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Jason grew up on his family’s 4000 acre sheep and cattle property at the foot of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, Australia, where he was bought up to be “honest, hard working and respectful” – lessons which he has carried with him throughout life!
“He is kind and practices a system of training techniques that work no matter what discipline you participate in… A true horse trainer” Jo Metcalfe, Equine Events & PR
Described as “being born in the saddle”, Jason and his three siblings spent their formative years gaining an all-round equestrian education working the farm from horseback, and competing at Pony Club, show jumping, polocrosse, campdrafting and rodeo. With a passion for racing, Jason’s father, Doug bred Thoroughbreds for the local racetrack and it wasn’t rare for these horses to be retrained for the polocrosse field alongside their homebred Australian Stock Horses.
In his early teens, Jason was taught to break-in horses using the same methods handed down through generations of horsemen in his family – similar to the methods that are widely described as ‘natural horsemanship’ today. Having developed an interest in this area of work, Jason spent time with some excellent competitors and trainers in Australia where he improved his understanding of horse psychology, the methods of starting young horses and remedial work with ‘problem’ horses. During this time, Jason captained the New South Wales U21 polocrosse team to victory at the 1998 National Polocrosse Championships and travelled to Zimbabwe for an eight month stint playing polocrosse and training horses. He then came to the UK, again to play polocrosse, but found himself becoming sought after as a breaker of young horses in south east area. He quickly gained a reputation for producing calm, well mannered horses and for having an ability to turn around horses with severe behavioural and ridden problems.
In 2002, Jason decided to settle in the UK and set up his business, Australian Horsemanship, at Risebridge Farm – the family farm of his future wife, Penny. It has gone from strength to strength, now handling over 200 horses a year, and employing nine full and part-time members of staff. The horses come from professional riders, studs and private owners nationwide and he regularly receives referrals from vets, farriers, equine dentists and other equestrian professionals.
Jason also travels nationwide for consultations and teaching clinics and courses. He is in demand for demonstrations and has performed at prestigious national and regional events such as Your Horse Live in 2011, 2012 and 2013, The Southwest Christmas Equine Fair, regional Country Fairs and non-equestrian events such as London’s ToastLife Festival. He also contributes to national magazines such as Your Horse and Horse & Rider, is an “Ask the Expert” for Horse & Country TV, has produced training videos for the popular educational website, HorseHero, and blogs for Horse and Hound.
Aside from polocrosse, Jason also plays polo and has recently had the opportunity of developing his interest in dressage. Outside of horses, he is kept very busy by his two children, Jack and Rosie, playing squash and golf (badly) and having a couple of beers with friends.