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Lynda MacCallum


A Bit About Lynda

Lynda grew up on her family’s sheep and cattle property in a little district called Timor, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in the Upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales. The youngest of five children, Lynda began pony club around the age of three and often spent days mustering on the lead behind her late father.


Throughout her teenage years she was introduced to the competitive side of the horse industry, again by her parents. They would haul her to hack shows and Australian Stock Horse events. Her late teens and early twenties were spent mostly camp drafting while she studied Commerce Law at University followed by a Diploma of Education.


She met Jim in her early 20’s while working at McCarthy Catholic College in Tamworth teaching Agriculture. Lynda and Jim purchased their first cutting trained mare “Tassamint” together in 2005. Both Jim and Lynda where successful on her in the camp draft arena and this laid the foundation for what they would create together for the future, now known as ‘MacCallum Performance’.


They have two teenage children, Peter and Olivia. While the kids were babies, close friends Tom and Jane Williamson encouraged Lynda to have a go at training her own horses for the snaffle bit futurity. She first competed in cutting at the 2009 Snafflebit Futurity. This was the start of Lynda's non-pro career in the cutting pen.


Lynda has gone on to train horses for aged events ever since and has had several milestone achievements such as Reserve Open Futurity Champion on ‘Metallic Storm’ in 2018, Non-Pro Classic Challenge Champion on “Catsasmart” in 2018, and several Open and Non-Pro aged event championships at smaller futurity shows. Lynda has represented Australia twice in the USA as a member of the non-pro team and was inducted into the non-pro hall of fame in 2019. Lynda and Jim sell horses through the premier performance horse sale each year, the ‘Nutrien Classic sale’. They love the unique nature of the Australian Performance Horse Industry and strive to breed and train horses that suit a number of disciplines from cutting to camp drafting and cow horse.


Lynda credits the many professional and non-professional trainers who have assisted her and shared their knowledge along the way, and she believes the secret to training and showing great horses is to never stop learning and integrating training techniques and the family now makes Woolbrook, NSW home where they run a cattle property and raise the next generation of Australian performance horses. Lynda now trains horses in a professional capacity, accepting all prospects for the variety of cow horse disciplines we are lucky enough to enjoy in the Australian Performance Horse Industry. As a trained Health Coach, Lynda conducts clinics based around health and wellbeing, mindset, and horse training techniques.

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With Humility and Gratitude

Dear Kim and The Australian Cowgirl Committee,


It certainly does not feel like six months since I attended the 2023 Australia's Greatest Horsewoman event at Tatura, Victoria. Being inducted into the Australian Cowgirl Hall of Fame has changed my life. Not only was it an incredible honour, but it has also opened doors for my career as a Professional Trainer, Wellness and Mindset Coach. I found the whole experience quite overwhelming as it was completely unexpected, and I couldn’t help but ask myself ‘Why me? What have I done to deserve this honour?’.


Prior to receiving a phone call from Kim in late 2022 asking if I would be a clinician and judge at the 2023 Australian Greatest Horsewoman event, I had only ever followed the page for a few months and had become aware of the event through following the success of Jess Smith earlier that year. I felt incredibly privileged to be asked to attend as a clinician in the area of cutting as well as presenting a mindset workshop. This phone call coincided with my decision to hand in my non-pro card with the NCHA and start training horses on a professional capacity and launch my career as a clinician. It seemed to be the perfect place for me to connect with like-minded women in what has typically been a male dominated industry in Australia.


Although the Australian Performance Horse Industry has undergone considerable growth in the past 5 years, with a surge in horse values and considerable growth in competitor numbers in all cow horse related disciplines, it is still incredibly male dominated in the professional training and elite competition space. My desire to enter this realm of the industry didn’t come without internal debate for several years including thoughts such as; ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Will I be supported in my business?’ ‘Will my peers in the industry accept me?’


And although it has come with its challenges, twelve months later I can honestly say it is the best decision I’ve ever made.


I attribute this to a few things. I have had a lot of support, and my business has grown exceptionally fast. MacCallum Performance is currently at capacity with thirty horses in my training program and a waitlist of young horses booked in. I struggle to meet the demand for my clinics with the remainder of 2023 being filled to capacity and only a few dates available next year. I constantly have enquiry for our mentorship program, and we have many exciting new developments in the pipeline such as a performance mindset training program as well as the development of a clothing line. We have 3 full time and two part time staff members. I have conducted clinics internationally at Equifest New Zealand as well as all over Australia. I attribute much of this to being inducted into the Australian Cowgirl Hall of Fame. 


I truly believe being inducted provided me with a renewed sense of confidence to chase my dreams and goals as a woman in this field. Women need other women in their corner to support and encourage them in all areas of life. The Australian Cowgirl event provides a platform to allow women to come together, showcase and develop their skill set in the performance horse industry, and recognise those who give back in this area. As the first inductee into the Australian Cowgirl Hall of Fame and as the Australian Cowgirl event grows each year, I pray the generations to follow can look back on the history of the event as a whole and reflect on the growth of the industry for female involvement both at a competitor and professional level.


Your committee is paving the way in this industry and if it becomes a little easier for younger generations to become involved, compete and possibly have a career in the industry as a result, what an incredible legacy to leave!


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating an industry changing concept. I feel incredibly humbled to be the first inductee into the Australian Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and as a result my mission is to continue to contribute and participate in the Performance Horse Industry in Australia and in doing so hopefully inspire other women to do the same.


I look forward to participating in the 2024 event. 


With humility and gratitude,


Lynda MacCallum

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