Andrew Peter Drake's exuberant life was tragically stolen from him on Saturday, April 13, bringing an untimely end to an adventurous journey.
The 29-year-old was the victim of a stabbing in Surfside, and is being remembered by friends and family as a "charismatic, adventure-loving, and kind-hearted man".
Andrew's family told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner his love for horses sculpted a large part of his adult life, and gave him multiple opportunities to travel abroad.
"He worked multiple seasons as a horse-trekking guide in both the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, and the Australian Snowy Mountains," they said.
"He primarily based himself in Braidwood and worked in the construction industry, as well as snow seasons at Thredbo.
"He also loved overseas travel, the highlights of which included working at a horse stud in Turkey, an organic off-grid farm in Israel's Negev Desert, and a hostel in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria."
Andrew was born on January 19, 1990, in Scone, NSW, the third child of Annie and George Drake.
The family moved to Batemans Bay in 1998, where he attended St Bernard's Primary School, Carroll College, and Batemans Bay High School.
The family said it didn't take long for Andrew to become a key partof the Batemans Bay community.
"While attending high school, he worked part time at several fast-food restaurants in Batemans Bay, and weekends at Billy Joe's Trail Rides," they said. "Andrew developed a passion for horses, and competed in the Ulladulla and Moruya rodeos from age 11.
"Throughout his youth, Andrew played soccer for Batemans Bay and Clyde United, Australian rules for the Batemans Bay Seahawks, and rugby league for the Batemans Bay Tigers."
Andrew's funeral was held at the Broulee Memorial Gardens on April 26, 2019, giving friends and family a chance to say their final goodbyes.
The Batemans Bay and Braidwood communities gathered to pay their respects, and were joined by a number of Andrew's friends from North America.
Members of the Braidwood Rodeo Club formed a guard-of-honour with their horses to lead Andrew's coffin to his gravesite.
Andrew's family said mourners laid feathers on his grave.
"Andrew was a collector of feathers, and would often give people the beautiful feathers he found," they said. "Because of this, we invited people to place a feather in his final resting place.
"After hearing of Andrew's adventures at the funeral, a lot of people were commenting that it's encouraged them to travel and enjoy life, just as Andrew did."
The family said Andrew will be remembered fondly by friends and family both in Batemans Bay, and all across Australia and the world.
"Andrew was a charismatic, adventure loving, and kind-hearted man to whom horses and children were always immediately drawn."
Andrew is survived by his parents and three sisters.
His stabbing on the night of Saturday, April 13, is still under investigation. If you have any relevant information, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.