Russell grew up on Brumby Farm, his parent's property in the Bay of Islands. Being a former horse trekking business there were always horses around and it was early in life that Russell discovered his love for them. Like a lot of NZ kids Russell rode extensively around neighbouring farms and only after he’d ridden for three years was he introduced to the rather strange concept of riding with a saddle. Games days, gymkhana, long treks, beach races and riding camps ensued.
It was in his 20's that Russell decided, despite advice to the contrary, to seek a career with horses. He started with an Equine qualification at the Waikato Polytech and then pursued an educational pathway with Natural Horsemanship which lead him to live and work on a cattle station in Australia before moving to Colorado to take up an apprenticeship with Pat Parelli.
Since then Russell has continued his education with other great horsemen such as Buck Brannaman, David Weaver, Martin Black (USA), Pedro Neves (Portugal) and others. Teaching and studying internationally each year.
The connection Russell gains with his horses at Liberty is a by-product of his Foundation programme. Russell has been teaching horsemanship clinics and starting young horses professionally since 1999. To date he has taught in 18 different countries and started young horses on four continents.
Russell, along with his partner Ruth, owns and runs Brumby Farm Horsemanship Centre in Te Awamutu along with offering On-Line education to students around the world.