Tobin in his led gelding 2 & 3 years class

Newcastle Regional Show - March 27, 2010

Judge - Mr Kim Moy

Newcastle Regional Show organisers have certainly put a lot of work into their show programme - not only this, but they have really lifted the bar with the entertainment factor for families visiting the show. This show runs for three days and on day two when we were there competing we saw a lot of on-ring entertainment between events. Three of our favourites were the chuck wagon races, the invitational regional campdraft championships, and the jousting - so much trouble has gone into the costumes for the jousting, and the wagons were a great sight with matched pairs pulling colourfully painted vehicles. We saw some great rides in the campdraft and congratulate the placegetters for their hard won efforts.

A nice cool breeze favoured us making a potentially hot day tolerable temperature-wise.

We had an excellent day with our stallions Knights Jugaby and Silverthorn Shotgun ands two-year-old gelding Whiteash Tobin.

Jugaby shone in all events bringing home champion stallion, champion hack and champion working horse.

Shotgun also had a great day with reserve champion stallion, reserve champion hack, a first in the senior ASHLA with April, and a fourth in the working stallion.

Tobin placed second in his led 2 and 3 year old gelding, second in his ASH hack 3 years and under, and first in his working junior horse 3 years and under. Tobin continues to draw a lot of favourable comments with his lovely grey looks.

Brittany and Michelle Hetherington were having a terrific day with their bay gelding Silverthorn Walkout with ribbons placed in most events

Champion and reserve champion ASH hack - April on Shotgun and Paul on Jugaby

Above & right:
A blue ribbon day for Brittany Hetherington riding Silverthorn Walkout

Shotgun, reserve champion led ASH stallion

Jugaby, champion led ASH stallion

Silverthorn Isabeau sold to Victoria

Heather and Andrew Torney came to Fairview for the weekend to view our sale horses and settled on the lovely three-year-old bay filly Isabeau (Waikon Park Coolabah x Elle Astra). We wish Heather and Andrew all the best with their purchase and look forward to hearing of their progress in Victoria.

Gloucester Show - March 20-21, 2010
Judges: Mr Peter McKay (Australian Stock Horses)
M/s Mandy Small (Galloways)

Paul on Jugaby in the stallion working class

We're on the downhill run now coming up to Sydney Royal Show in a couple of weeks, and attending our local show gives us the opportunity to get the horses fine-tuned for "The Royal".

Whiteash Tobin, our two-year-old gelding (Knights Jugaby x Rosebrook Mona) had his first outing today and he certainly didn't disappoint. In the led ring he won his gelding three and two years old, then champion gelding, and finally supreme ASH of the show taking out the coveted Radium Trophy sponsored by the Gloucester Branch ASHS. Toby then placed second in both the hack and working events for three-years and under youngsters. Toby created quite a lot of interest with his striking looks.

Knights Jugaby had an excellent day with reserve champion led stallion, champion hack, and reserve champion working.

In the Stock Horse ring Silverthorn My Girl placed second in all her events - led, hack and working - having a consistently good day.

In the Galloway Ring the following day Girl was champion led galloway. April Spriggs rode Silverthorn My Girl in novice galloway and adult galloway for second placings and Brittany Hetherington rode her for a second in the galloway hack under 17 years; and a first in the pair of galloways with Wyatt Young on his mare Cedervale Noire.

Young Brittany Hetherington who accompanied us with her gelding Silverthorn Walkout had much success with a first in the junior hack rider, seconds in gelding hack and ASH rider 13yrs and under 18yrs; and a third in Walkout's led class.

April Spriggs riding Silverthorn My Girl in the Galloway Ring (above and right)

Brittany Hetherington pair of galloways with Wyatt Young on his mare Cedervale Noire

Whiteash Tobin

Brittany Hetheringon with Walkout
after having won her youth rider event

Whiteash Tobin successful both in led & under saddle.

Shotgun's Story

This story of Shotgun's has been waiting to be told for some time. We feel that now is the right time to tell it.

How many times do we hear "It's only the good ones that get hurt"? Well, here on our stud we have many horses around us and, if any one of them become sick or injured we are devastated, as we consider them all to be special and precious to us for one reason or the other.

One particular calamitous event that precipitates this story was when we lost our beautiful foundation stallion Montcalm Luke in a freak paddock accident. You know, you really can't appreciate how the loss of such a good stallion can leave such a big black hole in your breeding programme until he's gone. Luckily we had opted to retain and campaign his fillies and later retire them to the broodmare paddock, which meant that years down the track, our Luke mares are consistently producing lovely elegant and athletic types.

However, there we were, faced with the dilemma of what to do as a result of Luke’s death. We decided that retaining a colt by Luke was the way to go - we had colts born in 2003 and 2004 and mares to foal in 2005. It was going to take a long time to get back on track, but that's part of the uncertainty and joy of breeding isn't it?

There were one or two colts that were possibilities but on August 16, 2005 Haydon Avril, a mare that we were hoping would produce a colt, foaled the one that we were waiting for, Silverthorn Shotgun.

Avril was a wonderful producing mare, she had nine foals for us - Carbine, Derringer, Winchester, Ladysmith, Standout, Sniper, Springfield, Showgirl and Shotgun. Her first foal was Carbine, a gelding that many people reading this item would remember. Carbine was a consistent winner in the show ring and before he was five had won Best ASH Gelding at Sydney Royal Show three times! Carbine’s siblings have all had their share of success and we felt that this new foal could be the one we were waiting for.

And what a great type he was! There was no question now of which colt would be retained to take Luke's place. When Shotgun was four months old Avril died suddenly - another shock loss. We brought the colt in to be reared as a weanling and from that day he was being groomed for our show team. He was a playful colt, always into mischief, getting into scrapes, but luckily nothing too serious. We campaigned him as a yearling colt the first year and had a tremendous amount of success in the led ring. At Sydney Royal Show 2007, Paul rode him in the grand parades - he'd only had a couple of rides previous to this - and he took it all in his stride with all the aplomb of a seasoned horse.

Then the Equine Influenza hit - a national disaster that affected everyone in the horse industry. One day before the Department of Primary Industry completely stopped all movement of horses, our own personal disaster struck. Shotgun, in play, had managed to get his near-side foreleg caught between a six foot high gate and panelled fence. He was trapped and just hanging there by his foot. To free him we had to use a chainsaw to release him - to his credit, he was calm and allowed us to help him out without too much trouble.

Oh, but when we saw the damage to his foot - the fetlock was dislocated and rotating right around and at all angles. It took about two seconds for us to make the decision to try to save him as a sire, if nothing else. We bound the fetlock tightly and loaded him on the float for the two hour drive to Maitland, so that our friend and vet Ian Gollan could have a look and see what could be done to save this brave little colt.

After a great deal of consideration and consultation, Ian decided not to operate but to relocate and realign the foot. Shotgun was brought home the next day with a plaster cast on his leg up to the knee and for the next four months was confined in a loose box to restrict his movement. There was always the question as to whether the uninjured leg would stand up to the enforced pressure of weight distribution compensation, and we were ever mindful to monitor this possibility. He was a most amazing patient and spent his days playing with the milk bottles set up for him on the stable walls, with an old pony in the next stable to keep him company.

The day the plaster came off was the day of truth - how would the leg look? It looked good - puffy, but nice and straight, the cut sustained in the accident had healed, and there was not too much damage caused by the plaster cast. We still had to keep the leg firmly wrapped to give support, and he still had to be confined while the fetlock strengthened up. Eventually the bandages came off and he was allowed more freedom and as the ligaments and sinews re-fused his lameness started to improve. He had many bad days and some good days, then he had many good days and a few bad days, until he was having mostly good days. We were finally getting confidence in the idea that perhaps we'd saved him as a sire after all, and then it wasn't long before we decided to put him into light work. We consulted with a professional farrier who suggested that we use a breakaway shoe with a roll over toe that would assist the flexion of the affected fetlock.

This was about the time young Elizabeth McKelvey came to work for us and we felt that with her diminutive weight and in the sand arena, it would be a good test to his increasing soundness to have her up on him. He came along so well that we were able to put more and more on him and last year we decided to put him back in the show team. During 2009 and 2010 Shotgun won numerous champion hack and working events. Of late we've put him in led stallion classes where he has won champion stallion - although we don't make a habit of this, as he still bears some thickening on the coronet that, in our opinion, detracts from the presentation of him as a led horse. At the 2009 Cumberland Branch Show Shotgun won the four year old futurity - a great boost to our confidence in his recovery, and at the 2010 Canberra Royal Show, he took out the blue ribbon in the working stallion event. This event certainly tested his soundness, and as well as that was a very prestigious event to win in anyone's language.

We recently had our broodmares in for pregnancy testing by Ian Gollan when a flashy young colt came forward, catching Ian’s eye. So much so that he had to stop what he was doing and step around to more closely view this youngster who had so drawn his attention. Not only is he the image of Shotgun in every way, he also exudes an innate sense of calm mixed up with a natural curiousness. "What's this one?" he asked, to which we replied, "that's Son of a Gun, our first foal by Shottie.” "Well”, he said, “he's passing on the trait that most certainly saved himself." Meaning, it was Shotgun's wonderful temperament and acceptance to his treatment and confinement that was his saving grace. In retrospect, we realise that it took a special horse to rise above all the trials and tribulations thrown at him to bring him back to full recovery.

Progressive X-rays of the injury show the healing process is almost complete and that we can look forward to a total recovery. We were told at the time of the accident that this type of injury is far worse than a break and that there are no documentented success stories to our knowledge on record worldwide, other than a few horses being saved for breeding purposes only.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this account of Shotgun's accident and recovery and take heart if such a blow comes your way, and know that many things are possible when you are faced with a challenge such as this.

March 6 - Wallamba District A&H Ass Inc Show
Judges: Mr Keith Coombes (ASHA ring); Mr Fred Burton (Galloway ring)

Pictured is Paul on My Girl in the mare hack

We arrived at the crack of dawn to find the showground already packed with vehicles - we could see that this was going to be a really well attended day.

We had with us Shotgun and My Girl. Two other Silverthorn fillies belonging to Carolyn Murphy were also there ensuring a good roll-up of young Silverthorn horses.

My Girl had a good day with a first in the mare class of the galloway ring followed up with champion galloway. In the stock horse ring she placed second in her led mare class, and thirds in the mare hack and mare working.

Shotgun won both his stallion hack and stallion working.

Carolyn's black yearling filly Silverthorn Journey (St Ronan Abdul Smoke x Silverthorn Danni Girl) placed third in a nice line-up of quality fillies. Their bay two-year-old filly Silverthorn Musical Sally (Waikon Park Coolabah x Musical Fortune) fared well for her first outing with a 1st in her led class, and a third in the maiden hack.

Shotgun in the stallion hack

Musical Sally in the maiden hack

March 4 - Silverthorn Witchery sold

The lovely black/brown yearling filly Witchery, who appears on our sale page has been sold and will soon be making the long journey to Daintree, near Cairns. We wish her buyer M/s Melissa Price well with this filly. Melissa is planning to prepare and break her in for upcoming futurities.

We will now be bringing the yearling Silverthorn Marina in for show/sale preparation. Marina is by St Ronan Abdul Smoke and from one of our very best mares, Madalyn. Marina is very much like her dam, and we feel sure that she will grow into a very special mare. We are finding Smoke's foals to be very calm when it comes to handling and we are looking forward to breaking-in the first of his stock.

Royal Canberra Show - February 26-27
Judge: Mrs Sue Wilson

Pictured is Paul on Shotgun after a great win in the working stallion event.

A long way to go but Paul, Elizabeth and April ventured off for another Royal Canberra Show.

With them were April's two-year-old filly, Impact Illusion; Peter Taubman's promising black two-year-old colt Montcalm Kirribilli (Waikon Park Coolabah x Montcalm Jedda); and our four-year-old stallion Silverthorn Shotgun.

Elizabeth was first to receive a ribbon with a fifth in the junior judging event. April and Paul were not in the ribbons with the two-year-olds, Illusion or Kirribilli; but Shotgun stepped up in the stalliion working event with a first out of about 12 stallions.

They all had a good time and caught up with many old friends, making it a worthwhile effort to attend this great show.

Camden Haven Agricultural Show - February 13, 2010
Judge: M/s Maxine Brooks

Paul on Shotgun doing an extended trot in his hack workout.

Once again we made our way to the lovely shady Camden Haven showground. The rings overall were pretty well attended, but as we are finding more and more often nowadays, the Australian Stock Horse ring is enjoying huge roll-ups and today was no exception.

In searing heat as the day moved on and the shade was becoming harder to find we found ourselves vying for any shady spot available.

As it was a last minute decision to come today we brought just the one horse - our four year old stallion Shotgun. Shotgun had a good day and brought home champion stallion, reserve champion hack and reserve champion working.

As you can see from the picture right, Judge Maxine Brooks goes over the working pattern with Paul - for your interest, this is one we haven't come across before, and can be found in the ASHS pattern book (W16). It's different, but once you get your head a round it, wasn't all that difficult, and was a nice one to watch from the sidelines.

Phone: 02 65583152

Mail: 1806 Gloucester Tops Rd
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