Pictured here is Courtney Robertson with Ashley and her circus (comprised of one border collie pup and her gelding Woody).

21st April, 2013 (school holidays)

Brittany travelled over to Taree last week for an official presentation of an Award of Excellence in Agriculture III in her TAFE course. She was nominated by her TAFE teacher Mr Peter Ruprecht who comes to the stud fortnightly to coach both Brittany and Ashley. Britt has now commenced Ag IV, and Ash is halfway through Ag III - we are very proud of the way these girls apply themselves so diligently to their studies.

Our house is fairly bulging at the seams and ringing with the laughter and chatter of girls on school holidays giving us a helping hand and lightening our workload - there is no shortage of horses to ride and stables to clean, with hay bags and water buckets to be filled. Thank you all of you - we're so lucky to have such good young people around us, so eager to learn and experience our way of life.

Seen here are Sarah Hardes riding the two-year-old filly Allonia Oak and Ash on three-year-old filly Violette.

Sarah, Ash, Courtney and Brittany

Congratulations to young Brooke Joyner who took out first place in the under 18 years preliminary dressage test at the Hunter Branch Show, Scone on her gelding Silverthorn Newsflash last weekend. A great effort for a 14 year-old-girl on a young horse.

Ashley on My Girl, Lilly on Cattle Call, Brooke on Newsflash and Brittany with Maisy

Bribbaree Horsemanship Clinic - 13-15th April, 2013

Despite the long 10 hour haul to Bribbaree and return, positive feedback received from participants and organisers alike, made our clinic at Bribbaree Showground very worthwhile. Our travellers arrived home weary but pleased that the three days went so well. They had nothing but praise for the wonderful organising skills of Jenita Lawrence, who put the weekend together, and together with Heidi McGrath kept everyone well fed and looked after. Thank you ladies so much. Jenita also managed to take some lovely photos that we share with you on this page.

They saw some different country and met some wonderful country folk who were so generous in their warmth and who enthusiastically embraced new training techniques and ideas. The cattle provided for the clinic were perfect for the job at hand giving everyone good runs.

The three horses to be used for demonstration purposes were the black stalliion Silverthorn Easy Acres; the two-year-old Shotgun filly Silverthorn Guns and Roses; and our four-year-old gelding Silverthorn Cattle Call. All three of them worked well all weekend, but the standout of the three was Cattle Call, who with his kind and amenable nature gave many riders the confidence to push themselves to new limits.

Paul was ably assisted by our trainee Brittany Hetherington, and Joe Lawrence who trained with us previously, to ensure that everyone received quality instruction and were kept on the go the whole time.

Following is feedback provided by Jenita: " . . . . . . Well!!!, I am so happy the clinic went smooth and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was a full-on weekend, and as usual, plenty of positive comments towards Paul and Brittany, and the way their horses were going around. Bribbaree is a small village of 200 people, mainly made up of farming families from generations. They have a successful pony club of 121 members, many from bigger towns coming out to Bribbaree for the facilities and friendliness of the community. The town itself, including the showgrounds, rely on rain to supply their water. They do not have access to the main water supply so water is trucked in. It has always been this way and locals are very conservative. There is a sign on the showers there, "Wash your horse, or yourself" not both. Locals are used to just sponging their horses out here.

Friday evening started out with a beautiful meal at the local pub. I think that meal was the best as Heidi and I didn't have to cook it. We were in bed early and everyone was keen to get started in the morning. We were blessed with wonderful weather, cool nights, warm days, with plenty of shade to get under.

Flat work commenced Saturday, with everyone working on getting their horses soft and controllable. Paul did often comment on the quality of horses and riders throughout the weekend. Country people spend a lot of time on their horses and it has shown during the clinic. They are also very willing to listen to new ideas and ways to improve themselves and their horse.

Sunday was a day of refreshing what they had been taught the day before, then cattle were bought in to try their hand at campdrafting. The cattle were kindly supplied by a local farmer and Paul was quite impressed with the quality of them.

Monday, when all the adults were 'dragging' themselves out of bed, a whole bunch of loud, enthusiastic kids arrived - wished they could've given us some of their energy. They were keen to get started and soak in as much as they could in the day. There were 18 kids that participated, all on very good, quiet horses. They had a great day, learnt heaps and had fun riding some 'Silverthorn' horses. The main thing that impressed Paul, was their level of riding skills, due to the hours they spend in the saddle.

All in all, it was a great success, with everyone leaving on a positive note with an abundance of information and new skills to remember.

Thankyou to Paul and Brittany, I myself, know how long a drive it is from Gloucester and everyone down here appreciates the time and effort they put in to the clinic.

Heidi, who was my 'right-hand' all weekend, did a fabulous job, and now myself and her need a holiday - where we don't have to cook !!!!!!...."

Brittany and Ashley riding ahead of a mob of cows and calves with Paul pushing them up from behind.

7th April, 2013

It's nice to get out to shows, but at home the work still must be done. It's that time of year when our paddocks are being prepared for seeding, and cattlework being done. The cattle are being moved to fresher pastures to allow for pasture improvement for next season's stock fodder. Our horses enjoy this diversion where they get the opportunity to be real horses doing real work.

Ashley riding her-two-year old gelding Oakwood (by Crillee Amarillo Oak)

Brittany on three-year-old gelding Son of a Gun (by Shotgun)

Stroud Show - 5th April, 2013

With Sydney Royal Show past us and amidst our seasonal pasturing (our number one priority at the moment), we decided to split the team leaving Paul and Brittany home with the planting, whilst Julie and Ashley take off with the mare Silverthorn My Girl, and the Australian Pony filly, Amaranda Joyfull, for nearby Stroud Show.

The Stroud district must have received a lot of rain overnight as the ground was very, very wet underfoot making the arena extremely heavy going when it came to the ridden events. The number of stock horses on the ground would have rivalled an ASHS branch show - most classes saw at least 16 riders on the ring at a time. Such great competition - just to win a place was no mean feat.

The day started well with "Pony" being sashed Champion APSB Pony, and My Girl took out Reserve Champion Led ASHS Mare - not a lot of competition in the pony classes, but in the stock horse ring it would have had to have been a record number of entries there.

Junior hack riders 13-18yrs on the ring

For Ashley on My Girl, the ridden classes under ASHS judge Candice Parker started with a first in junior ASHLA, then firsts in junior hack rider 13-18yrs and ASH hack ridden in a curb bit; a second in the ASH mare hack; and then Champion ASH Hack.

ASH hack ridden in a curb bit

Champion ASH Hack

The working classes saw this combination taking out firsts in junior working horse rider 13-18yrs; working mare; and Champion ASH Working Horse.

Pleasing results for such a long day!

Sydney Royal Show 2013

Brittany on Shotgun in his working stallion class

Arriving at Olympic Park with two days up our sleeve gave ourselves plenty of time to get the horses settled in to the hustle and bustle of life at the "Royal". The weather was kind except for a sudden heavy downpour and hailstorm during the Stockman's Turnout Class - lucky they had their raincoats packed!

Our show started with the led classes - Silverthorn My Girl placed 5th in a class of 16 mares, and in a class of 13 stalliions, Silverthorn Easy Acres and Silverthorn Shotgun were both called and in the final 6, but not placed.

Mick Allen kindly led our stallion Easy Acre

Mick and Tiff Allen's filly Benbrook Gun Shy by Shotgun was placed second in a field of 17 catalogued entries. It was looking good for Gun Shy for a while when the filly that placed first in the filly 2 and under class, won champion mare/filly, and Shy had to come out for reserve champion - we had our fingers crossed for her but it wasn't to be this time.

Mick Allen with his Shotgun filly Benbrook Gun Shy

Day one also saw 41 senior and junior ladies lined up for the ASHLA (Australian Stock Horse Ladies Association) event. Like every other lady in this event, both our girls Ashley and Brittany spent hours and hours polishing their gear, Both girls rode well, Ashley on Silverthorn My Girl and Brittany on the stallion Silverthorn Shotgun, but were not placed this year.

ASHLA lineup

Ashley on My Girl in the ASHLA class in the Schmidt Arena

In an ASHLA class judging criteria for an overall 100 points comprises of:

  • 25 points for riding ability - ability of rider to control and work her mount at all paces;
  • 25 points for horse's ability, manners and paces - pleasant, educated mount showing ability and manners to work at all paces in hacking and working;
  • 25 points for dress, equipment and general presentation - to be clean, neat and tidy; and
  • 25 points for horse's type and conformation - demonstrate the all round ladies horse.

Half way through the class which was held on the grassed Main Arena, due to time constrictions, the event was moved into the just vacated by the cutting horses, Schmidt Arena. Just about everyone watching on felt that it was unfair for half the ladies to have the advantage of working on the grassed area in comparison to the remaining ladies to have to work on an uneven, and ungraded surface in unfamiliar surroundings. It was very disappointing for some, but regardless, they accepted the situation with grace, style, and good sportsmanship that made us all in the grandstands proud to be associated with them.

Paul on Silverthorn My Girl placed 3rd in The Stockman's Turnout Class out of 31 entries. In a Stockman's Turnout class, the horse should be suitably equipped and the tack should include items that may be required for a day's work around the property. The horse should work in a relaxed manner and the gear well cared for and comfortable for both horse and rider. The horse should be a good walker, with a smooth canter - a horse you can ride all day. The judging procedure is judged on type and conformation of the horse (40 points); presentation and suitability of gear (40 points); and workout (20 points).

Paul on Easy in stallion working class

Brittany on Shotgun and Paul on Easy, 2nd and 3rd in stallion hack

Ashley on My Girl, 1st in mare hack

Ashley and My Girl won the hack mare or filly class from a field of 21 mares and fillies; placed 6th in the working mare class (24 entries); in the working stock horse ridden by a youth (24 entries) placed 7th; and in the ASH mare or gelding ridden by a youth (26 entries), placed 4th. An exceptional effort for this combination considering the extremely strong competition in both the open and youth classes.

Brittany and Shotgun placed second, with Paul on Easy coming third in the hack stallion or colt, not exceeding 15hh class in a class of eight very competitive riders and stallions.

Ashley on My Girl

Paul was delighted with the lovely run he had on Easy in the Senior ASH Small Arena Campdraft - third with a score of 86 from 38 entries. This is the first time Easy has been drafted - what a start! After his run, many respected horsemen/women approached us and commented on Easy's speed and agility. Ashley had a good ride on My Girl in the Junior ASH Samll Arena Campdraft, but went unplaced.

Junior judges with four horses to judge in front of them

Brittany about to be interviewed after National Junior Judging

Ashley on the big screen about to be sashed fifth in State Junior Judging

Probably the highlight of our show was the prestigious State and National Junior Judging in which both our girls placed. Brittany won reserve champion National Champion Junior Judge - such a wonderful result; and Ashley placed fith in the State Junior Judging.

We are so proud of these girls - they have worked so hard to reach the level of horsemanship that they are now enjoying - it warms our hearts to see them rewarded for all the hard work and effort, and the long hours that they have put in, to achieve such great results for team Silverthorn.

Some more photos (updated 5th May)

Pictured here is Joe Lawrence competing with his three-year-old filly Silverthorn Sugar Glider (Waikon Park Coolabah x Barsham Sunrising). Joe was pleased with his filly's performance throughout the show.

Two-day Horsemanship Clinic at Silverthorn on 18th and 19th of May, 2013

Our next two-day horsemanship clinic will be be held on the weekend of 18th - 19th May.

Over the two days we will have demonstrations on ground handling, training, horsemanship skills, and ringcraft. Our mechanical cow will be available to assist train your horse to work a cow, stop straight, improve roll-backs and maintain correct position.

The campdraft arena that has been a work in progress is now complete and over the weekend we will be able offer a first-hand opportunity to those wishing to experience the thrill of guiding a beast around a campdraft course under the guidance of experienced campdrafting coaches.

Book now to secure a place - $125 per day. Camping and meals provided.

Other clinics coming up are:

New England Branch ASHS Clinic Armidale on 20th and 21st of April,

See upcoming clinics column for details and contacts.

Phone: 02 65583152
Email: silverthorn@ipstarmail.com.au

Mail: 1806 Gloucester Tops Rd
Gloucester 2422

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