Byalee began back in 1985 with the purchase of a 14.2hh palomino part-Arab named Byalee Mackennas Gold. He cost the princely sum of $400 as a green 4yo out of the local paper's Saturday classifieds.
After four years of training, during which time Ann-Maree Lourey first came into contact with Olympic trainers Heath and Rozzie Ryan, "Macka" was competing at State level and competing locally at PSG/Inter I level. Sadly, he wasn't built to go right to Grand Prix, and so he was sold as an FEI schoolmaster. He wasn't international, but he was as loved as only a first horse can be, and his name lives on.
Byalee was originally an Arabian breeding name used by Vicki Collien, and it meant "house amongst the clouds". Now it lives on in hundreds of performance horses across Australia - and if it wasn't for a never-say-no little palomino, giving Ann-Maree a brilliant start in the dressage world, she would never have continued into the sport as she has. So a special thank you is owed to Vicki for creating him in the first place, and to Joanne Kennedy who had to sell this special boy due to pregnancy! She wanted a bathtub, while Ann-Maree wanted a foot into the world of horses.
Little did they know what they were setting in train! Byalee has grown from one horse to 40, and from 5 acres to 50 acres. Breeding is now an important part of Byalee's daily life.
So many people have helped Ann-Maree achieve her dream. At 20, she didn't know how to get on a horse. All she knew was that for as long as she could remember, horses were all she wanted. It wasn't until she was independent and working that she was able to take even the first step towards her dream, and take regular weekly group lessons, which led to regular weekly private lessons, which led to the purchase of a horse kept on agistment.
By 24, Ann-Maree was a nationally registered Level 1 riding instructor, an elementary dressage judge, and rode at small tour level on two horses bought for a total of $3300 and sold for a total of $30,000.
Ann-Maree has been living her dream ever since.
Byalee is about achievingyourdream. Contact us today and make it happen!
About Ann-Maree Lourey ...
Ann-Maree Lourey is an experienced Grand Prix competitor, elite EA Level 3 dressage coach and Level 3 coach educator. She is a C-Level (advanced) judge and registered judge mentor (one of only two NSW mentors at EA level). She has a degree in psychology, VETAB qualifications in sports psychology, and a Diploma in Sports Psychology.
You may have seen her Psyched for Success column in the national Horse Deals magazine, or read her Ask the Expert page (which ran for a record six years), or picked up on her 'Lesson with Ann-Maree Lourey' features.
After 20 years in journalism both in Australia and the United Kingdom, in both equestrian magazines and metroploitan daily newspapers, Ann-Maree she is a clear and concise communicator who is able to relate to people from all walks of life and from all levels of equestrian experience.
She has a reputation for encouraging riders lacking in confidence with psychological insight, and yet is an avid competitor who has hands-on experience in the administration of the sport, having held many positions ranging from Australian team chef d-equip at the Sydney Youth Olympics and NSW Young Rider team manager to Hunter Valley rider representative and member of the Dressage NSW committee as well as assisting on the committees of many local dressage committees.
In competition, Ann-Maree first competed Byalee MacKennas Gold to FEI level, followed by Byalee Brandy, and has competed countless FEI horses such as Wise Choice, Byalee Romance and Bonsai as well as Grand Prix horses Byalee Tomorrow, Byalee Magic and the imported warmblood stallion Richmeed Medallion. She also successfully campaigned the AWHA-registered TB stallion Cool Cat of Byalee to NSW State Elementary Horse of the Year .
Ann-Maree currently campaigns the imported Swedish warmblood stallion Byalee Briar as well as the just-imported Spanish Andalusian stallion Byalee Salao IX and the Briar mare Byalee Beautiful and is hoping somehow to have time to upgrade her juding qualifications to FEI level in the future.
Pictured above left, Byalee Salao IX (imp), and above right, Byalee Romance
Dimity Lourey is second-in-charge at Byalee Stables and takes care of the education of most of its junior students. After all, she was one too once!
Dimity has been an important part of the Byalee team for most of her life: her first dressage test was aged four on the stalwart Tim Tam, she went through pony club with Byalee Dusty (now Byalee's 34yo school pony, Dusty) and Blue Denim Society. She was top 10 in open State pony dressage at age 7, champion State dressage pony at age 8, and winning Prix St Georges dressage titles at 10.
Dimity was national Arabian FEI champion on Atallah at age 11, and the winner of nine separate annual club titles at three different clubs on four different horses in 2004 (from preliminary to FEI) – again, at the age of 11!
Dimity qualified her own 17.2hh warmblood Byalee Gold for the open Victorian, NSW and National Dressage Championships at elementary/medium level at age 12 and was three times a member of the NSW State Young Rider team at State and National Young Rider championships.
Dimity won national Australian titles at PSG and Grand Prix level from age 12 - 16 on the talented gelding Hollybrook
Boston. She represented Australia in New Zealand at the NZ National Young Rider Championships in 2008, winning the national Young Rider Preliminary Championship) and was a member of the National Talent Squad and Australian Insitute of Sport Dressage Development Squad.
Dimity rode Byalee Breathless to National Reserve Champion Preliminary Horse at the 2012 Young Rider Championships and won many titles with him on his path to advanced dressage before he set a Byalee sales record - 'Stuart' sold for $72,600 at Auction of the Stars in December 2016.
Dimity now campaigns Byalee's Wie Weltmeyer stallion Byalee Wow Wie rw (pictured right). He has just placed at his first open CDI event and has been Grand Prix for the past six months. This is the first GP horse that she has trained from preliminary level to the top echelons of the sport.
Dimity also campaigns many of the young horses that Byalee breeds and sells, as well as her own showjumper, Fresian-cross Byalee Zorro, and her next Grand Prix dressage prospect, Byalee Aadonis.
Dimity is available to help with the training of competitive young riders. She is also known for her work with children on the autistic spectrum and children with special needs and we have seen incredible progress made by students after they begin to interact with our school horses. Dimity is a qualified NCAS Intro Coach, and also a qualified health, lifestyle and fitness professional with a Certificate IV in fitness training and a Diploma in Business Management.
Pictured above right, Byalee Wow Wie RW placing at Sydney CDI 2018
Pictured below left, Hollybrook Boston, and below right, Byalee Gold