It's been a different sort of year for all of us - here's to a very special 2008 and we look forward to seeing you all on the show circuit.

Nevertheless, for us it's been an extremely industrious time catching up on all those jobs that we never seem to get round to. We've also managed to get in some social days that have been very pleasant, kicking back with friends and enjoying one another's company.

Merry XMAS.

November - The New Arena

With the new undercover and dressage arenas now complete are are looking forward to providing a whole range of educational activities for horse people to enjoy. Just as soon as the travel bans are lifted we will be conducting these activities with capable instructors to pass on expertise in the various disciplines of the horse industry. We are seriously looking forward to the days ahead - beyond EI - when we can all get back to business.

Paul is still coaching, but on our own educated horses.

The new covered arena.

Brittany Hetherington, a youth rider, on Smoke during her coaching session with Paul.

Quarantine Revocation

It's some time now since we had the DPI vets in to test our stock for the all-clear to have our quarantine lifted. Thankfully our results were as expected with all our horses free of the virus.

It was interesting to note in the results that foals born weeks after all signs of the virus had gone, were tested with the EI antibodies in their blood. We assume that somehow, the mares have passed on immunity to their foals.

Our zone is no longer red but amber and we are still very restricted with regard to horse movement.

Youngsters and New For Sale Listing

We have updated our for sale page listing.

Also we are starting to update our youngsters page with recent foaling details and photos.


"Lockdown" should definitely be one of our top priorities in the naming of our 2007 foals!

All of us are locked down whether we have or are experiencing the EI virus that is cripppling the horse industry. Here at Silverthorn it's like we are all dressed up with nowhere to go. We are thinking positive and looking forward to when we can start showing again keeping our horses looking fit and well. We paddocked our sale horses as well as outside horses here for breaking and training giving them respite for the time being until they are allowed to travel home.

With the prospect of things easing up the sale horses and breakers are coming in this week as well as four lovely two year old fillies that we have decided to break-in and sell. Three of the fillies are by Montcalm Luke and one of them is by Knights Jugaby out of a Montcalm Luke mare - if you've been after a Montcalm Luke filly, now's your chance - they are all show quality and will suit the discerning buyer.

Our mares have started to foal and at this stage we have three smart colts by Waikon Park Coolabah, check our Youngsters Page for pictures of these new arrivals.

Two youngsters to join our show team are the yearlings Silverthorn Rookie, a lovely chestnut colt by Tassa Tenacity that we purchased on the mare McKennas Debut; and Silverthorn Isabeau, a bay filly by Waikon Park Coolabah out of our wonderful producing mare Elle Astra. Guess they are just going to have to wait a bit longer for their first show appearances.

One good thing to come out of all of this EI business is that we taken the opportunity to do a lot of repairs around the place. As well as repairs there is a long stretch of new fencing and at present an undercover horse crush for preg-testing mares is being erected.


Our stud was one of the first properties to be tested positive with the virus. This blew in from a neighbouring property 2km away with our first cases being recorded on 2nd September. For 11 days before it arrived, we were forewarned to be vigilant with our stallions as the high temperature that goes along with the flu seriously impairs the quality of semen and can seriously affect it for 16 weeks - if this were true, then this had the potential to take us through to the end of the breeding season before we could start breeding.

On the 11th day about four of the mares started to cough spasmodically - this was our first sign that EI had arrived. At the same time the stallions' temperatures rose dramatically. Luckily, we had been regularly taking and recording the three stallions' temperatures three times a day and as soon as they started to rise we administered bute paste in an effort to minimise the high temperatures. Once the bute kicked in the temperatures went down - and stayed down.

Our breeding programme starts from the beginning of September and regardless of all the expert advice we received we decided to press on by serving our infected mares with our infected stallions as per normal. We have been waiting with some trepidation as to the outcome of these matings and to date, although not yet scanned, they are promisingly overdue in their cycles.

We didn't try to save any of our horses from the virus, we just allowed it to run its course infecting every individual. Some were hit harder than others and there were a few that were hardly affected by it at all. We found our fatter, better nourished show horses were the worse affected and our non-stressed population of paddocked horses appeared to only have mild cases.

Matters were made worse for our horses' recovery when we experienced a week of cold, wet weather. We gathered up all the warm rugs that we had to hand and rugged the horses that they would fit. Many developed a thick mucous discharge that we treated with a strong antibiotic powder in feeds or mixed with water to make a paste that could be administered over the tongue. The mucous dried up within two days and did not recur. Our days were spent monitoring every horse on the place, keeping a watchful eye out for secondary infections.

One older mare who had a seven day old foal on her lost her milk for a couple of days forcing her foal look for water and try to eat grass. Just as the mare got over the worst of it the foal developed that now famililar dry hacking cough - this was an extremely worrying time as we had been told by a Department of Primary Industries vet that 40% of our foals would die if they got the flu. After two days of stiffness and lethargy he developed a runny nose, and on the third day started to pick up and doing enthusiastic little sprints around his mother - a very heartening sight.

We were hoping that no more foals would be born until we were clear of the virus - ideally a couple of weeks, but a day after the clinical signs had disappeared on Eclipse who was our last horse with it and who had a particular bad bout of it at that, her foal arrived. The next few days would decide whether we would go through the cycle again but to our great relief the foal has remained unscathed. A second mare had her foal a few days after that and the same applies to him. We're not sure whether perhaps the mares have given their foals some sort of immunity or whether the virus is no longer viable once the patient is recovered.

The DPI and the Gloucester Pastures Protection Board veterinarian, Mr Alan Glassop, as well as our own vet, Mr Ian Gollan, have been very supportive and helpful throughout, and we feel that through their guidance we have come through this disaster as well as could be expected under the circumstances. All of our horses are scheduled for testing within the next week or so. Once we get signed off and get a clean bill of health we can get back to "fairly" normal.

In hindsight, we're glad that if we had to get the virus, it was better to get it sooner than later. We are hearing all sorts of sad stories and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to anyone who are just embarking on this experience.

1st Day of Spring

Regardless of the threat of the EI virus hanging over us and all the precautions we must now take, we are still going about our day to day chores. We've been keeping ourselves informed from the following two websites:

  • The NSW Department of Primary Industries


  • The Australian Horse Industry Council.
    We have removed the upcoming show programmes from this site as campdrafts and shows that we had listed will be postponed until further notice.

    With the stud season now upon us we are serving our own mares and awaiting the 2007 crop of foals. Already Montcalm Lucile has produced a very smart colt by Waikon Park Coolabah and we are looking forward to more of his foals.

August 2007 Update

Over the winter months we've been setting up our establishment for training schools and coaching sessions. A dressage/work arena, an undercover work arena and many new panelled yards have been put in place. We've also converted one of our buildings into a comfortable accommodation for our many visitors. It's all looking good and we hope to start our schools with specialist coaches in the very near future.

We're waiting on our first foal for the season from Mr Peter Taubman's mare Montcalm Lucile, the dam of Montcalm Luke, who was served by Waikon Park Coolabah last season and due to foal now.

Just heard from the Blanch's of Craven that their Lindsay mare Cherrytree Babe has just this week produced a fine strong colt by Knights Jugaby - congratulations!

Congratulations too to the Docherty Family whose mare Silverthorn Moonlight has just taken out the high point dressage horse for the Eastern Branch ASHS at their recent presentation night.

Paul and April took S My Girl to a cutting day to Stroud recently where April placed second in the ladies, being only one point behind the winner.

They also took Girl to the Salt Ash Pony Club Interclub Day last weekend (18th August) where April ended up champion overall associate rider after having taken out firsts in the galloway hack and best educated galloway then champion galloway hack. First in her associate rider then champion associate rider. Firsts in associate bareback rider, pair of associates (with Aaron Stokes of Raymond Terrace), and D Grade associate jumping, Ben Bar Aft. Thirds in sporting figure of eight and western pole bend, and a fourth in the mug race - what a day, well done April and Girl!

We're at present gearing up for the Spring horse shows and campdrafts. We especially look forward to these first shows to bring out our untried youngsters - to quote our friend Peter Taubman "It's the glorious uncertainty of the unknown," - how very true. Paul has just broken-in our two year old filly, Elliette, full sister to My Girl, and will be bringing her out under saddle. Shotgun, our two year old colt, is also broken-in, and will be making his ridden debut as well.

2007 Spring Show Season

If you haven't already brought your horses in for their show preparation for the spring shows you'd better get to it. For a few tips, check out our Preparation and Presentation notes in our links section.

We have also just added the programme and entry forms for Eastern Branch of the ASHS 34th Breeders and Performance Championships (29-30th September, 2007) that is held at Singleton.

2007 NSW ASH Breeders Championships & Futurities

Please find the programme for the 2007 NSW ASH BREEDERS CHAMPIONSHIPS & FUTURITIES to be held at Singleton Showgrounds, Singleton on 6th and 7th October, 2007, posted on our links section below right.

Gloucester ASHS Annual Campdraft and Led/Performance Show Details

The programmes for the annual campdraft (1st September 2007) and annual Led and Performance Show (16th Spetember 2007) have just been released and are available below right in our Links section.

Sale Update - June 27

Pictured is proud new owner of Silverthorn Standout, Katrina Brown. Stan generated a lot of interest and we are delighted that he has been placed with a family who are going to get a lot of pleasure from him both in pony club and the stock horse ring. We look forward to seeing them out and about and hearing of their progress.

Gloucester Branch ASHS team penning - June 16

With Paul being unable to go along, Julie and April set out with the mare My Girl, and gelding Standout for a fun-filled day at the Gloucester Showground with the Gloucester Branch of the Stock Horse Society for the long-awaited team penning event.

It was a fairly bleak day with strong winds and showery conditions but not enough to dampen the girl's enthusiasm for this interesting challenge. It was either great riding or good luck - most likely the latter - that the ladies' team of Julie, April, and Tina Robionson scored really well, penning their cattle in hardly any time at all and ultimately scoring second place.

It was a jubilant, but muddy pair who came home to an incredulous Paul who had to believe it when they produced their red ribbons.

Thanks go to secretary Stewart Moore, the branch committee, and cattle donors, who made this social event possible.

Standout Sold

An example of one of our recent quality horses for sale, Standout (pictured below) prior to being sold.

Gloucester Branch Led and Performance Show and Campdraft dates for 2007 are:

  • 1st September - Gloucester Branch ASHS Campdraft
  • 16th September - Gloucester Branch ASHS Led and Performance Show.

As always, terrific sponsors, prizes and prizemoney to be won. Put these dates in your diary.

Phone: 02 65583152

Mail: 1806 Gloucester Tops Rd
Gloucester 2422

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