Deana Irvine and Duayne Insley
Born in a small country town in Canterbury, I was brought up with sport and horses. My father was the manager for the Canterbury Crusaders and I represented Canterbury, Canterbury Country, and Mid – Canterbury in Netball at National level and was a Competive swimmer representing Canterbury and Central Canterbury.
But horses were my passion, riding any available horse of friends and eventually got my very own horse at 8years old. Horses were part of my life from that point onwards. Pony club, eventing and showing as a child and later on to the sport of Hunting. They say all retired eventers become hunters and it true.
Brought up in a small farming town and headed to Glenorchy every holiday to visit my favourite place in the world was my life. Glenorchy is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and I was lucky enough to be able to ride horses and hang out on a farm, camp out just being kids.
Tourism was were I wanted to work and I started a “Dolphin Swimming” operation in Akaroa. This was an incredible time spending twelve years show casing the dolphins to clients and working with the Worlds smallest and one of the rarest Dolphins – Hectors Dolphin. After selling this business I then had an opportunity to manage a jet boat company in Glenorchy. I did this for two years before being offered the opportunity of purchasing HCH in 2004.
HCH is the oldest Horse Trekking business in Glenorchy as it has been running since 1987. When I took over the reins I started with 8 horses and a shed. We now boast over 50 horses with many many different breeds in the paddock. We now have spread our business into multi days rides and still Love showing clients our pristine backcountry.
A huge part of the success was finding an awesome man to be by my side. Duayne came on board in 2006 and together we have built a great friendship and business. He originates from the Central North Island coming from a family of shepherds and musterers. His knowledge of horses, and the land is extensive. He came down south to work on the Routeburn Sheep Station in 1997. Duayne has a fantastic background in farming and he makes sure that all horses have food all year round. His dream has been to own a farm of his own, which we have just been able to purchase. Duayne has also worked for Dart Safaris as a commercial jetboat driver and also a digger operator. He loves to Race jet boats as a sport, having picked up two New Zealand Champion titles plus a World title last year. We set off to Monaco to pick up his trophy earlier this year and this is where he proposed marriage. We are due to marry in March 2015.
Hope you know us a little better, we are very authentic new zealanders and can’t wait to show you around our special place.
2016 Up -Date
Since we last posted here Duayne and I have got married with our children and close friends in Paradise. We hired to whole venue and had everyone stay up there for the weekend. The weather held off long enough to have my dream of riding my favourite horse into the ceremony, Snoopy did me proud and got me there in one piece which was a mission riding in a wedding dress – side saddle on a western saddle. All my girls arrived in front of me in our carriage and Duayne was waiting for me in his red-band gumboots and hunter jacket. Perfect! We were the happiest couple on the planet.
After the hype of the wedding we were straight back to business and are proud to announce that we have again move our business into the next level. We now have the lease on a beautiful 100 acres up in Paradise which Duayne has spent the last year developing and restoring. New fencing and paddocks, a beautiful cabin and of course my contribution more horses. We have been operating up there through the last summer and the feedback has been amazing. We can now boost over 100,000 acres of riding trails and can ride a five day/four-night ride through some incredible terrain.
Casey our daughter is now full time yard manager at Mid-Rivers and also is starting all of our young horses coming into trekking. She is keeping a close eye on the day to day running of our main yard as well as the health of all our herds.
We also have brought on a new manager who is full time in Paradise. Di Barkman is another Southern woman with a background in farming and management, so she was perfect for the position. Di brings the balance for both yards to work smoothly and she is also very handy on a horse also.
I am bringing on a new horse of my own, thanks to Casey finding him in Canterbury. His name is Payback, named accordingly after Duayne went out and brought a Digger to develop our next piece of land! Keep an eye out for us both me on my young horse and Duayne in his digger.