• Fran Cleland

At just 29, Mitch Fox has notched up a lot of experience, in the saddle and out


ABOVE: Mitch Fox and Brooke Sweeney have a busy show schedule. Picture: DALE WEBSTER

When you meet Mitch Fox, you see an intelligent and well-spoken young man.


What doesn’t show until you know him better is that at 29 years of age, he already has an impressive curriculum vitae in the equestrian world.


He has competed in most disciplines, achieving his German bronze riding medal for show jumping and dressage, successfully showing horses of all breeds from state to national level.


While he is still active competitively, it is his ability in administration and organising that is more remarkable.


He has been chairman of Show Horse Victoria, Victorian Show Horse delegate to the national body, and at age 25 he was chosen as chairman of Equestrian Victoria, directing multiple state and national events and heading up numerous appeal and ground juries.


However, as a young man trying to establish a farrier business the demands of the position, plus the constant travel from his property north of Shepparton led to a decision to resign.


Now – with his fiancée, Brooke Sweeney – he is busy setting up his new training and agistment farm at Balmattum Victoria.


The pair already had a growing business and loved their previous farm and the area it was in, but when the opportunity came up to purchase the new property (a bigger version of what they had and directly across the freeway) they jumped at it.


ABOVE: Mitch Fox showing at Canberra Royal. Picture: LISA GORDON

Brooke, a successful racing Jockey, came up through the pony club ranks and while she still rides track work for Ben Brisbourne Racing, she’s stepped back to help Mitch set up their new business.


“We are shifting our focus to spelling and pre-training horses in racing,” Mitch said. “We’ve had great start up support from local trainers, but certainly an area of the business we are looking to grow.


“We believe combining our equestrian experience across equine industries makes us the perfect duo for this business (and) we are excited by the expansion and look forward to what we can achieve with the new farm.”


“However, showing horses has always remained my main passion and the last 10 years I’ve focussed on retraining off-the-track horses to showing.”


The couple is currently showing a team of young ponies for owners and are breaking in, pre-training and re-educating horses.


The plan is to continue to step up the farm and business, working with as many horses as possible to see how far the business can grow and expand.


“We have been amazed so far,” Brooke said.


ABOVE: Brooke Sweeney in action in the show ring.