A Forty-Year-Plus Passion

Meet Helene Scarf, founder of Cedars Shire Horse Stud and co-developer of barranca’s Equine Therapy.
This year marks her 40-year-plus passion for Shire horses and 30 years of her showing this majestic breed at Sydney’s Royal Easter show.

Today Helene’s passion is what you will experience when you partake in the Equine Program, or even just see the majestic Shire horses up close at barranca. Read on to discover Helene’s story.

Helene established the The Cedars {now barranca} 40 years ago in Kangaroo Valley and has been dedicated to breeding Shires ever since. Today, completely to her credit, it’s Australia’s oldest Shire horse stud. When you stay at barranca you can experience these majestic creatures up close all thanks to Helene who was the first to bring Shires to Australia.

Here, in Helene’s words, is how it all started…

“I flew Ladbrook Edward to Australia in 1981 in a specially converted for livestock Jumbo jet. He was Australia’s first Registered Shire since the early 1900’s.

I was Helene Bowles at that time as Greg and I got married in 1982. That was the start of my passion for Shires and I still am passionate about them 41 years later.

In 1984 Greg and I imported three mares which arrived by sea. We sold one to a friend and kept two to breed with our stallion.

A year later another shipment arrived by sea and we kept two mares from that shipment. By then people were showing interest in the breed.

From 1990 to 1997 I took Ladbrook Edward to the Sydney Royal Easter ‘Show in a Breaking In Gig’ (for eight years) as there were no Shire horse classes yet due to the low numbers. First Shire Classes started in 1991 and I’ve shown Shires at the Sydney Royal for 30 years this year.

We started a Breeders Group initially but then we re-registered the Australian Shire Horse Society in 2004 as an Englishman Grahame West had the name registered in 1978.We also started an Australian Shire Horse Stud book in 2007 and now over 400 Australian Shire Horses are registered in Australia.
I have been President of the Australian Shire Horse Society since the beginning and we have a wonderful enthusiastic committee: www.shirehorsesociety.com.au. We also have in excess of 150 members.

I had no experience with horses when I started. My big new horse was simply a big pet! However I did a horse course at tech ‘Hooves and Legs’ and I’m still learning from my experiences today.

Lucky for me they are a very docile breed and I surrounded myself with horse professionals from the beginning.

I hope that the future of the Shire Horse continues to grow and prosper in the years to come and that barranca guests get to experience these beautiful, docile, gentle giants which will continue to enrich our lives.” – Helene Scarf

barranca’s Equine Program

Our Equine Program is a collaboration between barranca, The Cedars Shire Horse Stud and Flying Change Leadership.

It has been developed over the last 20 years to allow participants to appreciate the nature and behaviour of horses and watch how horses mirror human behaviour. This is the way that our guests learn to improve their communication skills and confidence.

To find out more about our Equine program, click below.

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