Scone Back on the Trail

Filed in Recent News by July 17, 2017

“I just thought I can’t believe that the horse capital of Australia doesn’t have trail rides,” said Jo Fernandes.

Geoff Loyd the lead horseman taking care of a young rider on the trail.

Geoff Loyd the lead horseman taking care of a young rider on the trail.

For many years Jo had enjoyed taking her friends on trail rides on the 7,000 acre property Ashbrook which backs onto the Towarri National Park, but she couldn’t believe there was nowhere in the Horse Capital where people visiting the area could go on a trail ride.

At the beginning of this year Jo began a business offering trail rides in the upper Hunter, which has grown quicker than she anticipated and for which she has just been nominated as a finalist in the Hunter Business Awards for Contribution to the Region.

“I’ve had really mixed clients  they’ve come from Canada, France, China, South Australia, all over the place,” said Jo Fernandes.

“They are not always horsey, some people can’t ride others have their own horses and want to come in a group and stay here,” she said.

“I am starting to take bookings for October and November, there is a group of mums coming up with their daughters who are going to stay in the bell tents and go for a ride together.

Accomodation can be arranged for riders wanting to spend the night under the stars.

Accomodation can be arranged for riders wanting to spend the night under the stars.

“I have such wonderful horsemen that I work with who are really talented, reliable and level headed.

“It’s an easy track and an easy ride, there are seven creek crossings and the property is 40 percent rainforest, so you can go through canopies of twisted willow and there staghorns everywhere, it is just gorgeous.

“While most of the rides are done here, I also host rides across the area, so I’ve done rides at Gundy and Belltrees,” said Jo Fernandes.

The people travelling to Scone for a trail ride are also looking for a broader experience, so Jo puts together itineraries tailored to their interests and showcasing the Upper Hunter.

“People want to have an adventure, a big sleep, a cocktail and go back to Sydney and tell people what they did on the weekend,” said Jo.

“So I look at how I can harness all of the talent here and it depends where they are staying as to what I recommend they do.

“I always encourage people to go to Murrurundi to the art galleries, the Cottage is included in my itineraries, if there is a shopaholic I tell them about the local shops, Airspeed and Pay’s I recommend for a charter or to go for a joy flight and Pam Seacombe does a self-development workshop where people work with horses and it is just beautiful,” she said.

“There’s so many things here for people to do, they can go hiking up the Burning Mountain, go to the Washpools, or up to the Barrington and the Devil’s Ark or to the cheese factory and Hollydeen,” she said.

“Once I learn about what they want I can put something together to cater for their weekend, it’s more than just the horse ride,” Jo Fernandes said.

Jo Fernandes said she was surprised to be nominated for the Hunter Business Award and was enjoying building her new business to showcase the local area.

“I’m just going to go and have a lovely dinner and treat it like a night out and not expect anything,” she laughed.

“It is just magic here and I love that other people can come and enjoy this place too,” Jo Fernandes said.

More information on a trail ride in Scone visit Open Space Events.

Jo Fernandes wanted everyone to be able to enjoy a horse ride in the horse capital.

Jo Fernandes wanted everyone to be able to enjoy a horse ride in the horse capital.