Meet our favourite cowboy

Pictured below is Peter, who receives regular respite care at our Balmoral Grove aged care home (Grovedale, VIC).

Peter was born in Broken Hill in 1948. His father was a professional rodeo rider and soon put Peter on his first horse at age two. Peter was then taught horse training skills by his dad for the next 10 years. At age 14, Peter began working as a Head Stockman in charge of 5,000 cattle and 14 men. At 15, he then tried his hand at rodeo riding all around Australia, and by age 16 he was earning his own living on the rodeo circuit and winning prizes.

Peter was then offered a sponsorship to go to America, and he took advantage of this and went to California as a full-time range cowboy. He then travelled to Oregon where he became an apprentice to well-known horse master Tom Dorrence. Peter then honed his skills under Mr Dorrence for the next 20 years. Following this, Mr Dorrence told Peter that he was ready to go back to Australia to share his skills with people that wanted to know more about their horses. Peter then returned to Australia, where he settled in Swan Hill and worked as a cowboy training horses.

Peter was then approached and asked if he would like to go to Canada to ride bulls in rodeos for six months. Two years later Peter was still there, eventually heading to Fort Worth, Texas, to work as Head Stockman.

Later, he decided to return once more to Australia where he worked as a stockman and a rodeo rider until he was 58. He ended up buying his own property at Benalla where he had 164 horses.

During this time he met his lovely wife, Louise, and they bought a horse training property together in Gheringhap where he still lives and works as a cowboy today.

Peter has had two strokes and due to this he has had numerous respite care stays at Balmoral Grove. Peter says the respite care gives his wife a break, and he loves coming to visit all the friends he has made at Balmoral. He does daily walks throughout the home with his cowboy hat in hand and says ‘g’day’ to all the residents.

These medical issues have not stopped Peter from working with his prized horses on his property, and he wants everyone to know that no matter what life deals you, it is what you make of it that counts – so do what he’s done and get back on the horse!

Learn more about Japara’s respite care program by giving us a call on 1800 52 72 72. 



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