PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLOS WEST
Singer and songwriter Nat Conway is best known for her hits Everybody’s Free, Summer to Stay, So Loud and global number one club track Confessions with Sam Divine, however in her private time, Nat loves spending those precious moments away from the spotlight with her first true love, horses.
‘I have always loved horses…I was the girl at school who was obsessed with them, like many of my friends I guess, however I didn’t grow out of it. When I was a young teenager I finally talked my parents into buying me a horse…looking back I think they just wanted me to stop talking about it!’
Nat’s first horse was a 75% Part Arabian mare named Nova Mist. She was sired by Hawkesbury Darkan (Danzig x Pandora) and from Sanomi, a Part Arabian mare by Shosaan (Aethon x Shoshana), one of the earliest colts bred by Peter Simon, father of Marion Richmond.
‘Nova really taught me to ride. Looking back, she would not have been suitable for a young teen to learn to ride on, however she was my horse, and I didn’t know any better. Sometimes I think it was a good thing…I had to catch up to her level, and fast.’ Nat and Nova rode throughout the north western suburbs between Turramurra and Dural, attending Pony Club and local shows. ‘St Ives Show was a big one for us…I loved everything about it. Nova wasn’t so big on showing, she was more of a trail riding kind of girl. She loved to be at the front of every line and if she wasn’t, she would pull until she was. She would have been perfect for endurance…cest la vie.’
After becoming an adult, music took over and Nat did not have much opportunity to indulge her love of horses. Whilst living and working in Las Vegas, Nat would take the odd trail ride, but she was not connected to a horse in the same way she had been with Nova Mist. ‘My work usually involves me travelling somewhere, and then performing late, sometimes as late as 2am, and so horse riding, much less owning one, became less and less feasible.’
For each single release, Nat would often think about how she could incorporate horses into the video clip. ‘I would sit and dream of horses galloping in slow motion, with myself on board mouthing the words to the song…it was always so romantic in my mind.’
For her latest single So Loud, Nat was eager to convince her record label Universal Music, that this was the perfect song to combine her passion for both music and horses. ‘When they said it could happen, I was completely floored. And then when my manager told me we were filming at Simeon Stud, I just couldn’t believe it. As a child I would dream of visiting Simeon Stud and Hawley Arabians, those horses were on my walls, so it was a really grounding and emotional moment for me, to have my world come full circle, to collide in such a magical and positive way.
‘The shoot was such a wonderful experience. Aside from my manager and the label’s A&R guy, we had an all-girl team…the crew both behind the camera and Tracey and her team wrangling the horses…and we had such a great time. I was worried at times that perhaps horses moving in slow motion might have come across a little cheesy, and too ‘pretty’ which is not my kind of vibe, but I think we pulled it off. The hardest part was trying to look beautiful and not start laughing as I was rolling around in the dirt, and probably poo, in that glorious white dress!’
Since shooting the video, Nat has managed to find time for horses on a deeper level. ‘Yes it is true, I have found a new love of my life in the form of a 17hh Thoroughbred showjumper named Wagga. My work means it is not possible for me to own a horse, however I am able to do an on-farm lease with Wagga, which means I can go and ride him when I can, and his owner is able to look after him when I can’t. It is a win-win for everyone. He is quite a bit bigger than Nova, and a completely different personality, but I love them both. I am convinced my manager is going to give me an Arabian one day. I follow the palomino (Part Arabian) mare Top Model (Ray of Light x Faith N Kate) on Instagram, I am obsessed with her…hint hint!’