STABLE 8 Equine Design – a unique equestrian business

Suzy Jarratt interviews Kimberley Jones

The art of embroidery has been around almost forever – examples were found in Ancient China and across mediaeval Europe centuries before it became the refined pastime of wealthy young English ladies in the 1700s.

And the art of embroidery lives on today – at 49 Gavenlock Road, Tuggerah.

Since 1992 Kimberley Jones’ Stable 8 has been making and embroidering horse rugs.

Before moving into her large factory she worked for Jim Kennard’s Charlton Horseland store in Tuggerah on NSW’s Central Coast.

“I did rug repairs and then began making things for the customers from all his stores.  Jim’s now retired,” explained Kimberley.

“I worked at the back of the store which was a bit like being in a stable as the room had barn doors at the front.

“After I left I began doing stuff on my own, and eighteen months later I moved into my present location which has eight embroidery machines and six sewing machines on 230 squares.”

She named her company Stable 8.

“After my former workroom, and also because of the women’s fashion label ‘Table 8’.

“We’re practically one hundred per cent Australian here. Everything’s cut, sewn and embroidered in house. The material is sourced from an Australian company but some of the fabrics do come from overseas.

“We make rugs for all different horse disciplines and also do uniforms. We embroider caps, bags, shirts, etc for specific promotions and for many different companies and individuals – it’s not just equine-related.”

“Several years ago I did do a special rug for Black Caviar who was to appear on the news, and I made some for the horses used on ‘Australia’.

Kimberley’s handiwork is despatched around the world; it is especially popular in Japan.

“We do a lot of business with the Crane Riding clubs. Aki Hashimoto, who works with Rod Brown, sends the samples and does all the translating.”

The Japanese eventers wore her rugs at the recent World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC. They must have brought the riders good luck as the team came fourth, the best placing it has ever achieved. She also made stable curtains for all the Australian teams competing at these Games.

Not only do her rugs come in all shapes, colours, textures and sizes, some are stitched with proposals, celebratory congratulations or more sombre tributes.

“We’ve put ‘Happy Birthday’ on to saddlecloths, made “Will you marry me?” rugs and ones in white satin embroidered with gold rings for the horses to wear at weddings.

“I was recently approached by an indigenous organisation to design some for horses to wear at funerals. They are to be hand painted in the traditional colours of black, red and yellow with the name of the person’s mob embroidered at the front.”

Rarely does Kimberly have time to see her work on display as she is in her factory six days a week.

“I don’t get out to many shows and my competition horses are all retired. I once had a lovely quiet Thoroughbred, later some galloways and ponies (one is 36 years old) and then went back to having a TB. Her name was Morning Hush by Morning Review out of Hush Power who went on to have a beautiful bombproof foal. That mare was such a quiet, wonderful Thoroughbred”

“I am enjoying making the TSHA rugs – and sponsoring some of them as well.  It is great to see how fast the Thoroughbred Show Jumping Series  is growing – and I hope to be making loads more rugs for them in the coming months”

  SUZY JARRATT

August 2019