COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

Michael Bragge

Growing up in the suburbs in a non-equestrian family, my only access to horse riding came at weekends and school holidays at my uncle’s riding school in Thomastown. Attending Melbourne 3DE in the early 60s with Uncle Jack and meeting Olympians filled me with a passion that took some years to find expression.

After University I was able move to the country and buy horses. When it came to horsemanship, I had a lot of catching up to do. So I jumped in at the deep end and planned a Pack horse ride from Brisbane to Melbourne. 2,500 km, 34 sets of horse shoes and many experiences later I felt like I was beginning to learn. I joined EFA 1983 and started Eventing, which lead to a need to understand Dressage.

While working fulltime as a Secondary Art Teacher, training one horse at a time has been my limit. I was able a few years ago, to take a skinny chestnut off the track and train him with Sue Chandler’s help, to get through quite decent P St. G tests.  

My early passion in sport was Athletics, Football and Cricket. I particularly flourished in the team environment. My involvement in Dressage today seems the perfect coming together of my love for sport and art.

I have been on the committee of the Berwick & District Dressage Club for nearly 30 years and was honored to be named their second Life Member after Ed Rodgers. Through the medium of this progressive club I have been involved in many important innovations in Victorian Dressage.

I have chaired or taken roles on a number of community committees seeking a better deal for horse owners in the Casey/Cardinia area. As a faculty leader I have been part of many committees and appointment panels, over my 40 years with Victorian Education. I served on the Dressage Victoria committee for nearly 10 years.

I feel that with a wealth of committee experience, a sound knowledge of the sport and an unencumbered desire to progress our organisation for all involved, I am well placed to enjoy a productive contribution to the Oakwood Riding School Committee of Management.

COMMITTEE SECRETARY

Sue Stott

Having been involved with the Oakwood Riding School since 1977, Sue joined the Committee of Management for the first time in 1979.  

Sue brings extensive industry experience, and of course intimate knowledge of the Oakwood organisation, which supports the Committee in its work and decision making.  She is also a very kind natured person, and helps create a welcoming, friendly environment at Oakwood.

What is your history with Oakwood Riding School?
I have agisted many horses at Oakwood over the years, and received many, many lessons on my horses at the 'old' Oakwood.  I have also had a few rides on school horses at the 'new' Oakwood.
What is your equestrian background?
I primarily have a showing background.  I used to compete at local agricultural shows, and I also competed in the Garryowen at the Melbourne Royal.  We owned many horses over the years, but my main horses were Humbert, Planet, Kelly, Leo, Lilly, Vickie and Peppi.
What do you do outside of your work at Oakwood?
I run my farm, which is 70 acres located just outside of Pakenham.  I breed cattle and have some horses on agistment.
I love going out with friends, and caring for my beloved cat and dog.
What do you like most about Oakwood?
I gain great enjoyment from working with the Oakwood team, and I like to make sure they are happy and well looked after.  I believe the current Committee of Management is a terrific group, and lovely to work with.
What is your vision for the organisation?
I want to see Oakwood grow, to progress.  I am particularly interested in encouraging young riders and supporting their development.

COMMITTEE TREASURER

Nicci Growcott

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Jill Pearson

Jill has been involved with Oakwood since the 70's and contributes great insight into the organisation.  Jill is very passionate about supporting the growth of Oakwood, and plays an active role in supporting ORS events and other projects.

What is your history with Oakwood Riding School?

It began back in the mid 70’s having a bi-monthly lesson with the wonderful Malcolm Barnes at the old Oakwood in Narre Warren.  In 2008 we looked at Oakwood as an agistment facility for my daughter’s horse and mine, we were so impressed and still are to this day.  We currently own two Warmblood Geldings and a Thoroughbred Gelding which are all agisted at Oakwood.

What is your equestrian background?

I commenced my riding at the age of 4 when I began riding a very intelligent Shetland named “Wednesday”.  From country Victoria we moved to Melbourne where I started riding at a local Riding School.  I gained a lot of horse husbandry experience there, from being able to not just ride, but work as a casual there on weekends.  My parents bought my first horse, a Thoroughbred showjumper, when I was 12 and with him I was involved in Pony Club and competed up to B Grade Show Jumping.  Saving my money from working at the Riding School and at my parent’s newsagency, I was able to purchase a young 4 year old Galloway which I trained and showed successfully at Pony Club Events and Agricultural Shows.  My experiences also extends to serving on many committees over the years.  I currently have lessons with Sue Chandler and attend some clinics and Dressage competitions​

What do you do outside of your work at Oakwood?

My working background has always been in Human Resource Management.  I own a small property in Beaconsfield Upper, where we have our 2 retired horses and 6 dogs with us.  In my spare time, apart from riding, I also show dogs and judge both in Australia and Internationally.

What do you like most about Oakwood?

Oakwood is a friendly, supportive and vibrant community offering riding instruction to both recreational and competitive riders, either on one of their well-educated school horses or your own horse.  The agistment is second to none and everyone gets to enjoy the first class facilities that Oakwood has on offer.

What is your vision for the organisation?

Oakwood is more than just a Riding School, it is a top level Equestrian centre, where the teaching of riding and care of the horses is upmost in their minds.  I am passionate about seeing Oakwood successfully strive in to the future and keeping its’ valued traditions continue, which has been in place for over 60 years now.