Equine artist and qualified pilot Caryn Fisher has an impressive horseracing pedigree. The former assistant to Mike Azzie, Clodagh Shaw, Dennis Bosch and Charles Laird has ridden eight amateur race winners, worked internationally for Godolphin and looked after Breeders Cup horses.
Caryn is settled in the beautiful town of Hoesdpruit and happily married with three children these days.
She is known as Mrs Bowie and admits readily that she misses her nineteen years in the horseracing industry.
“My equine art provides an outlet to feed my love of the horse and I keep a finger on the pulse of the game from a distance,” she says, while explaining that little in life provides as much excitement and pleasure as horses.
“I did my pilot’s license at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad but even flying an aeroplane is not as exciting as riding in a race!”
Caryn tried to get her jockey’s license but it was in the early days when they were just taking the first girls into the SA Jockey Academy.
“I tried to go to Australia but bush tracks seemed to be the only option,” she says with a resigned air of contentment.
Caryn’s horseracing career began when she left school. She did a horsemastership course with Mitch Hansen and then went to do equine physiotherapy with Winks Green.
“It was at Winks where I started riding work. I then moved as assistant manager at Kingswood Stud where I learnt to deliver foals, tube, stitch and all sorts of exciting things, yearling sales preparation, breaking and pre-training.”
Robin Smith came from Zimbabwe to Nottingham Road to train and Caryn started riding work early in the morning before the day on the stud began.
“I spent a year in Australia, doing yearling prep on Arrowfield stud, then the Inglis Easter Sales and then became a rider for Alan Bell at Randwick in Sydney.”
In 1999 she went to the United States and worked for Irish trainer Niall o’ Callaghan, based at Churchill Downs but travelled to Lexington and then Fairgrounds in New Orleans for the winter.
“In 2002 at the end of the winter season at Summerveld with Charles Laird I said I was keen to go to work in Dubai. After a few phone calls to Mickey Goss the job at Godolphin was mine. I worked for them for 6 years, travelling between Dubai, Belmont Park,New York and Newmarket, UK. The most famous horse I rode and went to New York with was Imperial Gesture who ran twice on Breeders Cup Days, placing both times,” she says with a fond pride.
In 2008 the family moved with their two children to Trinidad and Tobago.
“That signalled the end of my racing career and my third baby was born there in 2009.”
The Bowies boast an international family! With their youngest holding a Trinidad and Tobago passport, their first child was born in 2005 in the UK and their second in Dubai in 2007.
“I call them my Pom, my Arab and my Rasta,” she laughs.
The family moved to Hoedspruit in 2010 so that the children could attend a private bush school on the wildlife estate where they reside.
“My entire life I have loved Art, and studied it. I am a Graphic Designer and love wildlife. I am focusing on Equine art and doing wildlife photography, which I manipulate to get out of the ordinary effects. I do commissions of horses and market my prints which are printed on high quality canvas,” she says.