Helen Zimic

Sue Nation

Vice President

I have lived all my life on the NSW coast, between Ballina and Sydney. Passionate about horses from very early, but limited opportunity so contact was often ill advised or downright illegal, until I owned my first pony at fourteen. In my late 70s I am thrilled to have several horses at the back door. They are no longer invited in since children left home, but there have been exceptions during a family visit.
Desire to ride has outweighed career ambition; hence despite collecting qualifications I worked the last 28 years before retiring as a school cleaner, which gave me the middle of each day to ride, shovel or whatever. Even so I am not a competitive rider and now am happy to train at home and wallow in the unquestioning friendship of my horses, while happy to throw marks and encouragement at others as a mid-level judge. Dressage people are almost as nice as their horses and that is high praise.



Hamish Barker

Vice President

Hamish started riding again in 2015 after a 30 year break, and moved to the Manning Valley in 2018. He and his partner Gary have a small farm at Firefly where they breed Warmblood horses and Stud Angus cattle. Hamish also does some show jumping with Wingham jump club and is training to start competing in One Day Events as well.

Jamie Reardon

I have loved horses and ridden most of my life.
I volunteered at Jackeroo Ranch in Kenthurst as a young girl where I learnt how to look after ride horses. My first horse, Beaujangles arrived when I was 14.
During my teenage years I attended Hornsby Pony Club until I was 21.
Work brought me to to the Manning Valley in 2001.
Joining the Dressage Club in 2015 after having babies.
I started attending meetings in 2016 and to this day still don’t know how I became secretary.
Although dressage does not come naturally to me the older I get the more I enjoy it!
Eventing is my passion however the older I get the less I enjoy it!
You will see me riding around on my big grey Asham Swagman aka Saxon. My two children, Joseph and Jocelyn, although not horsey are often around helping with runnings of competition days.


Katina Smith

Katina has been a member of the club for over 20 years. Katina worked for United Group Rail as a manufacturing accountant prior to starting her own business, Bangalow Creek Warmbloods. Katina breeds and trains dressage horses and is also a dressage coach. Katina has had much success competing her horses from Young Horse to Grand Prix. Katina is keen to be a part of the committee this year and help in the running of our wonderful club.

Lynda photo.jpg

Lynda DeGruchy


I have recently moved to the Manning area, and am enjoying reconnecting with my life long passion for horses after 25 years away from the sport. Having been a successful and competitive rider in the past I wasn’t sure if it would still be possible, but I find myself out there giving it a go, and feeling blessed to be riding again.  With post graduate qualifications in community management and community services, I have worked (and still do) for some years in management roles within the community health environment.  I also have experience in hospitality and events management. I have recently returned from living and working in remote NT, one of the most amazing experiences imaginable.  I feel blessed to have been accepted and welcomed in to the true heart and culture of the Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land. The only drawback from my time away was that there wasn’t a single horse in site!  I now find myself in a chapter of my life where I am able to give some time back to the sport I had been dedicated to, and feel lucky to be surrounded by like minded people in such a friendly and supportive environment. I hope I will be able to make a valuable contribution to the committee of the MVDHA.

Stef Winwood
Website Designer

Stef became involved with the Club to create the new website and branding, and this led to her assisting in the funding and  organising of the 2016 Regional Dressage Festival.  Stef  is passionate about developing and showcasing the Manning Valley as an exciting and growing centre of equestrian events and business.


0433 307 853


My father put me atop a shaggy Shetland when I was 3 years old. That was it, I was hooked. Pony club, gymkhanas, eventing, agricultural shows, the Royals, I did it all.   I lived for horses.  Until my daughter was 5, and so totally allergic to horse hair, they all went.  I spent the next 15 years supporting her very successful athletics career. 

A move to Firefly from Wagga Wagga in 2015, enabled us to establish “Firefly Park Thoroughbreds”.  It is very satisfying watching a horse you have bred, race. 

It also enabled me to take up Showing & Dressage in 2018 after 32 years away from the sport. I am so enjoying both the competition and friendship of everyone involved and enjoy being involved with a committee of like-minded horse lovers. 

Emma Pike

We moved up from Sydney about 12 years ago to enjoy the diversity of the Mid North Coast. To be able to have a property close to the waterways is something you just don’t get in Sydney. 


I have a very rewarding position with Bushland Health Group Ltd selling Independent Living Villas and assisting our injured workers back into the workplace. I have had my own business, Pike Financial Services for over 15 years which also keeps me entertained.


I have always loved horses, all shapes and sizes! and feel privileged to spend even a small amount of time with them every day.


Now that our children are going in their own directions I enjoy my spare time beaching with my husband and riding my boys.


I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 10 years in the hacking scene with my daughter, Kimberley and now I am inspired by the challenge that comes with dressage.


It is a pleasure to be on the committee of a club which boasts such passionate individuals and I am looking forward to being a long term member.


Nicole Stubbs

Judges & Minutes Secretary

Born in Sydney, spent my childhood growing up on the Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour where my father sailed 18 footers and won World and Australian Tittles, I sailed but at the age of 12 discovered my passion for horse riding. A school friend had invited me to spend a week at a trail riding ranch and I was hooked. I owned my first horse within the year and road the streets and parks of Concord. I met great friends and started competing at Gymkhanas all over Sydney. This lead to Ag Shows and to Sydney and Canberra Royals. I moved to The Manning Valley in 2000 and by 2006/2007 I became the Treasurer of the Dressage Club for about 5 or so years. By 2009 I was really focused on my Arabians and showing them at the highest level. I went on to win multiple Australian, National and Eastcoast Championships with a couple of horses in Ridden, Led and Dressage Classes. My next goal is to train and ride to Grand Prix. My horse at the time had a very bad paddock accident ending his suitability. I knew FEI quality horses already broken were way out of my budget so I purchased a 2yo that I felt was built for the higher levels. She has proven to be very special but as we all know the special ones have a few quirks, so it has been a very interesting journey so far. Hopefully we will go the distance on this very long road, but I am currently enjoying the training and the ride!


Maria Schwensen

 Judges & Grants

I moved up to the Mid-North Coast from Sydney with my husband in April 2019 and I am loving every day of my new life here! In Sydney I worked in management roles at the University of New South Wales. Moving away from the hustle and bustle of city life has given me more time to focus on my riding and play with my four horses. I joined the Manning Valley Dressage and Hacking Club to meet other dressage riders, but also to be able to give back to the community in terms of raising funds to help improve the club’s facilities and events.

Janett Watts

My daughter Sui got involved in the MVDHC after attending the 2000 Paralympics and wanting to become a dressage rider. Once Sui was Para classified the MVDHC asked me to help the club become more inclusive to riders with a disability. The club prides itself on being one of the first country dressage clubs to make Para tests available to classified riders on all competition days.

The club designed and built a mounting ramp at Taree Showground for the use of all riders especially those with a disability.

I enjoy being around horses and am fortunate to work with a very supportive committee.

Anyone wanting to know more about Para please don't hesitate to contact me