Emma hails from Cassilis, NSW where her parents own a family Sheep property running Merinos that have been bred by the Armstrong family for generations. Emma started riding at a very young age helping on the farm and mustering both sheep and cattle. She was an enthusiastic local Pony Club member from the age of 6yrs and in those early years was coached by Gordon Bishop. On completing school in 2001 and at Gordon's suggestion, she trialled with Heath and Rozzie for a working pupil position and so started a wonderful association. Initially "Winks" who is Emma's mum was concerned that Emma was too small (40kg) and not tough enough to endure the rumoured rigours of working for the Ryans. Emma has never looked back and has gone from a competant and talented Pony Clubber to a consumate professional. Emma has already won an Eventing World Cup CIC *** against Australian Olympians on their best horses. Emma is a classical jump rider with textbook style. Emma is very confident over really big fences and is one of those riders that interfers in a minimal way when approaching a fence. Emma is very fast cross country and enjoys the luxury of horses actually wanting to go for her. She is also very confident schooling Piaffe, Passage and One Time changes in the Dressage arena. Emma has already chalked up Grand Prix dressage wins and has a great future in this Olympic arena as well as an eventer. Emma is also particularly good with young horses and spends much of the day riding numerous youngsters which have just been broken in or youngsters which other people have experienced problems with and need untangling.
Emma is a top of the range competition rider and already has experienced enormous success on lots of different horses in both dressage and eventing. Emma is an unusually passive rider yet extremely effective. We feel that it is only a matter of time before Emma Armstrong is named on an Australian Olympic Team.
Emma accompanied Heath and Stirling Stilton in 2001 when Heath was on the Australian Dressage team competing in England at the European Dressage Championships trying to qualify Australia for the 2002 WEG to be held in Spain. After this Australian tour was over Emma stayed on and trained in a straight dressage stable in Germany with Martina Hanover and also went to some major dressage shows including Munster. From there she worked with some of the International Eventing Teams including Sweden and also spent time with Olympic Gold Medalist, Matt Ryan. Emma attended major 3DE championships such as Blenheim and Burgley in England and Punchestown in Ireland. She was offered many job opportunities but passed them up to come home and pursue her own Olympic career.
Emma is very much supported by her parents, Cam & Winks Armstrong who have turned part of the Cassilis property into an agistment facility. Interestingly enough their clientele is made up of the "who's who" in the equestrian industry. Being west of the ranges young stock grow up in a worm free environment and the soil is rich and full of calcium and natural minerals and horses under the close supervision of Cam and Winks grow out magnificently - Phone 02 6376 1163 or 0428 761 099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the perks of this agistment property is good old "country hospitality" and clients are always treated to fresh scones, jam & cream on the verandah of a wonderful Australian homestead when visiting their horses. Cam is always very pleased to see visitors as he insists this is the only time he gets to enjoy these home-baked treats!
Interestingly enough, Winks can be found most weekends somewhere around Australia officiating at ODEs or Dressage competitions as a dressage Judge!
Also on this property is Emma's private broodmare herd which is a mixture of specific dressage bloodlines with a particular emphasis on REGARDEZ MOI and JIVE MAGIC and also some very exciting purpose bred eventers. Emma would sell some 10 foals a year as well as having one or two spectacular youngsters of her own in work at any one time.
Emma will ride approximately 15 horses a day at the Ryans and during Stud Season is very competent at all aspects of follicle testing, preg testing, foaling down, weaning, handling youngsters for sale, breaking-in when she has to and is often responsible for handling the stallions during natural cover.
Emma is a qualified NCAS Level I Riding Instructor and as a coach, is very popular with her pupils. Emma has developed into a star attraction in her own right at the Ryans.
Update: Emma worked for Heath and Rozzie for 11 years and she was always the most wonderful employee. Emma is now married to Gordon Bishop and is now Emma Bishop. Emma and Gordon now work for themselves however they are still both based with Heath and Rozzie.