Christine Mogensen, manager and part owner of Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre.
Starting as a horse mad girl I had riding lessons for several years at Johnny Oswin's riding school in Mt Eliza before my kind/crazy parents purchased me a 2yo gelding Smokey when I was 10yo. The following 5 years were an education for both of us, with plenty of opportunities for me to learn how to fall well! Johnny Oswin continued to provide lessons and guidance over this time while Smokey and I did pony club, shows and low level eventing competitions. Basically anything I could ride to within a 2 hour radius of the pony paddock.
Sir Rastus, my next horse, was purchased as an unbroken 2yo when I was 15yo, this was another good chance to learn, with not so many falls this time. With help from the Frankston Library Rastus was broken and out competing as a 3yo. A summer as a working pupil with Martin Hans in Somerville introduced me to a whole new world of riding and training with Mr and Mrs Hans providing me with life and riding lessons and Rastus with on-going education. Thanks must go to my Mum who paid the agistment and training costs during this time.
Not being able to juggle horse ownership and study left me horseless for my final year of school, but my first pay packet post high school was spent purchasing Mezak (sire Sindh) my first pure Arabian. At 15yo he was a well educated horse who had an interesting career before me which had included siring about 10 registered Arab progeny as well as working on a cattle station in QLD. When I first "discovered" he could do one time flying changes I was quite entranced, we would often make our way across the paddock doing 20 changes in a row! Zak became my first "forever" horse, living to a grand old age of 37 and he has pride of place overlooking the C end of the arena at Blinkbonnie.
My 20's gave me many horse opportunities as I satisfied my travel bug including joining the Civil Service Riding Club in London which used the Royal Mews indoor arena for my regular after work lessons and Hyde Park and Queens Park for hacks and competitions on the weekends. I also had the chance to ride in Africa, USA, New Zealand and Hong Kong, taking lessons whenever I could and I have been blessed to have been taught by many talented instructors.
As I got into my 30's I developed a plan to include my love of horses with training and management (my other job) by opening a riding school, coming to fruition with Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre opening in 1999.
Since then the many horses and horse people I have come into contact with have influenced me greatly and taught me even more, with a bit of this and a bit of that all contributing to where I am now.
Most recently I have been heavily influenced by Philippe Karl's "School of Legerete", regularly attending clinics as a rider and observer. Since 2015 Leanne Williams (EA Level 3 coach and Licenced Legerete instructor) has been guiding my personal riding and horse training. In 2017 I was very excited to be accepted by Philippe Karl as a trainee teacher with the the School of Legerete. I am now attending lessons with Master Teachers Sylvia Stossel and Melanie Bulmahn, working towards the examinations for the School of Legerete Teaching Licence.
Thomas Mogensen, finance manager and part owner of Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre.
As the occasional office manager, chief arena raking technician, chainsaw operator and hay distributor Thomas is the sometimes long suffering but always supportive other half of the Blinkbonnie team.
History of Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre
Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre was started in October 1999 by Duart Perrin and Christine Mogensen, with Duart retiring to the country after a solid 10 years of hard work. In the early days we had help from Sue Moffat and Bill Chrisanis on the teaching side and were supported by Linda Williams in the horse training and stable management. Over the years we had help from some great instructors, other staff and horse professionals, allowing us to build a successful and busy riding school until we were teaching an average of 100 students per week. With over 55,000 lessons delivered between 1999 and 2015, December 2015 saw a combination of factors lead to a change in business direction, with downsizing and a focus on a more specialised and boutique offering. Christine continues to run the horse business with Thomas Mogensen helping out from the side lines.
The name Blinkbonnie
Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre was named after an English TB Mare "Blink Bonny" who won the English Epsom Derby in 1857. Blink Bonny was owned by the ancestors of Duart Perrin, one of the co-founders of Blinkbonnie Equestrian Centre. We are lucky to have a copy of her Jockey Club race records as well as a portrait of her. When registering our business name we used the incorrect spelling of her name, we rather used the spelling which had been common in Duart's family (subsequently we found that this was incorrect!).
In a career that lasted from 1856 to 1858, she ran twenty times and won fourteen races. She was the leading British two-year-old of 1856, when she won eight races including the Gimcrack Stakes at York. In 1857 Blink Bonny won five of her seven races and became the second filly, after Eleanor, to defeat the colts in the Epsom Derby. In the same season, racing against her own sex, she won the Epsom Oaks, the Lancashire Oaks, and the Park Hill Stakes.
Having retired from racing in 1858, Blink Bonny showed exceptional promise as a broodmare, producing three top class racehorses before her premature death in 1862. Blink Bonny was one of only six fillies to win the Derby, and has been regarded by both contemporary and modern authorities as one of the best fillies in thoroughbred racing history.
Blink Bonny was a powerfully-built bay filly standing 15.2½ hands high with a narrow white blaze and one white fetlock. According to some reports, she was a difficult horse who was unpopular with stable staff on account of her "nasty temper", while others described her as being "remarkably docile. She was bred at Spring Cottage, Malton, North Yorkshire by her owner William I'Anson who also trained the filly at his Hungerford House stable. L'Anson, a Scot, named the filly after a turnpike-gate in Edinburgh, through which he regularly passed when traveling to England.
Blink Bonny was sired by Melbourne, a racehorse who became a hugely successful stallion, described by the Farmer's Magazine as "far away the best" of his time: apart from Blink Bonny, he sired the Classic winners West Australian, Sir Tatton Sykes (2000 Guineas, St Leger), Canezou (1000 Guineas), Marchioness (Oaks), Mentmore Lass (1000 Guineas) and Cymba (Oaks). He was Champion sire in 1853 and 1857. Her dam, Queen Mary, was one of the most important broodmares of the nineteenth century. She was "a queer-tempered mare, very wild in the paddock, and blowing defiance to any stranger who approaches her or hers." Apart from producing many good winners, her influence has continued to the present day, with her direct descendants including the 2002 European Horse of the Year Rock of Gibraltar.