In Memory of Stella Jean

A Lifelong Passion for Horses

In Memory of Stella Jean

It has been five years since the night of Christmas when we received a phone call to let us know that my dearly beloved grandmother, Stella Jean Hetherington, had just passed away suddenly at the age of 86 years. It was only three months earlier that her husband, my mother's beloved father, my grandfather, Verney Chesworth Hetherington, passed at age ninety.

My grandparents were married for almost 70 years and were cattle and grain farmers in the Baralaba and Moura districts, south west of Rockhamptom, in Queensland, Australia, for the duration of their married life.

Stella Jean was a hard worker and a natural athlete with a will of steel and a heart bigger than Pharlap. She was typical of the pioneering women who stood beside their men during the shaping of our great country. She was also the best baker in the district and adored her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Her lifelong passion of riding horses was never fully realised, however. Being a farmer's wife meant that money was only spent on the essentials, leaving limited funds to pursue heartfelt dreams.

Stella's name represents the Latin word for 'star' and, given that she passed on Christmas night, it would be remiss of me not to celebrate her life in a meaningful and personal way.

Stella Stud is therefore a gift to my very special grandmother. May she enjoy the most beautiful riding horses in the world, even if it's from the other side.

We hope that Stella horses will also be a gift to their new owners, helping to lead them on a lifelong journey of self-discovery, fulfillment and deeper meaning – far from the 2-dimensional, commercial world of modern riding, where winning is sometimes more important than a horse's emotional and physical wellbeing.

For example, in this beautiful clip featuring renowned trainer Edit Kappel, the viewer is introduced to the endless possibilities for human development and enrichment while exploring and deepening their relationship with an equine.

Whether you are working at a basic level, or at a more advanced level, creating a depth of communication with your horse through lightness and harmony can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Thank you for sharing your love of horses with me, Grandma Stella. You were an amazing lady who loved life and always thought of yourself last. May you now be resting in peace with Verney. You were a 'star' in my eyes and will remain a great inspiration to the many people who were lucky enough to meet you.
Stella Jean Hetherington
Photo 1: Stella Jean Hetherington (1922 - 2008)

Photo 2: Maurice Verney Hetherington (Verney & Stella's first born son) Maurice Verney Hetherington

Photo 3: Peta Jean (Granddaughter of Stella Jean and Daughter of Aileen Jean) Peta Bradley

“A young cowboy was working some horses in a round corral. An old cowboy came by, watched for a while and then he asked: "Young man, would you like to know the secret of good horsemanship?"

The cowboy said he would. The old man made a fist and he said: "If you can open my fist, you will learn the secret of good horsemanship." The young guy poked, pried, thumped, pinched, squeezed, pushed, punched and shoved the fist. He finally said: "I can't get it open. What's the secret of getting your fist open, so I can learn the secret of good horsemanship?"

The old cowboy said: "All you had to do was ask …” By Smokie Brannaman

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