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The Creation of Avoca Park

written by Leanne Williams

It seems like an age ago but realistically it is all within our lifetime.

In 1991 I saw this 12 acres for sale, in a place called Macclesfield, no-one had heard of it. I came and had a look and it just felt right, unfortunately we couldn’t afford it. It was 12 acres of Tee Tree with not a thing on it.

I watched it for over 8 months and it slowly came down in price, eventually it got to a price close to what we could afford, so we put an offer in, the real estate agent rang back with an acceptance of our offer in I would say, 2 ½ minutes. Somehow, I don’t think we bartered enough, but it doesn’t matter now.

We paid our deposit and took over ownership 3 months later, we were renting about ½ and hour away in Mt Evelyn at the time. We moved the horses onto the block and then purchased our selves a 20 x 40 foot shed. We spent every weekend building and preparing for us and the horses. We’d paid our deposit in the April and taken over in the July, right in the middle of a Macclesfield Winter, back then Winters were very long and muddy!

We did some excavating for the driveways, the shed site and of course the site for my arena. We then started erecting the shed, we were getting into the warmer months by now which was making things a bit easier. Once the shed was up, we decked it out and that’s where we lived for 11 years whilst we built the stables, the arena and our house.

Just to momentarily back track, not long after we took over the property I also found the horse of my dreams in the Weekly Times… A Clydesdale Cross gelding, black with 4 white socks and a star.

We had no money, but nothing was going to stop me having him so I took a cash advance out on my credit card, something our parents always told us NOT to do. I definitely didn’t tell them it was to purchase a horse.

Over the next few years, we worked and built and worked and built and worked and built.

We cleared the whole block of tee tree with a hand slasher as we could not afford a tractor then. We slowly built the fences, initially we had no fences and whilst we were living in the shed we would wake up in the morning and the horses would be looking at us through our front windows.

Around 2002, we went out on a limb and purchased the property next door, it was 23 acres and also almost completely covered in tee tree. We did what was called a boundary re-alignment and sold the house with 5 acres and put the other 18 acres onto our title which then gave us just under 30 acres. And once again we were back to clearing tee tree. 😊

Not long after we started looking into the idea of building an indoor, this had been an absolute dream of mine but now starting to look like a possibility. We discovered the materials were affordable, but the labour was not, so we decided to do the build ourselves and as owner builders we could do that. And so the indoor was built.

As the business grew so did the type of clientele and now we were wanting to run clinics, the Bunkhouse was designed and developed along with our Apartment to host the presenters.

This led to us needing an outdoor arena for the development of the riding school side so our little outdoor of 18m x 35m was built.

The final part of the progress of Avoca Park was into the educational side, we built the small classroom first over the indoor which holds up to 20 students or our smaller social functions.

We then built the large classroom which holds up to 50 students either for classroom set up or 50 guests for a social occasion.

During all this time I continued to compete and develop my teaching skills to the highest level.

The last 29 years feel like a dream and sometimes I look around and wonder how it all happened.

Most of all we would like you to enjoy your time here with us, in whatever capacity you are wanting, we really hope we can help you out with your dream. Because this was ours and…..

DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!

Avoca Park Equestrian Centre

Avoca Park Equestrian is the only place like it in Australia. We provide all your equine needs in one place. We provide riding lessons and clinics for all types of riders. We have a wonderful team of school horses that we provide lessons on but we do offer lessons to our clients that are horse owners as well. Leanne is the only person in Australia that not only has her Equestrian Australia National Coaching Levels 1, 2 & 3 in Dressage; she is a level 2 Jumping Equitation Judge and is a level 1 licensed teacher in Philippe Karl’s School of Légèreté. Her skills and knowledge know no bounds as she continues to self-educate, experiencing regular clinics each year to improve and learn more.

Leanne’s main focus in her teaching for both horse and rider is to teach in Lightness. Her goal is improve and maintain the well being of the horse-rider duo. Horses are never nasty or mean, they are telling you something and you are not listening. The reason Leanne is so successful at training horses is because she starts from the ground and listens to what the horse tells her.

With her beliefs in improving the horse, she also takes horses in for training from all areas in life. Horses that need backing, horses that have behavioral traits, horses that need some dressage finesse to horses needing to learn how to float. Priding herself with being honest, you will get honest feedback on how your horse is and how they are improving or what areas need more work.

Avoca Park also offers agistment, facility hire, pony parties, AI breeding services, Pony Club Australia accredited courses, Equestrian Australia Courses, holiday accomodation and of course our dressage equine holidays!

We take so much pride in the work we do and we love horses so much. We can’t wait to share your equine journey with you. We hope you enjoy exploring our site.