Queensland Wins RDA Nationals
28th, 29th, 30th October 2005

Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre hosted the 2005 Riding for Disabled National and International Dressage Championships this year. International competitors from Hong Kong Riding for Disabled and New Zealand borrowed horses to compete, except one New Zealand rider who had her horse transported over the Tasman for the event.

Marita Hird, Catherine Alati, Ingrid Bailey, Dylan Cruikshank, and Susan on 'Menora Wildfire' made up the Queensland team with Pat Heipertz, Linda McLachan, and Jennifer Waggstaff as the official support crew. Susan placed 2nd in all three tests, riding despite an injury she sustained during the week. Her results helping the Queensland team bet the hometown favourites Victoria, to win the State Team Trophy (which was last held by the state in 1998).

Susan would like to express her gratitude to the Queensland team for all their help as well as the unofficial team helpers. Further thanks to the Wallace Family, Maggie, Jamie, Tracey, Nicky, Lyndsee, Amy, the Moggill Pony Club, and the Brookfield Pony Club for their kindy aid in the lead up to the event.


Pony Club Support
24th September 2005

During September the Moggill Pony Club held a raffle with funds being donated to help Susan and 'Wildfire' compete at the Riding for Disabled National Dressage Championships, in Werribee Victoria, 28th -30th October. Susan has been an active member of the club for many years and was so grateful for the financial assistance. The Brookfield Horse and Pony Club, delighted to hear of the event also kindly contributed funds. Special thanks to Laura Murphy and Jacqui Mathers, for organising the fundraiser and to both clubs for their encouragement and support.


Wildfire at the QLD States
1st May 2005

Sunshine on Queensland's Maroochydore Showgrounds brought welcomed relief to organisers and competitors, at this year's Riding for Disabled (RDA) Queensland State Dressage Championships. The mood was friendly and supportive between competitors (as always at RDA events), something remarked on by judges Sue Bright and Jenny Hobbs.

Susan's mount'McLeod', had gone lame the week prior to the event after months of training, but lucky she was the proud new care-taker of 'Menora Wildfire'. The pair gained fantastic results, considering their limited practise time and were Grade 1 State Champions for 2005. Thanks must go to the event supporters Virbac, Just Country, and the wonderful people from NAGS.


AIS Training Camp
25th- 28th March 2005

National and Talent Identification Squad riders Australia-wide were invited to attend a development camp at the Australian Institute of Sport and Pegasus RDA centre in Canberra. The four-day camp brought together a diverse group of riders, who received daily individual lessons with paralympic coach Gill Richard and assistant coach Anne Hall to develop their skills and seek expert advice.

The program also included information sessions with Athens Medallist Jan Pike on the elite athlete, Carolyn Lieutenant on judging and coaching, Tony Naar discussed the Australian Paralympic Committee, Susan Cusack talked on the team manager's view-point, and finally core stability and exercise to improve the seat from Gill Richard and Tim Van Dalen. Riders were encouraged to ask questions and found these talks an extremely beneficial experience. Susan could not have attended the camp without the generous support of the Wallace family, the Gorman family, and Trevor Clifford.


State Scratching
30th October 2004

Susan unfortunately suffered a broken leg due to a riding accident 3 weeks prior to the Riding for Disabled (RDA) State Dressage Championships. However, she was able to attend the event as a spectator. After 3 months of sunny clear days the Nambour Showgrounds were drenched with much needed but badly timed rain from start to finish of the program. Along with the bad weather many horses were scratched because of lameness leaving some sections without competitors and last minute horse swapping.

Despite disruptions the day was thoroughly enjoyed by on-lookers and results reflexed some of the high quality horses and riders we have in RDA throughout Queensland. Just Country and Virbac have to be thanked for kindly donating prizes as well as all involved with organising the day.


Paralympic Coach Clinic
7th, 8th July 2004

Dressage riders from all over Queensland came to The Cartmill Centre at Burpengary to attend the Gill Richard Clinic. Over two days the current Australian Paralympic Coach gave nine riders one-on-one lessons to improve their dressage skills. Thanks to the Denny Family for allowing their 15hh Stock Horse 'Clancy' to be used by Susan during the clinic. Also to fellow Team members for sourcing such a wonderful mount for her. The clinic was extremely successful and hopefully will take place again next year. All the best of luck to Gill and the Paralympic Squad in their preparation for Athens!


National Championships
28th-30th May 2004

The 2004 Riding for Disabled Australia National Dressage Championships were held at Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park, New South Wales. The competition spread over three days with around 40 riders representing Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and overseas guests New Zealand.

Susan rode 'Menora Wildfire' an 8-year-old Morab gelding kindly loaned to her by owner Gordon Wallace. The combination placed 2nd to World Champion silver medallist Jan Pike and imported Hannoverian Warmblood 'Dr Doulittle', in all three tests. The Queensland Team also placed 2nd overall in the State competition. Susan would like to thank the Wallace Family for their support, as well as the Queensland State Team and all our helpers.


Homeward Bound
20th October 2003

'Southern State Affair' was kindly loaned to the McIntyre Centre for the past three years, however his time has come to go back home. Susan has had the pleasure of competing the medium trained Andalusian gelding in three Riding for Disabled State Dressage Championships, the 2003 Riding for Disabled National Dressage Championships and up to Elementary EFA Dressage Tests. She has learned so much from him and he will be dearly missed by all at McIntyre.


NZ Paralympic Championships
8th-10th March 2003

Auckland's Rosedale Pony Club was set to hold the equestrian section of the New Zealand Multi-Sports Paralympic Championships from the 8th to 10th of March. However, due to lack of competitors the equestrain events were cancelled. Susan was the only equestrain athlete in the Queensland team organised by the Sporting Wheelies Association, comprising of five other athletes competing in swimming, boccia, wheelchair tennis and athletics. Susan was very disappointed to hear of the cancellation but would like to thank everyone who help search for horses and wishes the best of luck to the rest of the team!


16th-24th November 2002

Susan made a brief appearance at this month's Equitana, held at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Georgia Bruce's Quarterhorse 'Rumby' was Susan's mount for the Riding for Disabled Queensland demonstration, which was conducted by paralympic bronze medallist Martia Hird. Susan was also lucky enough to meet some famous faces during the show including dressage champion Ulla Salzgber, horse whisperer Pat Parelli, and olympic gold medallist Matt Ryan.


Tania Kernaghan Visit
16th October 2002

Country Music Star Tania Kernaghan visited the McIntyre Centre this month for a promotional interview and photo shoot with Susan for the up-coming Equitana. Tania is Vice Parton of the Riding for Disabled Association Australia and will be competing in the Celebrity Barrel Race during the horse show. Susan and Tania were interviewed for the November edition of Friday Magazine which features in Queensland Country Life. They were joined by another rider for photos with two of McIntyre's dressage horses, 'Southern State Affair' and 'Jessica'.


Totally Wild
23rd April 2002

Channel Ten's Totally Wild did a story on the McIntyre Centre this week to promote centres in Australia. The crew followed Susan's group lesson and presenter Ranger Stacey interviewed her as well as other riders, helpers, and her coach. The Episode will air later this month. Catch the show weekdays at 4pm and Saturday at 7:30am on the Ten network.