A new national record for the 2019 Landmark Classic

With the dust settling and a trail of trucks, goosenecks, floats and cars having left the AELEC in Tamworth, we reflect on what was another amazing 9 days at the 2019 Landmark Classic Campdraft & Sale.

The results of the 12th Landmark Classic Select Sale are nothing short of phenomenal, considering the hard-hitting conditions that have faced so many of our clients leading up to the event. The strong numbers are a true testament to the commitment, strength and resilience of the industry and its members.

The sale gross has exceeded $7 million for the third year running, hitting $7,115,500.00. 83.74% of horses sold with an average of $14,701.45, only just shy of last year’s average – a fantastic result and one we are hugely proud of.

The gelding market was red hot again, grossing more than $2.14 million and averaging over $11,000! Top priced gelding was Lot 334, “PV Grasshopper” on account of The Beale Trust and presented by Todd Graham. The fully trained 4yo Ima Smooth Blue Cat x Just One Moore gelding sold for $30,000 to Tori Acton from Rockhampton, QLD.

Stallions averaged $20,538, topped by Lot 415 “Westlake Confederer” on account of Peter & Jessica Turich. The exciting 2 year old Conman x Kneipps Linda colt was beautifully presented, selling for $86,000 to CM Pastoral of Moama, NSW.

There was good demand for female lines again this year, with a range of quality mares and fillies bringing an average of $16,853. John & Jenn Corbett’s Lot 262 “Yaven Smooth Spin” was the star of the show, setting a new Australian Performance Horse record when she sold for $230,000 to Steve & Toni Hart on Friday. The 2yo Smooth As A Cat x One Moore Romance (Conman x One Moore Spin) filly is the second sale topper for the “dream team” of John & Jenn with local trainer Rob Leach – an amazing feat!

Over at the Challenge & Campdraft arenas, the Classic competition program was action packed again - with a new bar and amenities block on the hill providing a great area for spectators to enjoy 3 days of action.

The first final was the Prydes EasiFeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge final on Monday night, which has become a real highlight of Classic week and a showcase of some of the best hands in the industry. Monday night was full of suspense, thrills, spills and some exciting runs. It was local trainer Wyatt Young who rode “Sheady Spin N Pepsi”, owned by Wayne & Lisa McDonell, through a beautiful final round to claim victory with a score of 323.21 and be crowned the 2019 Prydes EasiFeed Australian Performance Horse Champion – which included a beautiful custom trophy float courtesy of event partner Navaho Trailers.

Wayne & Lisa purchased the Seligman Spin x Sheady Dinkum Lady mare as a 3 year old in the 2018 Landmark Classic Sale for $30,000 from vendors Playmore Australian Stock Horses – Glen & Kim Frazer, who were honoured to accept the prize on behalf of Wayne & Lisa who unfortunately could not attend due to ill health.

Andrew Stallman rode the Chiconi family’s “Smooth Duck” into 2nd place on 319.06, Rob Leach and “Smooth Like Cactus”, owned by Atomic Performance Horses, came in 3rd on 317.75. Jon Templeton was 4th on Graeme and Kylie Cook’s “Nonda Wallflower” with 314.85 and 5th on Jeremy Storrier’s “Salt And Cat” with 312.92, Des Burns coming in 6th on “Miss Genisis” with 312.52.

A big thank you to 4CYTE Equine and Kintala Performance Horses (David & Jessica Bell) for their sponsorship of the fantastic 4CYTE Gelding Incentive, which offered a cash pool of $10,000 to the top 5 placed geldings in the Challenge and was won by Jon Templeton on Jeremy Storrier’s “Salt And Cat”.

This year saw a new idea in the splitting of the Campdraft finals between two nights, which ensured all the extra action could be comfortably fit into the week’s schedule. The Landmark Classic had its first year of hosting the National Campdraft Council of Australia’s Champion Rider event, also sponsored by Prydes EasiFeed, which was an exciting and prestigious addition to the program.

Tuesday night’s final rounds were kicked off by the AELEC Arena Bar Dash For Cash, which was an exciting hit out between the top 10 geldings after 2 rounds of the Classic. A cash pool of $5,000 thanks to Andrew Pieper (who keeps us all well hydrated at the AELEC Arena Bar all week!) and a service fee to Smooth Talkin Style thanks to Tom & Jane Williamson were on offer – a fantastic incentive for the increasingly popular gelding market. The 2019 Dash For Cash Champions were Jason Wanstall & “Ervines Dundee” (Clarke Family Review x Ervines Chicko) owned by the Great Southern Syndicate - they nabbed the title with a well-earned 89 point run.

The Mavericks Western Wear Masters Final was next, with 15 competitors on open aged horses purchased from the 2018 Classic Sale vying for the Champion title. Troy Palmer added another Masters win to the book, riding Terry Snow’s mare “Hell’s A Comin” (Bobs Hickory Rio x One Hellofa Spin) for a 90 in the final and a 178 overall.

Billy-Jo Rae and “Cooinda Knight’s Eve” were on fire in the 2019 Martins Stock Haulage Open Campdraft, with a smoking run for 91 in the Tuesday night final which took their aggregate to 268, enough to steer ahead and take the 2019 title. Thank you to event partners Martins Stock Haulage for their ongoing support of the Landmark Classic and the Open Campdraft which continues to be such thrilling viewing each year.

The finals on Wednesday night began with the last round of the Prydes EasiFeed NCCA Champion Rider event, taken out by the unstoppable combination of Pete Comiskey & Paris (team ACA) who over three rounds scored a 90, 88 and an 89 to win the aggregate by 5 points. The riders from GCA won the teams section of the event, winning $2,000 which was donated to their chosen charity – Cancer Council of Australia.

Next final was the Charlie Maher Memorial Young Guns, a highlight every year, with the Campdraft stars of tomorrow putting on another good show for 2019. Yet again our competitors were treated to a great run of cattle, courtesy of long term supporters at Ellerston. Congratulations Josh Barnett on the family stallion "Barnlodge Omega Destiny" who smashed out an 89 in the final, adding to their first round score of 88 for a total score 177. They also won the North West Agrifinance top cut-out (awarded in the Young Guns, Masters, Classic and Open Campdrafts) run-off, taking home a cheque for $500.

Then the 2019 Landmark Classic Campdraft saw another hotly contested final, which had spectators on the edge of their seats. The Classic Ladies Foundation Ambassadors led the 29 finalists into the arena, Australian and Landmark Equine flags flying. Emma Irene performed a beautiful rendition of the national anthem on horseback, a very ceremonial and special moment for all present. Then the action kicked off, and Warwick Lawrence had taken an early lead with an 87 on Craig and Helen Batterham’s mare “Hunter View Royal Chic” (Hesa Catty Chic x Cedar Downs Royal Oak). However Wyatt Young aboard “Nashville Nightman” – a 5 year old Conman x Docs Nightlife (Docs Spinifex) stallion owned by Marg Hinde, Royce Howard & Jason Bower –  was hot on his heels with an 86, resulting in a shared 262 aggregate and a nail biting run off to come.

Warwick drew the first run, working hard with a tricky beast and coming so close…but narrowly missing the gate which meant he had to settle for 2nd place this year. It all came down to Wyatt Young aboard Nashville Nightman and the pair laid out a textbook run for a tidy 88 and the 2019 Classic Champion title. What an amazing accomplishment for Wyatt, a young local trainer, to win our two biggest incentive events of the year – and in the same week at that!

“Nashville Nightman” was bred by Trevor & Vanessa Nash of Cassillis, NSW and was sold at the 2017 Landmark Classic Sale for $8,500. Congratulations also to Trevor & Vanessa, who took home a custom Jaye Hall bronze and the $5,000 Breeders incentive!

Also on the Classic leaderboard and not far behind the leaders were 3rd - Will Durkin on Todd Trengove’s “Bobadil Exotic Acres” with 261, =4th/5th - Jason Wanstall on the Great Southern Syndicates “Ervines Dundee” and Peter Black on Leanne Comiskeys “Lonesome Dove Chief” with 260, 6th – Ben Hall on Ken Frost’s “Teledega Night” with 259, =7th/8th – Pete Comiskey on Bryony Puddicombe’s “Nashvale Roy Ell Destiny” and Wade Miles on “Riverview Ita” with 257 then =9th/10th - Hugh Miles on Ian & Carol Clarkes “Secret Plains Maxwell” and Wally Rea on “One Moore Metallic”, with 256.

The Dalgety Stallion Shootout was run over 3 rounds throughout the week, with some excellent runs from sires who competed in the Open and also had progeny in the 2019 Classic Sale. The final on Friday night was a big hit with a huge crowd and it was mighty close in the end! Congratulations to Natasha Carlon and the incredible “Heatwave” who put together two smoking runs in the first two rounds (2 x 89s) and a fantastic cut-out on Friday (22.5) to snatch the win with an aggregate of 200.5.

This year’s event was attended by competitors, vendors, purchasers and spectators from every corner of Australia and beyond. The livestream smashed view records from more than 16 countries including notable responses from the US, Canada, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, UK, and the Netherlands. We had a record number of phone bids, particularly from international clients.

The ever growing passion for Australian bred Performance Horses was evident last week, and is a true testament to the dedication of vendors who are consistently striving to improve the genetics and training of their horses. The industry has developed so much in recent years to meet the demand for superior horse flesh, proving it can stand alone amidst tough conditions.

On behalf of Landmark Equine we cannot thank our staff, sponsors, cattle donors and vendors enough for their hard work in preparation for the sale – it has paid off! To all the traders, spectators, AELEC staff, contractors and volunteers – thank you. We could not run an even like this without your treasured support. Congratulations must also go to the Classic Ladies Foundation and their supporters, who raised over $70,000 for Kiss Goodbye to MC and the Foundation for Breast Cancer Care – a tremendous effort once again.

Such exciting times still to come for the Australian Performance Horse industry. We are extremely proud to be a part of the action and look forward to moving even further onwards and upwards in the future.