Joyce Brook inducted to the Equestrian Hall of Fame

Joyce Brook, with her Equestrian Hall of Fame Certificate, craddles a framed pictue of her deceased husband Bob, who was posthumously inducted into the hall of fame at the same time. Photo: Kylie Pitt, Hawkesbury Newspapers.Former Bellingen couple, Bob and Joyce Brook were last month inducted into the Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame.
Nanjing Night Net

Bob, who passed away last October, and Joyce both grew up on family dairy farms on the Bellinger river – Bob at Orama and Joyce (nee Lavender) on Melrose Farm on Thora Road (now Waterfall Way) where she attended school at Boggy Creek.

After almost 40 years of life on the Bellinger they moved in 1963 with their three children, Geoff, Stephen and Colleen from Thora to Sydney where they continued their association with equestrian sports.

In particular, playing an active role in support of Colleen, who was gaining considerable success in show jumping. Colleen has gone on to compete successfully at the highest levels, including representing Australia in events in Europe, USA and Japan.

Bob’s late sister Gertie Brook was also an accomplished horsewoman and is still the only women to have won the prestigious Warwick Gold Cup for campdrafting, for which she is recognised in the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach.

Bob and Joyce were officially recognised for their efforts at the sports achievement awards night in Sydney on Wednesday, May 2.

Bob and Joyce remained regular visitors to Bellingen keeping in touch with old friends and relatives, and often attending Bellingen show. For the past 20 years they lived at Wilberforce, in the Hawkesbury District outside Sydney, on adjoining properties with Colleen’s family and her horses.

Bellingen residents will remember Bob and Joyce as avid and accomplished sportspeople and for Joyce’s involvement with the show committee, Bellingen pony club and local history group. In her younger day, Joyce used to wear a monkey clown suit astride a small pony at the Bellingen show “just for a laugh and a bit of entertainment”.

“Not everyone knew it was me,” she says. “You could say I have gone from a clown on a horse to the Equestrian Hall of fame.”

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