Janet Lane remembers her good friend Ros Sexton, 2020. Image: Ros Sexton with Brigadier.
Recently Ros Sexton passed away. A true friend to many of us, Ros was passionate about Walers and made them her life’s work. Pictured here with her beloved stallion Brigadier.
Brig competed in endurance, Ros usually strapping for his young riders. Ros mentored so many good people into Walers. She got the Waler out and about competing, and accepted by many – back in the days we copped it from all directions. Brig was caught wild and had a terrible injury when Ros got him; she nurtured him back to health and gave him a chance to shine. He also sired some outstanding foals, under her stud name Tinderry. One of his sons out of black Waler mare Britannia, was another outstanding endurance horse.
We first made contact back in 1986, Ros in Darwin, me (Janet) in Hobart. A long, hilarious and excited phone call about Walers; we were introduced by Reg Wilson. The start of a long and very happy, loyal friendship. Many phone calls, and visits. We both interviewed old horsemen and Light Horsemen.
Ros was always great to bounce ideas off. I visited her years ago when the family moved near Canberra, where she had land for her horses, kindly bought by husband John. She was always so proud of him, an air force pilot (Mirages), and their two daughters Rom and Bec, and talked of them constantly. We went to meetings all over the place, in several states, in those days. The air-force even did a victory roll over my place in country Tas one day, Ros getting a lift down down in the hold where the bombs usually went!
I last saw her when we went to Brissie to do an ABC interview together, about Walers. We had such a fun time, visited equestrian statues, had dinner at a lively pub and much great discussion into the wee hours – we were so relieved to have the scary interview over!
In later years Ros was impressed and delighted with Bethany’s horsemanship and passion for Walers and ever so proud she bred a foal from a mare that Ros had bred, Tinderry Hecate. Ros excitedly emailed me whenever she went to visit Beth and her Mum, who was also fighting illness. Ros was over the moon to see their Walers, and was proud to classify them. She was also very supportive of Snowies brumbies. Gentle, kind, generous, so brave; a top Mum, top friend, top fun – such a fabulous sense of humour.
Can’t believe dear Ros has gone. Condolences to her beautiful family. A champion of the Waler – a legacy that will stand forever. She is in good company upstairs. Till we meet again, dear Ros. God bless.