The Australian performance horse industry proves once again that it is made of stronger stuff
With much of nation in the grips of a dry spell and the cattle market back since last year’s sale, there looked to be challenges facing all parties in the lead up to the 2018 Landmark Classic.
However the Australian performance horse industry proved once again that it made of stronger stuff. The Landmark Classic platform enabled vendors to offer a superb catalogue of horses and they were rewarded with strong sale results.
The 11th Landmark Classic Select Sale recorded an unprecedented 87% clearance, gross of $7.41 million and a strong average of $14,976.
Geldings were popular this year and brought an average of $10,485 – a rise of over 6% from last year. Thursday morning saw Lot 39 “Destinys Mirage”, an 8 year old Acres Destiny x Mariak Oak gelding on account of Wayne & Janine Carney, fetch an amazing $60,000.
Campaigned and presented by Hugh Miles, the Novice gelding was purchased by the Trewilga Partnership and set a new gelding record (previously set at $50,000 at the 2017 Sale).
Stallions had another strong sale with an average of $26,815, topped by Lot 283 “Yaven Spinacat” on account of John & Jenn Corbett and presented by Rob Leach. The nicely started 2 year old Metallic Cat x One Moore Romance colt fetched $130,000 and was purchased by Hughes Pastoral.
Females were in demand yet again this year, with a range of quality mares and fillies bringing an average of $16,966. Mark & Shelley Ruff of Bulla-Lyn ASH Stud offered Lot 499 “Bulla Farrah”, who was presented by Peter O’Neill. The 4 year old mare by Dual Rey was the first progeny of Bulla Flurry to be offered for sale and was purchased by Evan & Kim Acton for $89,000.
The Classic campdraft program was action packed again this year, with a new shaded set up on the hill providing a great area for spectators to enjoy 3 days of big runs.
An exciting night of finals on Wednesday night thrilled a huge crowd on the hill, who enjoyed a new viewing location on top of the hill.
The Classic saw a particularly hotly contested final - only 4 points separated the top 10 combinations and spectators were on the edge of their seats.
Ben Hall and Ken Frost’s gelding “Secret Time” (One Time Royalty x Unumgar My Secret) led from start to finish, heading into the final on a 182. They added an 89 to not one, but two 91s from the first rounds to edge ahead of Darrin Jones on “Players Garter” (Reys Ya Garter x Bullunbud Players Hicky) and Troy Clarke on the Sadler & Clarkes stallion “Eagle Hustler” (Hazelwood Conman x Kirkbys Stud Bonita) by just 1 point in the total aggregate scores to nab the title of 2018 Landmark Classic Campdraft Champions.
“Secret Time” was purchased for $5,500 at the 2015 Sale from The Sutherland Trust and was Lot 89 in the 2018 Classic Sale, selling for $20,000 to Britnee Breneger on Thursday.
Also on the Classic leaderboard and only a couple of points from the front runners were equal 4/5th Peter O’Neill on Craig McNabbs “Bulla Phoenix” (top priced gelding at the 2017 Classic Sale) and Steve Comiskey on Brock & Caroline Heumiller’s “Mr Sylvester” – both on 268, 6th Pete Comiskey on his “Gypsy Lights” on 267, equal 7-11th Tom Williamson on Rebecca Cadzows “Alreys Moore”, Glen Peterson on Brandan & Bronwyn Haldens “Kinarra La Luna”, Mat Holz on Glen Stephensons “Paris Reims” and Tony Mortimer on Gemma Tapp’s “Token Sometimes Blonde” – all on 263.
The AELEC Bar Dash for Cash was run on Tuesday night and saw the top 10 geldings (after 2 rounds of the Classic) return and compete for a share in the $5,000 gelding incentive. 3 combinations ran 88s and there was an exciting run off for the $2,000 winners cheque between Ben Hall on Ken Frost’s “Secret Time”, Laine Bennett on Peter & Joyce Todkill’s “KP Hydrive Finn” and Will Durkin on “Lealukas Call Me”. Will and his 5 year old Bonlac Gigolo x Bonlac Call Girl gelding ran another 88 to claim the AELEC Bar Dash for Cash champion title.
The Prydes EasiFeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge has become a real highlight of Classic week. The eventual winner of the $8,000 cheque and $20,000 custom Navaho trailer was popular local competitor Lindee McNaughton on her and husband Scott’s mare “Candy Woman” (Do Rey Me x Candy Niner) on 355.86. 2nd was Nathan Wilson on Darrin Jones “Players Garter” with 355.52, this combination also won the 2018 Breeders Incentive which offered up $10,000 to the top 5 placed geldings in the Challenge.
3rd Jon Templeton on Gennie-Anne Woodall’s “Petas Destiny” 354.06, 4th Steve Comiskey on his and Louise’s “Brigalow Gypsy Lady” 353.64, 5th Scott Schoo on Andrew & Carolyn Burnes “Hells Angel” 353.54 and 6th Morgan Webb on his “The Ranch Phoenix” 352.02.
The on-form combination of Hugh Miles and Reys Ya Garter (Dual Rey x Spinning Garter, owned by Trudy & Corey Holden) led the way into the final of the 2018 Martins Stock Haulage Open Campdraft on 179, and did not disappoint their growing liege of fans. They ran another 90 to come out victorious, another title for this combination who are quickly blazing their way to the top of the campdraft world. It was a testosterone filled top 3, with Peter Boulton on Jock & Kate Gordon’s stallion “Tamarang Destinys Serenity” running a big 91 for a close 2nd place and David Thorn on Scott & Kim Campbell’s stallion “A Little Turbulence” not far behind in 3rd place with a final round score of 89. 4th was Ian Clarke on his and Carol’s “Charlie Roan”, 5th Noel Chiconi on his stallion “QXH Dual N Rooster” and 6th James Moorhead on “Tazoo”. Thank you to Martins Stock Haulage for their ongoing support of the Landmark Classic and the Open Campdraft which is such a thriller for spectators each and every year.
43 top quality open aged horses (purchased at the 2017 Classic Sale) put on a great show in the 2018 Mavericks Western Wear Masters Campdraft. Noel Chiconi led from start to finish aboard his stallion “QXH Dual N Rooster” (Dual Jazz x Darlin Lil Rooster), taking out the title with 177. A close 2nd was Troy Clarke and Evan & Kim Acton’s “Bluejay Justine” on 175, 3rd Campbell Martin and “Wangilla Sequil” on 173, 4th Peter Hancock and “Almora Double Anna” on 172, 5th Ben Hall and Angus Rain’s “Gordon’s Convoy” on 172 and 6th Cameron Neville on Robert Neville’s “Halls Santa Boy” with a 171.
The Charlie Maher Memorial Young Guns saw some fantastic Campdrafting through the week. Some superb riding from some of our most talented young horsemen and women and a line of excellent cattle donated by Ellerston proved for some top-notch viewing action. Round 1 saw a mass of huge runs with three 92s, five 91s and five 90s! The final did not disappoint either, with Bradley Buttsworth running another scorching 91 to clinch the title aboard One Moore Syndicates “One Stylish Pepto” (this combination scored a 25 in the camp in the first round!) on a final score of 183. Evan Hiscock on his and Terry Hillier’s “Nix” and Wyatt Young on Richard Bull’s stallion “Whos Top Cat” were not far behind in equal 2nd/3rd on 181. Jack Rasheed on his parents gelding “Woodstock Union Jack” and Mick Knight on Sam Knights “Olara” were equal 4th/5th on 178 and rounding up the placings were Will Durkin and “Quebec”, Bradley Buttsworth again on his parents “Ellie May Destiny” and Meg Everett on Peter & Carolyn Doonan’s “Two Timin Chic” in equal 6-8th.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Stallion Shootout was again run over 3 rounds, with some excellent runs in the campdraft arena and indoor cut-out yard. The final on Friday night was a big hit with a huge crowd and it was mighty close in the end! Congratulations to Terry Hall on Ben & Rae Hills “Hazelwood Mantic” (Acres Destiny x Hazelwood Romantic Oak) who scored 2 x 22.5s from our judges Tony Hick and Jock Weston for a final score of 202.5 and the title of 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Stallion Shootout Champion.
2nd was John Mitchell on “Halls Chickenman” with 202, 3rd Tony Mortimer on “Timed and Tuned” with 201, 4th Ben Hall and Andrew Sheridan’s “Sheros Tradtional Acres” on 200, 5th Nigel Kable and “Chevin Ivory” on 198.5, and equal 6th were Peter Boulton on Jock & Kate Gordon’s “Tamarang Destinys Serenity” and Joe Duggan on Rowan Cox’s “Pimpampa Destitute”, both with a 197.
Australia’s passion for performance horses was evident in the range of quality genetics present at the AELEC this week. Every year the standard of the Classic Sale catalogue improves – testament to the dedication of vendors who are consistently developing their breeding and training programs.
This year’s event was attended by competitors, vendors, purchasers and spectators from every corner of Australia and beyond. The livestream saw record views from more than 16 countries including notable responses from the US, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UK, Italy and Germany!
Landmark Equine would like to thank all 2018 Classic sponsors, competitors, vendors, buyers, spectators, traders, contractors and staff for their hard work and support of this year's event.
Some exceptional genetics continue to come through every year and this no doubt will prove for exciting times ahead. Combined with the constantly improving quality of competition, it is certainly an exciting time to be a part of the Australian performance horse industry.