The Team

The success of the Benchmark Feed Range is underpinned by the passion, empathy and expertise of the people who share the Benchmark Feeds story and who are excited and driven by the successes of their customers.

We are blessed to have a team who live and breathe these values and who will go the extra mile for you and your horses.

Rowena Smyth

Rowena Smyth

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Rowena Smyth

Hi I’m Rowena.

I’ve been around horses my whole life and spent most of my time working in the racing industry as a stable hand, track rider and a professional Jockey. I have been lucky enough to travel the world working with the racehorses and have worked in big stables in the UK and Australia.

I have always had my own horse to compete and play around with. Ollie and me will be regularly seen out hunting in the winter and competing round the ring and a bit of show jumping in the summer.

Currently I run my own equine massage business, and I am continually learning and furthering my education to learn all I can about these amazing horses.

Sarra Avery

Sarra Avery

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Sarra Avery

Sarra Avery

Sarra’s love of horses started at a young age, riding before she could barely walk magnetised her to the equine world. This fascination ensured she would ultimately land in a career with her equine friends.

While this career path has involved positions in numerous saddleries and feed stores, Sarra quickly identified several common issue’s that impacted everyone.

Taking a holistic approach for both horse and rider, Sarra undertook several years of study, with a focus on body work which allowed her to establish her own successful equine business; Tasmanian Equine Solutions, an equine sports massage and saddle fitting service.

Sarra continues to educate, compete, breed, and enjoy her own horses, and provides a wealth of knowledge to riders in all interest from dressage, eventing, showing, pony club, show jumping and retired and injured horse management.

Sarra has a comprehensive understanding of horse and rider biomechanics, always finding the best solution for your equines’ health and well-being.

Linda Gray

Linda Gray

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Linda Gray

Linda Gray

Linda was born in Wagga Wagga and is a country girl at heart. Her mum purchased her first horse at the age of 13, at which time she joined Pony Club. During this time, she represented her club at State level several times. Over the years she has been actively involved in judging and teaching at Pony Clubs.

Linda qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1992 and since then she has worked in a couple of mixed practices and for the last 14 years she has worked in an equine practice. Linda is currently studying equine massage to expand her skill set. Linda is passionate about equine nutrition which was kick started 5yrs ago when her horse was first diagnosed with EMS.

She has called West Gippsland home for 30 years and has spent the last 20 years farming on 65acres with her horses round her. Linda and her husband are working towards being self-sufficient and love their rural lifestyle.

Dr Mark Barnett

Dr Mark Barnett

Consultant Nutritionist to Benchmark Horse feeds

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Dr Mark Barnett

Dr Mark Barnett

Consultant Nutritionist to Benchmark Horse feeds

Dr Mark Barnett, PhD (Animal Nutrition & Physiology), is a past University Lecturer in Equine & Livestock Nutrition, Researcher and now, a highly qualified and trained Equine Nutritional Consultant.

Mark has had a lifelong association with horses, growing up on his parent’s horse stud in North West NSW, riding and showing horses from an early age. Mark has competed in various horse related activities over the years including showing, campdrafting, polo, polocrosse and cutting. He has also been involved with the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries, as well as pony club and rodeo.

Mark has a PhD in Animal Nutrition and Physiology ensuring the advice you receive from him is of the highest scientific focus while being practical and cost effective. In 2015, Mark was invited to become the Lecturer of Animal and Equine Nutrition at Charles Sturt University (CSU), Wagga Wagga NSW, teaching animal, equine and veterinary science students about horse nutrition and selecting more appropriate horse feeds, before moving to Toowoomba with his family to work full time as an Equine Nutritionist.

In mid-2019, Mark and his family moved to the beautiful Hunter Valley to finally pursue his dream of building his own Consulting Equine Nutritionist business - hence MTB Equine Services was born!

Louisa Nicholson

Louisa Nicholson - Ruivo

Queensland Territory Manager

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Louisa Nicholson

Louisa Nicholson- Ruivo

Queensland Territory Manager

“With a passion for all things horse starting as a toddler and supportive parents to help focus that enthusiasm, Louisa was always destined for a career in the equine industry!

Having grown up attending Drouin Pony Club and competing in all disciplines along the way, to now competing EA dressage and working on the equine athlete through bodywork- Louisa’s love of producing horses to the best of their abilities has always been a passion.

From competing at small Agricultural Shows, to managing a dressage ranch in Los Angeles, riding with some of best coaches in the world, breaking in, training and competing talented ponies and horses, to completing courses in Equine Sports Massage and Equine Photonic Therapy - Louisa has a whole horse perspective at heart and joining the team at Benchmark Feeds makes absolute sense.”

Michelle O'Neill

Michelle O'Neill

Territory Manager Sthn NSW

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Michelle O'Neill

Michelle O'Neill

Territory Manager Sthn NSW

Michelle has been involved with horses her whole life.

Michelle commenced her riding career doing stock work with her father, Michael, before commencing Pony Club at Adaminaby and then Cooma.

Whilst at Pony Club, Michelle participated in everything from sporting to jumping, tent pegging to showing. From these experiences, she developed a strong interest in dressage.

After several years of dressage competition, Michelle changed tack and started rodeoing, specialising in barrel racing and steer undecorating. It was the love of the calm temperament of the Quarter Horse, and her interest in breeding true all round competitors, that lead to start breeding her own horses to compete on.

Michelle has been known to compete beyond the rodeo arena in such things as camp drafting, western pleasure, reining and showing at halter.

An experienced educator; Michelle teaches clinics both across the country and at her home. Her clinics cover a range of areas and disciplines, but she specialises in producing solid partnerships between horses and humans using groundwork and solid foundation training under saddle.

Michelle writes a training article for each edition of the Australian Performance Horse Magazine. She previously had her own Question and Answer column in the very popular HorseWyse Magazine called "Ask Michelle" which helped people with their horse problems.

She is the co-producer of DVD "Please...Can I Have A Pony", which was produced by Cherry Tree Equine and HorseWyse Magazine.

Michelle was been a presenter at Equitana since 2012; first with the Equitana HorseWyse Kids Interactive in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and then in 2014, 2016 and 2018 as a presenter in her own right. She has presented topics revolving around confidence issues, finding your ideal equine partner and training on the trail.

Michelle has a strong reputation for instilling confidence in all her students. Her clinics cover her three basic principles; Consistency, Control and Confidence. She does this using both ground and ridden work; the same principles that have enabled her to train many horses for herself and others.

Renee Margetts

Renee Margetts

Territory Manager Western Australia and Northern Territory

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Renee Margetts

Renee Margetts

Territory Manager Western Australia and Northern Territory

Always loved horses, born into it. My parents started, educated and trained thoroughbreds in their younger years.

During my teenage years, I stabled with and was coached by Olympian Richard Sands. I competed successfully in dressage, show jumping, hacking and dabbled in a little polocrosse.

As an adult, I studied veterinary nursing and I am still currently a registered vet nurse with the Vet Surgeons Board. Always been passionate about equine health & nutrition and have worked in the equine feed industry since 2013.

In recent years, I have developed an interest in training standardbreds and currently hold my Trainer’s Licence. With my parents I part own handy pacer James Coburn, with whom I achieved got my first training win pretty early on He is now currently enjoying paddock life.

Caron Palmer

Caron Palmer

Territory Manager NZL South Island

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Caron Palmer

Caron Palmer

Territory Manager NZL South Island

Caron has a background in sales in marketing working for large multi-national FMCG businesses, and for the past 5 years she has worked in a marketing consultancy capacity for corporates and SME businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Carons experience in the Australian market is in the equine feed sector providing marketing strategy, brand alignment and communications.

Caron has a passion for horses and all things equine and she enjoys spending her leisure time with her horses and pleasure riding with friends.