For David, horses are not so much a part of what he does, they’re at the core of who he is, and they’re at the heart of his renowned Finch Farm brand.
Living on the family farm just outside Roma in Queensland, David can’t remember a time without horses. Learning to ride on ponies and bush horses, he grew up in a stock saddle behind a mob of cattle, an upbringing he believes has served him well over the years.
Making his way through Pony Club, campdraft arenas, and country shows, David learned the value of hard work, good friends, and the importance of true sportsmanship – the start of a journey that has taken him around Australia and to many other parts of the globe.
David travels extensively throughout the country teaching and course building, and as a rider has earned the reputation as someone who can get the best out even the most difficult horse. His clinics suit a broad gamut of riders who benefit from experience accrued while riding and developing show jumping horses to World Cup standard.
He has competed in Japan, Germany and the United States, and has produced a string of top level horses including World Cup mounts, Campmaster, Boera, Finch Farm Chill, Finch Farm Cadel, Charlemagne Ego Z and Calgary GNZ. His contribution to the equestrian industry was recognised through his induction into the Toowoomba Royal Show Equine Hall of Fame in 2020.
Finch Farm, his property at Westbrook in Queensland, is home to an exciting and innovative world class breeding program designed to strengthen the gene pool and performance ability of the Australian sport horse through a band of carefully selected mares and frozen semen from some of the finest show jumping stallions in the world.
David has been breeding international standard performance horses for more than 20 years, several of which are currently competing at elite levels in Australia and overseas. He currently has an impressive stable of stallions at stud, including Calgary GNZ, Charlemagne Ego Z, and Massimo Quality BWP, while his connection to an international network of quality breeders and competitors gives both David and his clients access to specialised markets, producing unique opportunities in sales and the acquisition of frozen semen.
Finch Farm is renowned for producing elite and premium foals as judged by Australian Continental Equestrian (ACE) tour international assessors, and in 2019 produced the champion Australian foal.
Showing all of the potential and athleticism their forebears promised, Finch Farm young stock are regularly purchased by international buyers, and Olympic and Grand Prix competitors.
Q: What was your dream or what were your goals when you first set your sights on the equestrian industry?
To be the best I could possibly be and make the most of opportunities as they arise. I always have a plan. I’m not one for making a big deal of things. I just work out what I want to achieve and I work toward it – whether it’s riding, breeding or coaching. I always try to have an open mind.
Q: We believe in the great value of mentors, did you or do you have a mentor that has made a significant impact in your life or career?
I was lucky to grow up in the country, alongside fine old Australian horsemen and good, tough Australian horses. I was fortunate to recognise each as being our teachers, even when the days were long, the lessons were tough and the disappointments seemed greater than the wins.
Q: What is the best advice you were ever given?
Your world will shrink or expand in proportion to your courage.
Q: What roadblock or roadblocks have you overcome to be where you are today professionally?
To be successful in high level equestrian sport you need the trifecta of money, talent and time to align. You also need to be humble and remember where you came from.