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Samantha’s history pertaining to horses relates as far back to the late 1800’s when her great grandfather, Benjamin Wolfe, migrated from Ireland to Sydney.  After meeting and marrying his wife Australia, Benjamin built the family home in the harbour side suburb of Vaucluse entirely by hand from sandstone quarried at nearby Nielsen Park which he then transported via horse and cart to the large property.  Benjamin was a stellar horseman and hansom cab driver by trade, doting on his horses of which he kept approximately 9 on the property, building beautiful stables from sandstone to house them.  Benjamin holds the honour of being the last hansom cab driver in 20th century Sydney and travelled from Vaucluse to Circular Quay via his trusty horses and cart each day to carry out business. The grand old residence of “Bentral” still stands today and although now owned outside the family, it has been lovingly restored to its original condition by its current owners.

 

Greg commenced making canes literally after a conversation with friends between classes at a show.   A flippant comment of “I can make you one of those” was the beginning of Greg Watson Showing Canes and Whips.  The first cane created for Samantha soon avalanched into requests from friends progressing to the large clientele we are honoured to call customers, both individuals and within the saddlery trade in Australia and internationally.

 

Samantha’s love of fashion led her to investigate the possibility of providing beautiful hats for her clients.  Always searching for the unique and unable to find a reasonably priced special hat for a judging appointment, resulted in Samantha locating a talented Australian milliner who agreed to work with her in creating exclusive, hand made bespoke millinery for her clientele.  Many clients would also request her assistance in dressing for judging assignments or in hand showing and from this, the concept of supplying top quality, second hand attire for the show ring commenced.  Samantha has attired many judges and handlers and proven that this can be achieved without huge expense.

Samantha’s riding career commenced at Challis Riding School in Sydney’s Centennial Park.  Like most Australian riders, she competed through the ranks of pony club and has competed successfully over the years in dressage, showjumping and eventing, however, the show ring is her premier love and she has competed successfully in all levels of showing, including turnout and side saddle events and now enjoys competing at local agricultural shows.  However, she shows her parents Shetland and Miniature Ponies in hand at Sydney Royal Show and occasionally shows Riding Ponies in hand for friends in New Zealand.

 

Samantha Watson is a listed National and International Royal Show official registered with;

* The Equestrian Federation of Australia
* Show Horse Council of Australasia
* The Australian Hunter Horse Association
* The Australian Pony Stud Book Society
* The Miniature Pony Association of Australia
* The Australian Miniature Horse and Pony Enthusiasts
* NZ Side Saddle Association

Samantha is a highly experienced and professional judge of show horses and has judged hacks, galloways, ponies, hunters, riders, turnout and all breeds extensively at countless agricultural and breed shows.  She has also judged at the 2008 Brisbane Royal Show, 2010 Hobart Royal Show, 2011 Canberra Royal Show and internationally at the 2008 Waikato’s World Show (New Zealand), the 2008 and 2009 New Zealand Royal Show and the 2011 Kelt Capital New Zealand Horse of the Year Show.

 

Samantha holds extensive knowledge as to what is correct in regard to judging saddlery and costume for adult turnout classes and has judged the costume and saddlery components of formal turnout at Royal Shows in Australia and New Zealand.

A seeming lack of appropriate information and confusion for both competitors and judges regarding the correct hunter type of horse and subsequent dress and etiquette for these classes, led Samantha to research extensively as to what correctly constitutes a hunter, from the type of animal suitable, to the appropriate turnout of horse and rider.  She is regularly appointed as a judge of show and working hunter classes both in Australia and in New Zealand where she has also judged the prestigious Saddle Hunter Turnout class based on strict criteria at the New Zealand Royal Show.  Samantha is the co founder of the Australian Hunter Horse Association.

 

 

She is a prolific writer and has written articles for NZ Show Circuit Magazine, NZ Collecting Ring, NZ Pony Breeders, Hoofbeats, Equestrian Life and Blue Mountains Life magazines.  She is also called upon regularly as a seminar speaker both in Australia and New Zealand at official and private, Judges and Competitor seminars.  Samantha has also conducted practical show and working hunter training days to assist the competitor as to what a judge looks for in these classes.