Robyn Coombes from Beechwood is an exceptional horsewoman, a natural teacher and an inspiration to her family and friends.
Her service to horse sports and to people with a disability have earned her the award of Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Four other people across the Hastings were also recognised - Alan Morris (AM), Bruce Cant (OAM), Edna Lamb (OAM) and Gerry de Vries (OAM).
Robyn has been a member and volunteer at Riding for the Disabled at Wauchope Showground since 2005 and a coach since 2008. She volunteers many hours
She was Course Designer and Organiser of the Bago Endurance Ride, a major fundraiser for Wauchope/Port Macquarie RDA, from 2006 to 2016.
A member of Hastings District Pony Club since 1973, Robyn is an instructor and a Life Member, and has been club secretary, zone treasurer, chief instructor and examiner.
Robyn has been a member of Hastings Valley Dressage Club since 2015 and a committee member since 2017. She has been a treasurer and committee member for the Hastings Trail Riding Club which she joined in 2000.
Her other activities include trail boss and ride coordinator with the New South Wales Endurance Riders' Association, and member of the New South Wales Endurance and Pleasure Riding Club, where she planned and ran endurance rides, and designed courses.
At the Wauchope Show, Robyn was a volunteer and ring steward until last year, and deputy ring master from 2014 to 2018.
Robyn grew up on a dairy farm in the Manning Valley before marrying in 1959 and moving to Cunnamulla, Queensland. She then ventured to a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory.
In 1968, the family moved to Mudginberri in Arnhem Land. While bringing up four young children, Robyn set up and taught a mobile school for Aboriginal children along with children from local stations and mining camps. She returned to the Mid North Coast in 1974 to teach and now lives in Beechwood.