THE GOLDEN GROVE HORSE TRAILS
The late Jeanette Fletcher of the Pegasus Pony Club, Secretary of the first Pony Club in Australia to be, formed and by none other than RM Williams, Tom Roberts and Margaret Clarke, at Golden Grove in Adelaide, worked tirelessly to talk the Tea Tree Gully Council into designating a Horse Trail, that extended from the Pony Club, all the way around Seaview Road, down One Tree Hill Road, around Golden Grove Road and then to finish the loop down Greenwith Road, back to the Pony Club, in the hope that more Riders who didn’t have Hose Floats and who kept their Horses at the major Equestrian Centres on One Tree Hill Road, could ride there.
Egon Shaw was his name. The Council ‘Yes Minister’ and he played Jeanette for a fool, daily, for 10 Years and when she went to Her Grave, she still didn’t have a Horse Trail. Then I came to the District.
A lovely Bloke called James Thompson, (ex league footballer) became President and we teamed up for the next 15 Years of Hell, lies, deceit, crookery and more, to try and complete Jeanette’s work. Try 10,000 Emails?????
Egon Shaw carried on with his games, with me but of course I saw through Him in 5 Minutes, having met hundreds of them in prior Life and besides, I knew, as a Risk Assessor and Horseman, that to get Novice Horse Owners around that route in the future deteriorating traffic, was going to be too dangerous. I didn’t tell Him that though. We had bigger Plans.
At the time, there was a rabid Greenie, living at the top of One Tree Hill Road and she had taken it upon Herself, to Tree Plant all the Council Verges, not just in front of Her own 10 acres, but she not only Planted the Horse Trails, but both sides of the Road and extending 300 Metres down further, from Her property. I complained to Egon Shaw, regularly but of course nothing ever happened. Of course it wouldn’t for this was his gleeful out and so it was that that was the end of Jeanette Fletchers dream.
GOLDEN GROVE DEVELOPMENT
Delphin Properties and the City, commenced the construction of Golden Grove and of course as they do, wanted to use Horses as the oh so wonderful dream for selling blocks of Land and so it was that we even supplied the Horses and Riders, down Cobbers Creek, for their TV Adverts. Of course, I knew that they were conning the Public for Developers and Local Government had been doing that since 1836 in King William Street and now we were all the way out at Golden Grove.
Indeed, Jim and I decided to pursue, the Cobblers Creek Walking Trail as the Horse Trails of the future, traveling all the way through the Suburbs, all the way to Salisbury and we gain the promises, word and handshakes of many luminaries, including the Lord Mayer, an ex-Jockey) Bernie Keane. (yes, you would thing we were a shoe in with Bernie, wouldn’t You……..not to be. He had other devious plans)
Then one Day, I was riding the ‘Breaker’ in the Video, out through the Lands (100 acres of Land zoned Mining) and came across in the Bushes, a Bloke in a Suit, with a Surveyor. I waltzed straight up to them and asked them who they were and what were they doing. Michael Gallagher is the name and I am the Managing Director of Land SA.
“So You are obviously going to put houses all over this Land” I asked, to which he replied “yes, that was the Plan.”
So I did a deal with Him, right there and he shook my Hand. I promised to not have the Horse Industry complain about their activities within a Horse precinct, if he promised to work with me and guarantee the extension of the Cobblers Creek Trails, through their Land, to keep the Horses from all the Equestrian Centres, off the Road. Great I thought
Whilst I was with Him, I took Him to a couple of Truck Loads of Blue Asbestos that had been dumped in the Bushes, alongside a giant hole where they had Mined and warned Him about it.
He obviously remembered it for they got it Bulldozed into the Hole and covered it up.
and in the process, the local Koalas died
Over the next few Years, Jim and I were given many promises by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Barry Winter, the Manager of City Assets David Murray, the Chief Designer of the Development and others. Regularly on site and always with the Hand slaps.
I had some victories. They went along with my idea of Rubber footpaths entering Spring Hill and at the Road Crossing which is now near Woolworths, opposite Crouch Road.
We rode hundreds of newly started Horses down these Trails, without ever an incident. Many of the Agistees around the District rode there too. It was wonderful.
Then things progressed further. At a full Council Meeting one evening, the Trails were designated by Council, as shared Trails, with Bicycle SA, Walking SA and some other body. Finally, Horses were accepted!!!!!, but all along, in the back of my Mind, I always wondered why there was a Concrete entrance point built, into the Paddocks Housing our Trails entry from the Equestrian Centre but I now know, that all along, the Bustuds knew that they were going to approve a big Woolworths Store, opposite the entry and exit to the Trails and yes, the Concrete work became the entrance to the Shopping Centre.
Now hang on, how could You build a major Shopping Centre on a Site with Significant Trees???? when we can’t light a BBQ??????
No problems, just cut them down. Throughout the Years, they had conspired to cut off the promised access from the major Equestrian Centres and worse.
Guess what Folks?????……they called it “The Stables”
Well, I knew then that we were dealing with deceitful Public Officers and Developers, but it gets worse Folks….much worse!!!!!
Remember the Asbestos???? They built a Residential Retirement Village upon it. Estia Health Golden Grove. Easy.
Meanwhile, Jim and I were still fighting the good fight, because the Development on the 100 acres, was nearing an end.
We couldn’t see anything being done to link the Equestrian Centres to the Trail and by this time, THEY HAD CLOSED CROUCH ROAD because of Woolworths of course, much to the Rate Payers distress. So we had yet another meeting, with the Chief Designer of Land SA, Bernie Keane, Barry Winter, David Murray and others, on site.
Not a problem they declared, we shall run the Trail linkage, just inside the big Gums along One Tree Hill Road, have a crossing at the Church and an exit up near the Gainsborough Equestrian Centre and Pinegrove Stables. Wonderful we thought, but trouble was brewing.
Jim was starting to slow up in his speed of thought processes and one Day at the last Minute, I heard that Jim had been invited to the City of Tea Tree Gully Head Offices, for a Meeting regarding the Pegasus Pony Club. I couldn’t believe it. I rushed down there and caught Him on the way in and when we walked into the Room, ( to his astonishment as I was there) was Dear old Bernie Keane, the self appointed Chairman of the Meeting and acting on behalf of the Council, not us as our Councillor) Surrounding Him were various Council Operatives, with Pens poised and note pads at the ready
“We need to move the Pegasus Pony Club, to make way for a Water Filtration Plant and have some wonderful News, we have Land for You at the top of Para Valley Road.”
What they didn’t tell Jim, was that had secret Plans to sell Para Valley Road, to Land SA, to be added to their Development and that any future intent to get to the location they were proposing, was to drive through the back streets of an entire Suburb, with no possibility of riding there. Sure enough, we now know that this is exactly what occurred
Well, the proposed Site ( vacant Land next door to a Dirt Bike Club and on a 6% slope suitable for Billy Goats) was of course to con the Club to move there and then not have any way of getting there because they were closing the Para Valley Road, which used to run all the way down to near Woolworths, off Golden Grove Road.
So here we had our own Councillor, an Ex Jockey, conspiring on behalf of the Council, to destroy the first and oldest Pony Club in Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ….not over my dead Body you little Bustud!!!!!, and so it was that a full sitting of Council, at a Public Meeting, including the entire Pony Club Membership was to be held over the matter. The ‘Natives were getting restless !!
This inspired the Manager of City Assets ( the real one calling the shots and who Bernie was working for) to escort us around the District, to view a number of alternative Sites for the Club, if it was to be moved but in the end, the full Council went weak at the knees and a compromise was found that included the Water Filtration Plant buying some Hallet Brick Land next Door and Pegasus was saved. Not so the Blackhill Pony Club which was also being deceived from within!!!!!
Horse SA had not been involved at all. The work was all done locally. We were within view of the perfect completion with the best City Horse Trails system in Australia, not just through Golden Grove but all the Way to Globe Derby, for I had already gained permission from the Salisbury City Council to continue our one, which extended all through way past The Grove Way, to Kings Road and then on wards. The Council knew we had them and that we were not going to fall for any of their deceitful plans.
So all we had to get sorted, was the agreed Track, to Link the Equestrian Centres, to the entire Trails system. Just 300 metres. All agreed, on site, all smiling faces and shaking Hands by the those who would serve the Rate Payers…….
but!!!!!!!!!………..the then Owner of one of the Equestrian Centres was continuing his Vendetta against all Neighbors, that had spanned 20 Years. The Owner of the Equestrian Centre directly behind Him, had already committed Suicide over it, he had already terrorized the Golden Grove Equestrian Centre, shot a Young Local Male in the Face, with a Shotgun that he had removed the Lead from and filled the cartridge with Rock Salt after he caught Him raiding his Drug Crop and was entering his second Year of terrorizing us.
One of his Tactics, had already been to place 2 metres wide of Wood Chips, down the entire Council verge on One Tree Hill Road, in front of his place, to stop Horse Riders heading towards the Cobblers Creek Trails. Especially us. He approached the Council and demanded that they Police this…..we won that fight, but this Bloke was one of the most inventive strategists I had met across my Career. He was a Master. We and several others had restraining Orders on Him.
So he approached the Messenger Press Newspaper to do a story on the dangers of the Trails and he was successful in getting an Executive of Horsesa, to attend for the Photography session, where he dragged his Wife’s Appy out that never got ridden, for the Pics on the Trail.
The Horsesa Operative featured in the Story and did this BEHIND OUR BACKS. 200 metres from my House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Horse SA fell for the lure of the Media exposure and indeed, “the 3 Card Trick” by the Master Manipulator!! ( see the full story on Life’s Stories)
The Story was run in the Press, the Council seized upon it as a fractured Industry that couldn’t agree, saw their chance and built a 200 Metre GALVANIZED IRON Fence, around the entire Buffer Zone that you see in the Photo, and locked us all out unless we were willing to risk Death on an 89k City Road with B Doubles roaring past all Day, servicing Hallet Brick with Clay and Sand.
25 Years of work, up in smoke, because of one secret visit by Horsesa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They still don’t know that we know.
That was the end of it Folks. We all walked away. They fenced it off, looking wonderful among the Significant Trees in a Rural area, they closed Para Valley Road, gave it to Landsa, Woolworths was built and the Cement cutout became their entrance and at the request of Woolworths, shut Crouch Road as well. The Asbestos is beneath Estia Health.
Jim and I had already got approval, to FENCE a Trail from the Equestrian Centres, through the Sand Mines, to the Pegasus Pony Club and indeed, Jim had already purchased the Posts. Jim Died, the Posts lay useless and I walked away in disgust.
The Mongrels I have met