Dressage rider and instructor Sue Hearn is unbothered by imagined age constraints. Five years ago, in 2016 aged 60, Sue became one of the most seasoned athletes ever to be selected for the Australian Olympic team. “The thing about dressage is it really doesn’t matter how old you are,” Sue says. “I feel like I am doing the best riding of my life. In dressage, like a fine wine, you get better as you age.” Today, while her contemporaries collect their free travel passes, Sue spends her time at her Sutton Forest property putting her beloved Grand Prix steeds, Remmington and Jude through their dressage paces, and teaching dressage to other riders. She hopes to make selection for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Australian equestrian team. @goldenvaledressage
My life in five words is … horses, dogs, training, coaching, family.
We moved to the Southern Highlands … in the 1980s. I love the Highlands because … I love the change of seasons, even winter.
Followers of my Instagram see piccies of …horses and dogs and the odd glass of wine. I have been riding horses for … 55 years. Being a dressage instructor at our property Goldenvale Dressage allows me to … earn enough to pay for my passion. I started riding … bareback as a child and would ride anything. I ran a riding school for many years; if there’s one thing being around horses gives people it’s … a good leveller. When it comes to horses, this is one truth I know … you will never stop learning. The first thing I always say to people who want a life in competitive riding is … get a good coach. When it comes to competitive dressage riding, the thing that has always driven me is … to be better than I was last time. If you want to succeed in dressage, you need … to love your horse and be prepared to work hard. Dressage is all about the horse and rider ‘becoming one’ but this takes …years of practice. Be patient! My three horses Remmington, Jude and Barbie are …my loves. Being a reserve at the Sydney Olympics and then competing 16 years later at Rio required … hard work and lots of support from my husband Andrew, family and friends. The Southern Highlands is … the fastest growing equestrian area in Australia, I believe. Away from horses, my favourite thing
away to do is hunt for treasures at the local old wares shops. My special place in the Highlands is … home. My favourite horse event in the world is … Chio Aachen, World Equestrian Festival in Germany. I loved competing there. My philosophy with dressage riding is … ride the horse you have and never give up. The most precious piece of advice I ever received was …. rider position is most important. And finally, please finish this sentence … competitive dressage riders never die, they just … become coaches.