when\nAndy was appointed head chef at Locale,\nwhich like Ricky’s is part of the Ogilvie Group\nalong with Aromas, Wood Fire Grill and\nMaravista Farm.

\n“Andy is very supportive of endurance\nriding eventing as it gives me so much joy.

\nIsla also shares my love of horses and is\nhaving riding lessons. The love even\nextends to My Little Pony toys. Collecting\nhas gone from mother to daughter and so\nfar, we have over 50 in the ‘stable’.”

\nIt’s totally about horses and hospitality\nfor Noosa Boathouse’s Venue Manager Lisa\nBerry with a commitment so passionate it\ncould be coined ‘horsepitality’.

\nHusband and builder Barry became a\nconvert to horses after meeting Lisa, who\ngrew up around them, in 1998. The bond\nintensified when their daughters Tayla\n(now 16) and Grace (14) were aged around\ntwo and led around on Shetland ponies\nprior to joining the Eumundi Pony Club,\nentering gymkhanas and competing in\nnational events in Sydney and the EKKA\nfrom just 9-years-old.

\nLisa and Barry learned patience is a\nvirtue as they became proficient drivers of\nthe horse float navigating it all over the\ncountryside and interstate, wherever their\ngirls were competing whilst at home,\nensuring stock feed levels were maintained.

\nThe exhausting chore of cleaning stalls\nand feeding the horses every morning and\nafternoon became the girls’ responsibility.

\nAnd let’s not forget all the washing,\nbrushing and titivating the horses need to\ncapture the judge’s attention.

\n“We ride six days a week at home and\nhave a 4-6 week break during the\nChristmas holidays,” says Tayla who\nacknowledges the importance of their\nsponsorship by local clothing company\nGiddyUp Australia. “During the show\nseason we usually compete every weekend\nfrom the Noosa Show to Ekka, plus there\nare five main state level competitions and\nthe nationals at the International\nEquestrian Centre in Sydney.”

\nTheir horses are Calvin Park Dark Night,\na shiny black open large Galloway,\nBambourough Scrumptious, a dapple-grey\nlarge Hunter pony and Lyndhurst Queen of\nHearts, a large open pony. All the horses\nhave won significant titles.

\nCompeting at a high level, the girls have\nbeen the recipients of many ribbons,\ntrophies and garlands. Standout wins\ninclude 5-year-old Grace, in her first year\nof competition winning first place at EKKA\nwith a borrowed horse, jacket and helmet.

\nAt the Nationals in 2012, Tayla was the\nreserve champion rider 9-and-under-12\n- the 2nd best show rider under-12 in\nAustralia. Nationals this year was another\nsuccess with Grace receiving champion\nrider under-15.

\nThe Noosa Boathouse, with a menu\nwhich pays respect to the life aquatic, plus\nSunset Bar, events space and coffee bar is\nperpetually ultra-busy. Somewhere in the\nmix Lisa manages to dispense ever-smiling\nservice, however in the take-away area on\nthe deck at Little Boatie, look out for Taylah\nand Grace who understand horse-riding is\nvery expensive and are happy to chip in,\n albeit in a small way.

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Away from the effervescence\nof hospitality, Helen Flanagan\ndiscovers the preferred sound\nfor some, is the neigh of a\nbreathless horse.

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Horse Whisperers Of Hospitality

Away from the effervescence of hospitality, Helen Flanagan discovers the preferred sound for some, is the neigh of a breathless horse.

Lee Bradford contributes to the infectious sense of energy and enthusiasm at Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant, as she glides across the floor serving food, wine and produce knowledge with a smile at the absolute waterfront address. No wonder she’s earned the admiration of many.

But take her away from the bright lights of work she’ll often head straight to the hills to follow her passion of endurance horse riding. The long-distance

competition against the clock, tests the speed and endurance of a horse, challenges the rider over the effective use of pace, the thorough knowledge of the horse’s capabilities, also its ability to cross all kinds of terrain.

“Although the rides are timed, the emphasis is on finishing in good condition, not coming first,” explains Lee who grew up with endurance and race horses on a farm in the central NSW town of Tooraweenah. “And regardless of the rider’s skill or the ability of the horse, there’s always an element of danger.”

It was a fortuitous return to riding last January when Lee met Jim and Denise Green, regular diners at Ricky’s and owner/ breeders of pure-bred Arabian horses, considered to be the Rolls Royce of endurance riding.

“They were promoting the Tom Quilty Gold Cup aka Australian National Championships for Endurance Riding,” she said. “I told them Tooraweenah was the host town for the championships in 1991. They invited me for a ride and so far, I have successfully completed three 40km events.

“Even more thrilling is next year, when the Stirling’s Crossing Endurance Club (my club based in Imbil), will host the TQ Gold Cup, one of the most famous endurance rides in the world. But for me to qualify, I must complete two 40km and three 80km rides plus one 160km ride successfully.

"It’s every endurance rider’s dream to obtain the coveted TQ Buckle.”

Lee, who rides horses from various stables, in competitions around the country says her best memory was vetting-in after completing her first 40km ride which was on Chelleason Rembrandt (Remi) owned by the Greens.

Beside horses, another great love is partner Andy Davies. “We met about eight years ago in Bondi,” recalls Lee. “He became part owner and head chef of Bondi Trattoria, which I managed. About three years ago, we moved to Noosa with daughter Isla who will be 7-years-old on Christmas Day, when Andy was appointed head chef at Locale, which like Ricky’s is part of the Ogilvie Group along with Aromas, Wood Fire Grill and Maravista Farm.

“Andy is very supportive of endurance riding eventing as it gives me so much joy.

Isla also shares my love of horses and is having riding lessons. The love even extends to My Little Pony toys. Collecting has gone from mother to daughter and so far, we have over 50 in the ‘stable’.”

It’s totally about horses and hospitality for Noosa Boathouse’s Venue Manager Lisa Berry with a commitment so passionate it could be coined ‘horsepitality’.

Husband and builder Barry became a convert to horses after meeting Lisa, who grew up around them, in 1998. The bond intensified when their daughters Tayla (now 16) and Grace (14) were aged around two and led around on Shetland ponies prior to joining the Eumundi Pony Club, entering gymkhanas and competing in national events in Sydney and the EKKA from just 9-years-old.

Lisa and Barry learned patience is a virtue as they became proficient drivers of the horse float navigating it all over the countryside and interstate, wherever their girls were competing whilst at home, ensuring stock feed levels were maintained.

The exhausting chore of cleaning stalls and feeding the horses every morning and afternoon became the girls’ responsibility.

And let’s not forget all the washing, brushing and titivating the horses need to capture the judge’s attention.

“We ride six days a week at home and have a 4-6 week break during the Christmas holidays,” says Tayla who acknowledges the importance of their sponsorship by local clothing company GiddyUp Australia. “During the show season we usually compete every weekend from the Noosa Show to Ekka, plus there are five main state level competitions and the nationals at the International Equestrian Centre in Sydney.”

Their horses are Calvin Park Dark Night, a shiny black open large Galloway, Bambourough Scrumptious, a dapple-grey large Hunter pony and Lyndhurst Queen of Hearts, a large open pony. All the horses have won significant titles.

Competing at a high level, the girls have been the recipients of many ribbons, trophies and garlands. Standout wins include 5-year-old Grace, in her first year of competition winning first place at EKKA with a borrowed horse, jacket and helmet.

At the Nationals in 2012, Tayla was the reserve champion rider 9-and-under-12 - the 2nd best show rider under-12 in Australia. Nationals this year was another success with Grace receiving champion rider under-15.

The Noosa Boathouse, with a menu which pays respect to the life aquatic, plus Sunset Bar, events space and coffee bar is perpetually ultra-busy. Somewhere in the mix Lisa manages to dispense ever-smiling service, however in the take-away area on the deck at Little Boatie, look out for Taylah and Grace who understand horse-riding is very expensive and are happy to chip in, albeit in a small way.

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