Silverthorn Horsemanship Clinic - 18th and 19th of May, 2013

Despite the need for rain, we were fortunate to have a fine weekend with warm days but cooler nights for our horsemanship clinic here at Silverthorn - got to remind ourselves that it's almost winter after all. We had another lovely group of people attending, all keen to apply themselves and to come away having learned something constructive to build on with their horses. Paul was assisted by our trainees Brittany and Ashley and campdrafter Kylie Blanch.

The youth on today's horse scene are so lucky to have good parents who are prepared to dedicate their days off driving to a venue, setting up camp, and then sitting around patiently whilst their children are enjoying the opportunity of being coached. The result of the two day's coaching speaks for itself and is plainly seen in the improvement of both horses and riders.

Our own horses used in the coaching scheme of things have time and again proved to be a great asset for us. The older, more experienced horses are the best way to help people understand how the aids work simply by letting them ride the educated horse, and to learn to ask the correct way, and as a result to get an immediate positive response. Our younger horses, not so highly educated, but quiet and biddable, are excellent for those without a mount, giving their riders an enjoyable weekend.

Ashley on Girl for Supreme Hack Horse of Show

Australian Stock Horse National Show - 6-12th May, 2013

The ASHS National Show programme lists 652 entries (not including the 81 Fountain of Youth Sale horses) - can you imagine this many Australian Stock Horses at the same place at the same time? We were there for the week trying hard like everyone else with our well prepared horses hoping to score just a place at national level.

It takes so much time, money and effort to get to the Nationals, but when it's all over and the dust has settled and you're home and unpacked - you can say to yourself that it really was "worth the effort". So nice to catch up with friends and acquaintances and to meet new people, see beautiful horses, and to witness some amazing rides.

Brittany riding Guns and Roses in pleasure hack

We had our lovely yearling filly Silverthorn Fortune prepared for the Fountain of Youth Sale - she attracted quite a lot of interest in the days prior to the sale but was passed in like so many of the other youngsters offered for sale. From 81 lots catalogued - 45 were sold, 7 withdrawn, 29 passed in. Average price was $5,288, top priced yearling filly went for $16,000. A very disappointing sale for those who did meet the market - so much effort has gone into the preparation and presentation of these yearlings and two-year-olds that it makes one wonder if it really was worthwhile. Perhaps the Society should consider putting the sale on over the weekend next year - not midday on a Wednesday - working people just can't get away week days - makes sense to draw them on the weekend when they can attend. But all this aside, we were not disappointed to bring Fortune home, she will continue to contribute to our show team and will be looking out of a bridle under saddle next spring.

We were bracing ourselves for some cold Tamworth weather but we were fortunate enough to have warm sunny days and cool nights. Brittany's father Myles was our nominated steward (every competitor had to nominate a member of their team for steward duties during the show) and he also did a great job running our very busy camp. Thank you Myles, sterling job.

We had a good show starting with Brittany riding Selina and Andrew Nixon's three-year-old gelding Silverthorn Son of A Gun and placing 8th out of 48 in the ASHLA event. We had both Silverthorn My Girl and Silverthorn Guns and Roses entered for the dressage classes but due to so many classes clashing on the first day of the show, we had to withdraw our entries on the day - disappointing since both Ashley and Brittany had put quite a lot of work into preparing for these events.

Ashley and Copy Cat

Brittany and Son of a Gun

In a field of 73 three-year-olds, Son won the hack section of the National Futurity - a wonderful win - it's often said that to win a race, the racehorse requires his owner, trainer and rider to be in complete sync - Selina and Andrew (owners), Paul (trainer), and Brittany (rider) all put in a 100% effort reflecting this excellent result.

Brittany rode Guns and Roses for a third out of 29 in the pleasure hack filly 3 years and under; 6th out of 64 in the Station Horse 3 years and under; and Ashley's two-year-old gelding Silverthorn Oakwood placed 6th out of 20 in the pleasure hack gelding 3 years and under as well as a 2nd in the Junior Working two-year-old Gelding - nice results for two two-year-olds. In the limited number of classes our newly purchased chestnut filly Cee Dee Copy Cat was entered, Ashley rode her really nicely despite not being in the high placings

Silverthorn My Girl placed third in the led mare five years and over, over 15hh out of a line-up of 24 quality mares. In the English attire hack mare 5 years and over and from a field of 33 she placed second ridden by our trainee Ashley Whiting. Girl and Ashley then took out first place in the senior hack mare 5yrs and over, 15hh and under in a class of 23 mares. Then to our delight from 44 mares Girl took out Champion Hack Mare. She placed eighth in the senior working mare 5yrs and over, 15hh and under (22 entered).

With champion hack mare under our belts, we now had the opportunity to ride off for Supreme Hack Horse of Show. This event was to be held later on that evening and judged by Tina Bridge, Toni Bull and Vicky Mascord. What a thrilling event that turned out to be! Six champion horses rode off - each and every one of them did perfect workouts - we were on the edge of our seats - and "our girls", My Girl and Ashley, did a perfect and spectacular pattern that was pretty to watch and definitely had onlookers enthralled judging by the enthusiastic applause received. Can't tell you how we felt when we heard our breastplate number called out for Supreme Hack Horse of Show - we were simply overwhelmed by our good luck and fortune. Thank you everyone for your kind wishes, congratulations, and support - this is a once in a lifetime event for many.

In saying this - Silverthorn My Girl's full brother, Silverthorn Danny Boy, won this same event as a three-year-old in 2002 at the ASHS Nationals in Albury with Anna Keys.

Silverthorn Wills (Waikon Park Coolabah x Six S Stud Charity) and his young rider Jade Fangmeir had a very successful National Show winning the Novice 2C Dressage event and was declared Highest Scoring Youth Competitor in the dressage events. It should be noted here that Six S Stud Charity is also the dam of Silverthorn My Girl who won Supreme Hack of the Show.

Sarah on Steve in the two-year-old snaffle bit futurity

The two-year-old gelding Rippingale Joys Ragtime (Riverview Snowman x Rippingale Joys Lyric) that we purchased at the 2012 Fountain of Youth Sale as a yearling certainly made his mark over the duration of the show with his owner and rider Sarah Hardes. After last year's sale we returned home with this grey yearling "Steve" and immediately started his breaking-in and training. He was an absolute gem to break-in, showing promise of great things to come. Little did we know or realise how great! Sixteen-year-old Sarah purchased Steve a few months ago and under Paul's guidance trained him up for his first stock horse show - The ASHS Nationals no less!

Sarah's show began seeing Steve place second in the led 2-year-old gelding class out of 21 entries - the Hardes' family were beyond delighted with this result - especially as this was Sarah's first stock horse show. But as the show unfolded there was more to come - a lot more! First place in the pleasure hack gelding 3 years and under; champion pleasure hack; 1st junior hack gelding two-year-old; champion hack two-year-old, and a fourth in the junior working gelding two-year-old. When it came to the Snaffle Bit Futurity this partnership stepped up again winning the much coveted champion title over 55 other lovely two-year-olds. We were so pleased to see that beautiful garland placed around Steve's neck, the pride radiating from his rider, and well, the Hardes family, who were very, very excited - and justly so.

Rippingale Joys Ragtime, champion two-year-old hack

Ashley riding Cee Dee Copy Cat in the Station Horse 3 Years and Under event

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