FROM ACTRESS TO HORSE BREEDER
Susan George, 58, opened her Georgian Arabians stud farm on Exmoor 15 years ago. She lives with her husband, actor Simon MacCorkindale.
As a child, I had an imaginary horse I took everywhere. I used to ride with my mother on riding school ponies, but I always dreamed of owning my own horse. When I became an actress, I relished any roles that involved riding. When a former boyfriend bought me a horse as a 23rd birthday present, it was the beginning of a great passion.
In the early Eighties I went to live in Hollywood. I was at the peak of my career. Then, many years later, I met my husband Simon and life was even more exciting. But after a while, the work offers started to become repetitive and I wasn’t willing to take acting jobs for the sake of it. I hankered after a ‘normal’ life.
Simon and I shared a dream of living in the country, so 15 years ago we moved back to the UK to buy a farm. We eventually settled in Exmoor, where I started breeding Arabian horses. It began with one mare and one foal and a love of animals – I now have over 50 horses and am a dedicated breeder.
The defining moment came when I was setting up for a show one night. The lorries’ lights were twinkling, illuminating the fields, and there was an air of excitement mixed with the beauty of the horses. I stood there thinking that this was everything I wanted.
Over the years, I’ve become passionate about photographing my horses. I recently held an exhibition at a London gallery and we’re now taking it worldwide.
I feel that I’ve found my calling in life. I haven’t missed acting but then I haven’t given it up. If an exciting role came along I would take it, but I could never give up the stud farm. Once horses grab hold of you, you can never let go.
Susan’s tips for changing your career
In today’s world there is more opportunity to step outside the box, so invite challenge and believe in yourself.
If you have a natural talent you should feel fortunate – don’t squander it.
If you’re passionate about something in life and are willing to give it 100%, you’re likely to succeed.
If you want to work with horses, remember that owning even one horse is a mammoth responsibility, requiring dedication and time, but the rewards are immeasurable.