Guy McLean was not supposed to be in front of a small crowd of school children and retirees in Kentucky on Sept. 19.
He was supposed to be in Tryon, N.C. giving liberty horsemanship demonstrations to large crowds of equestrian fans during the second week of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports’ World Equestrian Games.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence began moving inland at this time, dropping record rainfall totals and flooding many of the arenas the athletes and performers would use.
“I myself, my beautiful horses, my beautiful wife, and our dear friend Emily was supposed to be at the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina,” said McLean. “But they had a hurricane go through the games. They’re still running, but the demonstrations such as this one weren’t able to go on. So they said, ‘Guy, you’ll have to take the horses away.'”
It was then McLean, an Ambassador of the Australian Outback and an equine showman, was contacted by the Kentucky Horse Park. They wanted McLean to give his demonstration during their daily “Parade of Breeds” show, a presentation that teaches spectators facts and skills of different horse breeds from around the world.
McLean agreed, happy to give his four-horse performance at the horse park.
The breed McLean uses during his performances is the Australian Stock Horse, a breed similar to the American Quarter Horse but lighter-boned and more agile.
“The Australian Stock Horse is to the Australian stockman – which is what I am – as the Quarter Horse is to the American cowboy,” explained McLean.
“Back home in Australia we call them the breed for every need.”
Mounted on his gelding Quietway Spinabbey, McLean displayed the breed’s agility by using Spinabbey to “work” the other three horses, “gallop” through a small opening and canter sideways and backwards through a serpentine created by the other horses.
McLean’s next performances will be Nov. 2 – 11 at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada.