A life of loving horses recognised with an OAM

Carol Paterson recognised with an OAM for her dedication to horses

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Carol Paterson doing what she knows best at the Tenterfield show this year.

Carol Paterson doing what she knows best at the Tenterfield show this year.

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From establishing her own local club, the Texas Pony Club, in the early 70s, to being chair for the Australian Pony Club, Carol Paterson's love for horses has only grown.

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Getting involved with horses has always come at a canter for Texas rider Carol Paterson.

And after more than half a century of organisation with all things equestrian, Ms Paterson has been recognised with an OAM in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Ms Paterson has been involved with horse organisations at every level.

From establishing her own local club, the Texas Pony Club, in the early 70s, to being chair for the Australian Pony Club, Ms Paterson's love for horses has only grown.

"It's a huge honour to be recognised with an OAM, I was completely surprised," she said.

"It was never my intention to reach the top of the tree, I just got involved at a local level and have always just done the best I could."

"They're just extraordinary creatures, everyday I learn something new about horses."

Ms Paterson stood down as chair of Pony Club Australia in 2018, but is still involved with the animals everyday, judging dressage with Equestrian Australia.

"Since COVID lifted, I've been judging dressage competitions more than ever," she said.

"I'm still chief instructor with my local club and on the chief instructors panel with Queensland, which means I get to do amazing things, like judge statewide competitions.

"I'm still coaching, and I loving horses as much as I always have."

Ms Paterson was a key facilitator in bringing international equestrian competitions to Australia, such as the triathlon and quiz competition and helped established a more competitive junior competition for young riders.

"I've seen things change remarkably in my time," she said.

"When I was a rider we were only allowed brown or black gear and our skull caps were made of cardboard.

"When I see how beautiful horses are presented these days, it's just such a credit to the parents and riders that present these animals so immaculately."

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