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A love of horses

A love of horses

From the bush to the show ring

Neale Lavis was born in Murwillumbah, north eastern New South Wales on 11 June 1930. He spent his earliest years on a banana plantation, before his family moved to a dairy farm at Bodalla, on the far south coast of New South Wales. Neale rode in his spare time, mustered cattle and competed in equestrian events at local shows. In April 1957, Neale won the first three-day event held in Australia at the Sydney Royal Show.

Click on the images below for more details of Neale's life story

  • Headley and Neale (at back) double-dinking on Pony, at Mooball, near Murwillumbah, 1934
    Headley and Neale on Pony, 1934
  • Neale riding Corrabene at ‘Rewlee’, near Bodalla, early 1940s
    Neale on Corrabene, early 1940s
  • Neale, 17 years, on Trixie at the Moruya Show, 1947
    Neale on Trixie, 1947
  • Neale with Trixie at Bega and Sydney shows.
    Neale with Trixie, 1950
  • Bennelong in his yard at ‘Rewlee’, and with Neale after winning their first three-day event in Sydney, 1957.
    Neale on Bennelong, 1957
  • Neale teaching the young  Mirrabooka to jump.
    Neale schooling Mirrabooka
  • Mirrabooka and Neale parting company at the water jump, Melbourne three-day event, 1958.
    Neale and Mirrabooka in Melbourne, 1958


People and the Environment

This online feature is written by Carol Cooper, Senior Curatorial Fellow, National Museum of Australia. Horses in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.