Meet the Team
Jade Woodhead – Butler
Rider – Trainer Profile
My name is Jade Woodhead and for the past 24 years a rider, a trainer, an instructor and carer for horses.
My life is horses. Everything has evolved around horses and the horse fraternity, since I was nine years old when l fell in love with them.
In the early days, our family home was in Narre Warren. An outer south eastern suburb of Melbourne. My interest in horses started off as a weekend hobby but soon became a very serious every day commitment. That commitment and dedication was supported by my family who made great sacrifice to enable me to achieve.
As a youngster, Mum and Dad bought me my first pony for Christmas (Annie). Annie was a little chestnut mare who taught me so much and she must take alot of the credit for where I am today. Though I am now dedicated to Dressage, my early days Annie and I did it all! I loved to go showing jumping and eventing. I am sure that the all-round disciplines of equestrian enabled me to develop my skills and craft and understanding. These beliefs are still my major influence today, as the older I get, the truer this statement seems to get!
I believe that this is the attraction in Dressage. Dressage cannot be learnt overnight. It has to be learnt and experienced over many years before you can hope to do it well. Patience, trial and error. Listening an understanding your horse(s) is a crucial part of the strategy to become better at Dressage. We must all be more open, share our experiences and make sure that we support our foundation and the younger riders coming through in the sport. For example, Prydes, who sponsor the Victorian Dressage Squad which I am proud to be a member.
I live on an 8-acre property in Garfield – West Gippsland Victoria. I have 9 horses in work and 2 weanlings to keep me busy. I have had wonderful instructers such as Ricky McMillan , Stefano van Zuijien, Jamie Amian and also the wonderful coaches overseas.
I love the magnificent horses that I am so endeared to work with. My sincere thanks to Mr & Mrs. Graham who have supported me for on 15 years. I truly believe that the wonderful horses I have been fortunate enough to have ridden have given me more understanding to take on the next horse. I ensure that l listen and work with the horse. They are all individual and l never treat them in a generic fashion. Yet they are my family.
My aim when training is to feel that the horse is enjoying their work and that they want to please me. I am sure that the beauty in a Dressage performance comes from working in harmony with the horse.
Like most riders, I had an accident in 2010. Unfortunately I was not able to ride so I made the most of this time and worked with the Hamag Young Rider Squad running the Squad weekends and also helping run the inaugural Melbourne Three Day Event CDI-W. Working with these groups also helped too understand all aspects of our sport. From judging, time management of events, preparing the schedule, budgeting. These were invaluable experiences.
I also had the wonderful experience with Para Riders having been asked by Jan Geary to help put a team of horses together for the Japanese Para Team for Victorian Championships. This was an eye opener. True athletes in their own right. Courage and the will to be the best that they can be. These experiences have made me a better person and help me listen and learn to be able to pass it on.
Witnessed the World Equestrian Games in Aachen Germany twice. I have also trained in Germany and Holland on serval trips. Claire Graham and I have travelled overseas to acquire our generation of horses. Over this time, we have made valued friends and a number of wonderful contacts in the Dressage World.
My days now evolve around the South Eastern Gippsland area where I train 9 to 12 horses a day. Also, part of my job is getting to teach like-minded people through there dressage journey. This ranges from the 11-year-old competing at Interschool nationals to a lady having her first start at competing. As well as having my private pupil. I also teach at most pony clubs and adult riding clubs in the area. This is fun and rewarding where all facets continue to enhance my skill set.
My Career Highlights to Date:
- – 2002 to 2008 YR Vic A squad Rumble Fish & APH Rodrigo
- – 2002 to 2008 YR National squad Rumble Fish & APH Rodrigo
- – 2005 Victorian Dressage Championships- 3rd Aachen Challenge
- – 2005 National YR Championships-Small Tour (PSG/Inter 1) Champion
- – 2006 Victorian dressage Championships 5th Aachen Challenge
- – 2006 YR Victorian Dressage Championships FEI Champion
- – 2006 YR Victorian Dressage Championships Reserve Small Tour Champion
- – 2006 YR National championships Reserve Intermediate Champion
- – 2007 Training Stall-Ramsbrock Sales Barn thank to Uwe Spenlen
- – 2010 Training Holland riding 10 to 15 horses at all levels
- – 2016 First Event Riding at the Victoria Dressage Club coming 2 in PSG & Int 1 after being away for so long.
- – 2016 Valentino W qualifying National start
- – 2016 Prydes Victorian state squad member
- – 2016 Boneo CDI Small tour
- – 2017 Boneo CDI Small tour
- – 07/10/2017- Royal Commander Elementary 67.222% 1st
- -27/01/2018- Bloomfield Noir Amour 4YO 70.6% 1st
- -23/03/2018- Bloomfield Noir Amour 4YO 68.4% 2nd
- -02/09/2018- Royal Commander 68.398 medium 2nd
- -22/09/2018- Bloomfield Noir Amour 70.962 1st novice
- -23/09/2018- Bloomfield Noir Amour 69.565 2nd novice
- 16/10/2018- FEI World Dressage Challenge Royal Commander 66.608 2nd
- 09/12/2018- Royal Commander Reserve Medium Champion
- 09/12/2018- Bloomfield Noir Amour 5YO 68.4 Victorian Championship
- 09/02/2019- Francesca Z First test 4YO Qual 71.4%
- 19/10/2019- Royal Commander 1st place Advanced
- 17/11/2019- Valentino W First Inter ll
Well its time to update this document, as you can see with the added personally highlights things are going as we have been hoping, but there has been many more with Claire Graham and all my wonderful clients we have been kicking goals. Claire welcomed two new members to our family with Der Beste and Bookra Mint Addition coming on board. Both of which we are very happy with.
Our endeavour to keep improving our facility and property is ongoing with new paddocks all with safety horse fencing plus upgraded the arena surface to Olympic quality surfaces, ongoing development to stables with a new concrete floor.
Carlton Performance Horses has also re started running local, National and International events, which have been well received. Alissa Warren joined our Event team as Secretary.
In November 2019 we run the CDI Para Championship which with the support of Equestrian Australia and our many sponsors was a wonderful event. With Claire putting in another PB in Grade 4 with Deb Estie.
I also got married on the 30th November at the property which also helped us develop the garden. Now we have my husband Sam Butler and my wonderful step sons James and Aiden also on board. There help at our events has been invaluable and also at home.
Francesca Z first outing to quality for Dressage with the Stars was another highlight has she is such a large mare we have decided to put her in foal to Royal Commander so that she can mature into that beautiful body as we have high aspirations for this mare…
Concesser is also in foal to Danceaner which is also so exciting.
My short-term goals for the future are to be competitive at the highest level of competition which hopefully will include a start in GP with Valintino W this year, along with a first start in FEI PSG start with Royal Commander. Also, to further enhance my business in training horses and teaching riders to achieve their goals.