Secretus | This Mare’s Talents are No Secret.

It was early on when Secretus’s connections knew this 2016 So Secret mare wasn’t going to make it as a racehorse, and it was just as quickly that rider Saijsh Mitchell recognised her potential as an Eventer.

Secretus was bred by her racing owners, Merrilea and David Broad who own her dam, Dominicus who’s successful 11-start career was sadly cut short in 2012. Dominicus was bred to WA Stallion So Secret and in November 2016 Secretus was born. In 2019 Secretus was sent to the stables of Geraldton-based trainer, Adrian Tiver for whom Saijsh was working. By February 2021, after three trials and four unplaced starts it was agreed that Secretus, or Betty should be retired.

While working for Adrian, Saijsh had ridden and fallen in love with Betty. Knowing of Saijsh’s attachment to Betty, Merrilea and David offered her the mare once she retired. Initially Saijsh’s mum, Anne-Maree was not enthusiastic about an off the track horse for her daughter but was eventually convinced.

“I am a lover of grey horses and liked Betty’s solid build. I also knew that she had received the best start with her education from Adrian Tiver.” Anne-Maree said when asked what won her over.

Betty’s first owners, Merrilea and David recall deliberating over their choice.

“We couldn’t have envisaged how lucky we were and especially how lucky Betty is to have gone to the home of Saijsh and her Mother Anne-Maree. Betty hit the jackpot and while we agonised over our decision at first it certainly didn’t take long for us to be totally reassured that she couldn’t have gone to a better home and new career which she is thriving in.”

Once landing safely with Saijsh and Anne-Maree, Betty was given a six-week spell before slowly beginning her re-education.

“It wasn’t long after Betty started her dressage and show jumping education that we realised how talented she was. She proved to be very bold, and her work ethic was amazing for a four-year-old…” Saijsh says.

Betty and Saijsh train under the watchful eye of dressage coach, Lucy Lowe. With Lucy Betty and Saijsh follow the German training scale, ensuring a solid flatwork foundation and correct development of the mare’s muscles.  Lucy attributes much of Betty’s success to not only Saijsh’s dedicated work, but also Betty’s laidback nature and the start she was given with Adrian.

“I also attribute Betty’s success with the very good start she had with her breaker and racing trainer. This is so very important as I really believe the way a horse has been started as a breaker sets them up for life in all aspects.” Lucy says.

Adrian remembers the mare as a great horse to have around the stables; a pleasure to train and easy to handle.

“It is great to see Betty doing so well in her new career with Saijsh.” Adrian says.

Having laid a solid foundation, Saijsh has stepped-up Betty’s training this year. Already they have won both the EvA Junior 80 classes at Murray CCN and Perth Horse Trials Eventing on the Run competitions. Finishing on their dressage score both times. More recently the pair competed at the Geraldton Combined Equestrian Club Show Jumping weekend where Betty competed in her first one metre show jumping round cleanly, with no faults.

While these successes indicate Betty has a promising eventing career ahead of her, Saijsh says her biggest accomplishment is simply having educated Betty to this point so quickly and safely.

“Never did I think I’d have a five-year-old going around so confidently, boldly and scoring and placing this well considering she’s not even been eventing 12 months.” Saijsh says.

Saijsh has her sights set on competing 1* with Betty by the end of 2022, 2* in 2023 and heading to the eastern states in 2024 to compete in their prestigious three-day events.

“There really aren’t many words to describe the feeling that this horse gives me. She’s the type of horse you know you can trust to get you around safely and she always puts in 110%. I know she has a lot of trust in me as a rider, she’s just so willing and happy to try anything I ask of her. I truly believe Betty has the potential to go all the way and I’m excited for the future.” Says Saijsh.

We are looking forward to seeing this talented young pair grow and learn together!

  • Photo Credit: Waylib Photography

  • Photo Credit: Waylib Photography

  • Photo credit: Vicki Photos

  • Photo credit: Silverfern Photos

  • Photo credit: Silverfern Photos

  • Image supplied

  • Photo credit: Christie Lyn Photography

  • Photo credit: Vicki Photos

  • Photo Credit: Waylib Photography

  • Photo credit: Silverfern Photos