Sage N Carlson (Artist)
Sage Natasha Carlson was born in British Columbia, Canada .
From the moment she could walk and talk Sage has had a profound love of horses. A love that has grown and is now a consuming passion.
Her first ride was on "Shadow Flax" her grandfather's pinto horse in Keromeous, British Colombia. These rides continued through rain, sleet and snow until the family returned to Australia.
On the family farm in Bloomfield far north Queensland, Sage aged 7, owned her first horses and by her fathers side, she helped break in and educate the new mounts. Her riding skills grew while mustering cattle on horseback in dangerous countryside and riding fence lines for property maintenance.
Sage was a very ambitious rider jumping upright 44 gallon drums bareback. Testament to Sage's enthusiasm was her award as the youngest rider to complete the 1988 Bicentenary Horse Trail Ride - a 13 day trek from Mayfair Station Maytown to Cooktown.
Life in Bloomfield was different with the family living without electricity which fostered a creative streak in Sage - she began to draw her favourite horses.
A move to Perth proved very rewarding as Sage joined a riding school where she had her first "formal" riding lesson. She was unable to continue with her horse training at this time as the family had to return to Canada because her beloved grandfather had been dignosed with terminal cancer.
As a 12 yr old Sage began rescuing & retraining unwanted and unrideable horses starting with a recently gelded buckskin. All the rescued horses became child friendly mounts and were sold as family pets. Witnessing her talent, family friends gave Sage her first opportunity to break in a filly called "Star" - she was aptly named as Sage trained her to stand on a box, lie down, bow, walk with Sage skiing behind her through the snow using her tail as a rope. Sage's love of breeding champions began with Star's first foal.
The die was cast- Sage had well and truly proved a great affinity with these magnificent beasts.
During the winter snowstorms Sage gathered pencil and paper and began to seriously draw with her art winning prizes at local fairs.
Back in Australia during the last year of high school Sage spent every free moment at her cousins racing stable at Beenleigh where her dream came true to own a big white competition mount. Along came "Lightning" who proved to be an excellent showjumper/eventer and dressage horse. Lightning was quickly followed by "George" and "Bobbie" and Sage's competitive streak came to the fore.
"Convince me why you should you go ahead of the other 400 scholarship applicants for the Horse Mastership Certificate ?" asked Heath Ryan. "Its now or never.... as I'm not coming back.... I'm moving onto bigger and better things and not looking back" was Sage's cocky response. Sage's sterling performance, with drawings in hand and an introduction video. Her determination and persistence secured her the position training at the NSW Equestrian Centre with the best riders Australia has ever seen. Not long after the adventure continued with Matt Ryan in England and afforded Sage the opportunity to be taught by and to ride "the best of the world’s best" and to visit some of the world’s best riding and breeding facilities.
After the heady days of touring with Olympians she returned to the family property at Woodford to persue her love of horse educating, breeding, and art adding photography and imagery design to her credentials. Now with her extensive experience and understanding of the horse, Sage's art has matured becoming more intricate and detailed than ever. Many of her works are displayed abroad.
Sage was instrumental in rescuing many horses throughout SE QLD during the drought and managed to re-house all of them. Today Sage still lives and breathes horses. She has recently started to breed warmbloods and continues to draw freestyle and commissioned artworks for clients worldwide. Working as a professional equine photographer allows Sage to immerse herself with old friends and keep up with what's going on in the industry she loves and can't live without.
Sage's breeding mares and foals for sale (Ackyra Equine Performance horses) can also be viewed on our website.
Catherine Jane Dear (Admin & Marketing)
My name is Catherine Jane Dear nee Macdonald, born and breed in Coffs Harbour northern NSW.
Two very plain unassuming comments have given me something very special. (Marriage proposals aside!!!) "Do real horses ever go into this float" and "Come up and meet Mum, have a cuppa and I'll show you my portfolio" Straightforward .... yes..... life changing moments for me......yes.
I was a tomboy as a child and always wanted a pony. I spent most of my toddler days galloping under the willow trees on a stick with a bridle yelling "giddee up". My parents new very little about the animal but happily obliged and HONEY arrived on Xmas day along with a tan coloured pig skinned stock saddle and matching bridle. ( although I knew Honey was coming as Dad and I went to Mr McGregors' to choose a pony..... luckily Dad listened.) She was a chestnut welsh mountain pony with a flaxen main and tail and personality plus. She refused to be caught, upturned me into the creek at full gallop many times and loved showing off as she was very ,very pretty.
Honey and I went to Pony Club, Kempsey Pony Camp, local Agricultural Shows and all over Coffs Harbour and Bucca with my friend Jacqueline. We rode in swamps where shopping plazas now stand. We used our horses as transport with me riding to the medical centre with a broken arm one day. We were care free and invincible on our horses and went on day long trail rides following the fire trail roads down to the beach to have a gallop. We would take the horses swimming in the neighbours creek holding onto their manes as they swam along and when camping Honey and I would ride bareback up to the local dairy farm for fresh milk whilst Jacqueline made breakfast. Mr Poike would squirt the milk from the cow directly into the billy can. How much milk we had was dependant on how fast Honey wanted to get home. We did all these things with little adult supervision. Honey was followed by horses Olympus, Shane, and foals Kubula and Cherokee.
School interrupted all this fun and finally nursing in Sydney. I remember walking into a saddlers shop in Mona Vale and just smelling the leather! After 3 years travelling OS I returned to Australia, married and moved to Brisbane where I started a family. Whilst travelling (living in France for a year) I visited great art galleries and palaces of Europe and America. This really enhanced my love of all types of visual art. In Greece, France and USA I bought art instead of souvenirs or t-shirts and still have some of them today. I regret not buying a signed Andy Warhole poster of a zebra with fluro highlights in San Francisco as the artist died about a year later.
My daughter and son arrived in quick succession and life was busy but complete. A move to Bundaberg allowed me to revisit my passion of horses. The kids proved good little riders but not that keen so I decided to have some fun and breed whilst maintaining a presence at Pony Club etc. Horses seemed to come and go but favourites like Magpie, Brigadoon, Toucan and Angels Fanfare are fondly remembered. Ote Laird was the most promising horse I breed and I still receive progress reports from his young owners. I loved the adventure of show trips and finally the excitement of eventing. I also enjoyed time spent as the secretary at Musgrave PC. All was done and dusted with horses when the children followed their own dreams and headed off to travel or work. I didn't have a jockey anymore( badly fractured ankle from a horse fall stopped me riding prematurely) so I sponsored Brett Cantle briefly. We bought 2 competitive horses....Donosa being one of them. Donosa returned to me when Brett was offered a tilt at the top which I am sure will happen sooner, rather than later.
It was around this time that I was given the opportunity to follow another passion- music. During my teenage years many hours were spent at concerts like The Clash, B52's, Bob Marley, Devo, Split Enz, Midnight Oils etc. My love of music has now transcended into management....of Alvin and The Jahbutu Band, Australia's premier steel (Pan) drummer with gorgeous vocals to match. It was on one of our music tours to The Winton Outback Festival to headline the festival and do Rhythm and Steel Workshops that Sage spotted us loading all the 44 gallon drum "pans" and percussion instruments into the horse float and commented "do real horses ever go into this float?" We hit it off straight away and cemented a business deal over a couple of beers at the Aussie Pub in Winton. We are on a crazy ride to breed warmblood champs. Sage looks after the horses and I provide the support and some gear!!!.
It was on my first visit to Sages property that the second comment Sage made changed my life. Out of her dusty old portfolio fell outstanding artwork .........I almost fell over. "Why aren't these for sale?" I questioned.......and the rest is history.
I am the luckiest person because at this time in my life I am able to combine, support and help flourish 4 things I am passionate about...... my kids, horses, music (Alvin), art . My passions get me out of bed every day and I am grateful to have them.