Carol was born in the heart of Sydney - but right from the start, animals, especially horses, were her magnet. From nine years old, she worked at Riding Schools on weekends and all school holidays, escaping to the bush at every opportunity (despite a debilitating lung condition which still plagues her.)

She was selected to attend Opportunity School (Summer Hill) in 5th and 6th class and from there to Fort Street (Selective) Girls High School, knocking back a University Scholarship to go to work to support her passion, horses.

When Carol was twelve, her father left and her Mum was flat out earning enough to pay rent and was not at all into horses. This didn't daunt Carol. By fifteen, she had lay-byed her horse and paid it off over two years by collecting and selling bottles.

Her first jobs were as a Registration Clerk for Solicitors, then working for a Belgian wool buying firm. With no physical or financial help, Carol managed to hold her own in the fiercely competitive world of Show Horses, turning 'rejects' into stars and competing at every Royal Easter Show (thirty-four of them in all!)

After marrying in 1967, she lived at Mulgoa, on her own acreage at last, and Joshua, the pride of her life was born in 1971. Four years later, the family moved to Cooma and lived in a cottage on a large sheep, cattle and horse property, Carol in her element, breaking in and training horses and doing stock work. After some time the family bought a small property in Nimmitabel.

The boys skied, Carol rode and had a horse column in the Monaro Times and wrote Cryptic Crosswords for them for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the family split up and Carol and Josh came up to the Central Coast to live with her Mum. Josh thrived but Carol was back to square one with the horse world and battled to start again. The next twenty years were spent between horses and 'Mum' things. Josh was tops at all sport and Carol was with him all the way, at the same time reaching to the pinnacle of the equestrian  world.

Time came to consider retirement from competitive riding. Unwilling to ride at a lesser level and finding it too demanding physically and financially to do it alone any longer, she had started to 'unwind' just as the poetry 'fell into her lap.'

Then her world fell apart. Josh was killed in a freak ski-ing accident in New Zealand when a glacier collapsed. He was a special young man, outstanding in many ways. Three University degrees, a top sportsman and a humanitarian, a champion for social justice. There is a painting in the foyer of the Sydney offices of the Commission for Children and Young People, where he worked. It is called 'The Joshua Tree' and was commissioned by them to commemorate his life.

For Carol, the poetry was a lifeline. She threw herself into it one hundred per cent and has emerged as the cream of Australian Bush Poetry today.

She lives in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, does more than her share of charity work and writes and performs poetry throughout Australia and overseas.

In the words of her peers "a great Ambassador for Bush Poetry, Australian traditions and culture."

Back to home