References & Sample Articles
Biomechanics Lecturer Colleen Kelly, EFA – NJAS Official Judge (Retired), started her career in exercise physiology, working in rehabilitation gymnasiums, and now, some 30 years later, is one of most sought-after speakers around the world.
Colleen has always been fascinated by the mechanics of movement, and after University started training weight lifters, runners, swimmers & divers.
Colleen spent 8 years in the research department with the University of NSW at the CCLRU which, although in another scientific field, developed her great interest in scientific research.
After receiving an unheard of 100% in the Official Judge’s Dressage Examination and being awarded the position of Spokeswoman for the WorkCover Authority of NSW, Colleen started to become officially recognized for her unique and original work by being asked by Official Federations around the world to speak on the elite lecture circuit at world-class conferences such as the massive Equine Affaire, in Massachusetts, Ohio and California, Equine Extravaganza and EquineXpo in Western Australia, Equicon, the National Horse Festival, and many times presenting both biomechanics and vaulting at Equitana .
Colleen has given lectures & presentations at the world’s largest University Programs including:
They say “you get it from your family” & Colleen’s great grandmother Mary Louise Berry (b.1836) was well known for training animals and breaking horses, and, probably because of her petite size, was unable to do the rough “rope them down” methods.
This kind method of breaking was followed by Colleen’s Grandfather, Alan Manuel. Colleen has always trained animals learning carefully from her mother, Gwen Kelly who not only was a master horsewoman, but able to train trick animals – even able to train cats to do every animal trick you can think of!
Colleen’s mother, Gwen rode for the very last time in the “Spirit of Pharlap” show at the age of 76, before recently passing away. She is missed desperately, and her training ledged goes on.
Colleen always rode, but first started competing in a few of the shorter endurance rides on the Gold Coast, but found her heart wasn’t in the hours of pain! In the late 1970′s Colleen started playing polocrosse with the Gold Coast Polocrosse Club and played 8 seasons with the club meeting some of the best friends she still has to this day.
Colleen became interested in showing after finding a horse that no-one else would ride, the magnificent (but naughty!) 18hh ”Thendara Old Times” . After winning at the highest level Agricultural Shows, sadly, he was seriously scarred in a paddock accident and as she loved him dearly this was her chance to start pursuing a career in dressage. Colleen then had three beautiful horses given to her, one after another, by the Captain of the Australian National Polocrosse Team, Alex Hall (whose wife Jodie was the bridesmaid at Colleen’s wedding). The first two were the magnificent black stallion Patrol, who Colleen trained and showed, then the wonderful little colt “Papke’s Wisdom” who Colleen trained and sold to America and he is still standing in Las Vegas.
Then, finally Alex Hall gave Colleen the fabulous “Rex the Wonderhorse” and throughout the 90′s Colleen owned, trained and performed with the well known trick and liberty act horse with his “sidekick” Patch the Wonderdog at many charity and fundraising events around Australia.
Colleen was then honored to be accepted to ride Mary Wanless, famous author of “Ride with Your Mind” at the magnificent “West Wilts” facility at Holt near Bath, England, and to this day Colleen credits a lot of her best work to this amazing lady. Colleen was then invited to San Jose, California to help out behind the scenes with one of Mary Wanless’ videos, and in fact is on the beginning (much younger and skinnier!) of one Mary’s videos.
During all this time Colleen ran the Kelly family-owned “Thendara Equestrian Academy” on the Gold Coast. Colleen was well known for bringing the world’s best clinicians to the facility for some of the most amazing weekend, and week-long clinics and camps. She was delighted to host the Head Rider from the Royal School in Spain, Manolo Mendez, Ali Goward & Equine Muscle Release Therapy, Narelle Stubbs, Physiotherapist to the Australian Olympic Equestrian Team, David Nicholls, Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers in England, and ran a highly motivated group of musical riders who performed at several events in South East Queensland.
After moving to Melbourne, Victoria, to train with the Head Rider from the Royal School in Spain: Manolo Mendez, Colleen continued her passion with quadrilles, freestyles and musical rides and is often seen behind the scenes at many gala evening performances. Colleen has also taught at the Lord Strathcona Mounted Garrison, Royal Canadian Mounted Police facility.
An Official Judge at the 1993 Sydney Royal Easter Show, the Arabian National Championships, the Eventing State Championships, the Appaloosa State Championships, and State Associations such as the ACT Dressage Association Agricultural Shows, Colleen has also judged and lectured for hundreds of clubs around Australia. Colleen has had many pupils on the Victorian State Dressage Squad, and many others on State and National Squads, and previous Olympic Long lists, and has work with several Paralympic medalists.
Colleen not only gave 15 presentations at the World Equestrian Games (IEH Festival in Kentucky 2010), but had 5 pupils competing as well. She currently has 6 pupils from her clinics long-listed for London Para/Olympics (however the lists are not even finished yet!).
At Equitana Brisbane Colleen was approached by the Australian National Vaulting Coach, Darryn Fedricks to come and teach his own vaulting team in Queensland, and her love & training in trick riding blossomed into the official sport of Vaulting. Colleen has now had the honor of teaching & lecturing at Lone Star Vaulters, Texas, Mt. Tabor Vaulters, Virginia, Shea Rose Vaulters. Colleen has now twice been invited to work with the amazing professional equine acrobats “Big Horse Productions” at Equine Extravaganza where they presented together introducing the sport of vaulting & acrobatics. See amazing Big Horse Productions videos here:
View YouTube video.
Colleen is the founder and Past President of Vaulting Victoria.Colleen’s husband Videographer Nick Tsopanis
Although Colleen is well-known for receiving a remarkable 100% in the Official Dressage Judge’s Exam, and as a prolific author however it’s her “Irish Sense of Humor” and fun presentations that keep audiences around the world laughing, and has seen her awarded with 3 separate awards from Riding for Disabled.
In 2010 Colleen was honored to give 15 presentations at the WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES (IEH FESTIVAL), and from that was invited to do presentations at the CERTIFIED HORSEMANSHIP ASSOCIATION (the USA’s version of the NCAS or BHS), and also at the National Police Colloquium in Kentucky and at the same time give training sessions at the Kentucky Mounted Police.
So after endurance riding, polocrosse, campdraft, showing, dressage, judging, performance & trick training and vaulting, (and her husband Nick’s involvement in Western Pleasure) combined with her studies in exercise physiology & biomechanics, Colleen has had one of the most remarkable all-round careers in horse riding.
- Short Demo Ride at Equine Extravaganza: Colleen Kelly on Saint (in the Black and White)
- TV Seg;ment: Horse Talk TV Australia
- Fun demo at Horse World Expo with Pan Am International Representative
- Julio Mendoza and Vail Dixon, USA long listed eventer
- “Sneak Peak” Filmed ‘backstage’ on set of Advanced Rider Biomechanics
- DVD – Rider Biomechanics with Linda Parelli – short promo
- DVD – ADVANCED Rider Biomechanics – short promo
- Riding in the quadrille at the 2012 Summit - 1st time back after the wheelchair!
- Rider Biomechanics Demo with Linda Parelli – USA Tour Stop
- Short “tip and trick” How to Improve Co-Ordination
- Interview – speaking with horses back in 2010 – fun demo at the end!
DVDs, Ebooks click here >
References & recommendations:
- University of Kentucky
- United States Equestrian Federation
- Equestrian Federation of Australia – Dressage Festival
- Reference – Equine Extravaganza
- Reference – Averett University
- University of Queensland
- Pegasus Pony Club
- Queensland Horse Council
- Paracombe Pony And Equestrian Club
- Kellyville Riding Club
- Suncoast Pony And Riding Club
- Royal Agricultural Society – Sydney Royal
- Riding for Disabled – Tall Timbers
- Wandin Park 3DE
- Appaloosa State Championships
- Equicon Conference Vic
- WorkCover Authority of NSW
- Kardella South Pony Club
- NSW Arabian Horse Association
- ACT Dressage Association
- Dressage Rider’s Training Association
- National Horse Festival
- NSW Horse Trials – Eventing
- Riding for Disabled Awards