Peter Gesler and son Chris at the Greymare Hall.
Peter Gesler and son Chris at the Greymare Hall. Contributed

Tributes flow from family, horse groups for beloved rider

A BEAUTIFUL man with a big heart was how 59-year-old Greymare man Peter Gesler was described, after he was killed in a plane crash in South Australia late on Saturday.

"He was my Dad and best friend," son Chris Gesler said.

"Dad helped everyone he could. He gave everyone too many chances and the benefit of the doubt.

"He was a larger than life character with a big heart."

Peter from Donell Park, Greymare, was the pilot of the plane which crashed late on Saturday during a flight from William Creek to Leigh Creek.

South Australian police received reports of a light plane crash 4.5km north-northeast of the Leigh Creek Airport.

A 48-year-old woman from Wynnum in Queensland was also killed in the crash.

Peter lived his early years at Bourke in New South Wales and then in various towns on the southeast coast.

"Some time after he met my mother Debbie, they moved to Boonah in 1998," Chris said.

Four years ago, the family moved to Greymare and ran their Donell Park horse stud.

They ran a dual registered ASHS (stock horse) and AQHA (quarter horse) stud.

Peter grew up with rodeos and it was obvious he would compete, mainly in steer wrestling.

He then turned his talents to campdrafting and was also an accomplished cutting horse rider.

Peter competed in Warwick campdrafting each October and also provided horses for other campdrafters to ride.

Chris said his father's passion was breeding horses but planes were taking over as his main passion.

"He loved flying," Chris said.

Peter enjoyed watching any type of sport on television.

He and wife Debbie enjoyed a lot of success with sire Seligman Spin who is one of the top-rated sires in Queensland with progeny in campdrafting and cutting.

Peter was part owner with Wayne Brown, of Bremer Stockfeeds, at Laidley and would fly the return trip from Greymare to Laidley each day for work.

Australian Stock Horse Society director and campdraft commentator Lorna Fanning said Peter and Debbie were popular around the campdraft scene.

"Peter could tell a good story," she said.

"He was very knowledgeable and respected in the horse industry and sport. Peter won campdrafts and recorded many placings."

Australian Campdrafting Association president Hugh Philp, of Clermont, said he first knew of Peter through his top sire Seligman Spin.

"He was on the ACA Council and you could tell he was a smart businessman who brought great ideas. If he didn't get an idea through, he would be back next meeting with more ideas," Mr Philp said.

"Peter had a terrific attitude and was someone you wanted on your team. We are devastated by his passing."