Mulawa Facilities | Ambition
The aptly named Ambition property just across Bay Road to the east is a virtual equine paradise. Here, all of the Mulawa stallions not in show training live in spacious green paddocks - or as the Aussies affectionately refer to them, “yards” – which in the case of the sheer size and idyllic comfort of the Ambition paddocks, is probably more appropriate. Gently rolling and expansively open, the yard area of Ambition allows each of the stallions to be constant view of each other and with the other horses grazing and lounging on the property, as well as in view of many of the activities at neighbouring Mulawa. In almost every case, each of the stallions has not only one, but two expansive paddocks. These paddocks are grazed and rested on a regular cycle – all the stallions do, however, have 24 hour access to their grazing paddock throughout the year. All paddocks are equipped with shelters and small catch pens. Just beyond the well organized yards is a broad, flat, mown glen upon which have been constructed several “natural obstacles” for the purpose of training hunters and eventers. This expansively open field also makes for the perfect spot to free-exercise the performance horses in all disciplines, from dressage to hack and general ‘ridden’ .
Ambition backs onto the Berowra Valley Bushland Park, itself an extension of the greater Muogammara Nature Reserve and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The property ends at the bottom of a magnificently deep gorge, through which, flows a main tributary of the Hawkesbury River, which from Ambition meanders another 4o km through rugged, fantastical terrain to meet the Pacific Ocean at Broken Bay (slightly less than 20 km as the crow flies from Mulawa). Correspondingly, the back of the property is densely forested with a wide array of spectacular mature eucalypts and gums, and sufficiently populated with a broad sampling of Australia’s unique fauna and flora, including wombats, wallabies, tree orchids, giant ferns, cockatoos, kookaburras and kangaroos. This acreage is an ideal spot to while away an abundantly pleasant and sunny afternoon - trail riding and hiking on kilometres of groomed and partially overgrown bush paths – and a dramatic backdrop against which to photograph the elite of the Mulawa breeding program.
The most recent structural addition to Ambition is the dressage and performance horse center. Built in very close proximity to Farrell family home (and in particular, daughter Kate’s bedroom), the eight stall barn and covered 80m x 40m arena were designed to house the rapidly expanding dressage and high level performance team. Teenage Kate is an avid horsewoman and has achieved impressive and extensive success with the Mulawa saddle horses, both purebred Arabian and Arabian derivative (part-bred). This new first-class facility provides not only easy access for Kate to her horses, but allows for the training team of Daniella Dierks and Annette Lowe to train year round in ideal conditions, regardless of the weather.
The main family residence is situated on the highest point of the property, a location which allows for sweeping views of Ambition’s yards and the new dressage/performance horse center as well as the national forest/nature preserve and Hawkesbury River valley beyond. The Farrell family home is an extraordinary architectural structure, which Greg likes to refer as the happy blending of a Swiss ski chalet and a log mountain lodge. In reality, the home is so much more than a simple holiday retreat – expansive yet efficient, with an incredibly clean contemporary (almost Scandinavian) sensibility and a natural, earthy texture throughout (reminiscent of modern Mediterranean or California casual). Original timbers, floor-to-ceiling glass, locally quarried limestone, hand-hewn beams, cleverly affixed fossils and stone art, and an imposing antique Spanish door all make for an original, engaging and sensory rich living experience.