Many young Australian riders dream of riding and training in Germany, but a young Shane Davidson made his dream come true. His first European trip was for six months, later returning to Germany for several years to study in the world famous Bereiter program. While there, Shane had the privilege of training with some of the world’s best coaches, including dressage riders Hannes Baumgart, Ulla Salzgeber and Martina Hannover, show jumpers Gilbert Boeckmann, Joachim Heyer and Hans-Heinrich Engemann, and Olympic eventer Harry Klugmann.
Shane also competed his homebred stallion Fairbanks Catargo at the World Young Jumping Horse Championships in Lanaken, Belgium – the first time Australia had been represented in this prestigious breeding showcase.
Since returning to Australia, Shane has produced horses who have carried him to success in the competition arena, earning his inclusion in elite squads. He’s a professional show jumper at World Cup level, a Level II Coach, a professional trainer, and a committed breeder of elite performance Warmbloods. He has also trained to Grand Prix level dressage and has competed successfully in that discipline.
Along with wife Mattea, Shane now owns and operates Davidson Equestrian, a professional competition stable and established performance horse stud, with notable success in breeding horses for dressage, jumping and eventing. They also offer agistment and training facilities designed to provide the optimum environment for every horse.
Shane is a professional show jumping rider at World Cup level, a Level II Coach, and a professional trainer (Image by Oz Shotz).
Mattea was introduced to horses through a school friend whose father started the Brisbane Polo Club. She spent her weekends grooming and riding polo ponies, until she was able to lease a horse and begin competing in Interschool and Pony Club events.
After leaving school, she spent time with Tom Doyle, a vet and a rider. She rode multiple horses, helped out with vet work, and also had lessons with Tony Manca, while gaining further experience working in Kevin McNab’s yard where she met future husband Shane Davidson.
Hooked on the idea of a career with horses, she was accepted into the University of Queensland’s Veterinary Science program. While completing her degree, she continued to compete and train horses at the Davidson family’s property Fairbanks Stud, where Shane taught her to break in and start young horses according to the German system.
The couple later founded Davidson Equestrian, with a focus on producing horses from birth to top level competition. Additionally, they’re kept busy teaching young riders, and training, campaigning and producing horses for sale.
A professional rider in CCI4* level eventing and World Cup show jumping, a Level II Coach, and a Competitive Edge Coach, Mattea is also actively engaged as an equine veterinarian. Focused on equine reproduction and dentistry, she handles all Davidson Equestrian’s stud work.
A professional CCI4* rider, Mattea is an equine veterinarian, a Level II Coach and a Competitive Edge Coach (Image by Oz Shotz).
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