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MAGS Droughtmasters Horse of the North Challenge

Winner 2011 - Robert Durkin & Durkins Pearl

  1. How old were you when you started riding?

    Started riding when I was about 6, but did more riding when I reached the age of 14.  I mainly rode on school holidays.  I had family that had ponies so that’s how I got into it.
  2. How old were you when you first started competing and at what discipline was it?

    Had my first run in a juvenile draft at 15yrs old.  But it wasn’t until I started work around
    18yrs old that I got into drafting.
  3. Who was/is your favourite horse and what did it teach you?

    My uncle gave me a chestnut gelding called Gold Gift.  He taught me how to watch cattle, taught me
    how a horse can and should use its hind legs. 
    I wish I had him now!
  4. Who was/is your mentor or inspiration?

    The American Ray Hunt was very influential on me, I did a few of his clinics.  Tom Dorrence was his mentor and I read one of his books, he was an inspiration to me how he did things and
    lived his life.  I have worked for a few good Australian Stockmen and I have always believed in our Australian way of riding a horse.
  5. What is the story behind the horse you won with at the Challenge – breeding, owner, breeder, broken in by, trained by, how old, how old when you first started training it for the Challenge, history, other events its won, future hopes for it.

    Durkins Pearl was bred by us, she is by Stanton Stud Black Breeze out of my good mare Durkins Diamond.  We own her, she was broken in by me and ridden by me.  She was 2yrs old when I broke her in.  I always had in mind starting her in Challenges so that was the basis when I broke her in.  She finalled at Cloncurry Challenge last year and was 10th place.  She was 3rd place at Paradise Lagoons Junior Challenge.
  6. Do you have a preference for a particular bloodline (eg Freckles Oak, Abbey) for Challenge horses and why?

    We just ride what we’ve got!!  We try to breed horses with a lot of stock sense, good on their feet and good to ride.  They are probably more suited to campdrafting. We try to get them handling well
    so we can challenge them as well.
  7. Tell us a day in the life of yourself: eg Your daily routine, hrs spent training, how you train, where you train, do you breed your own horses or buy them in, do you have a support team that strap/help you?

    My horses get worked as I’m doing my job on the property.  Any spare time I get I spend with them.  I don’t like the idea of “training” I prefer to work with my horse and get them to understand what we need them to do!   We breed our own horses.  I have a large family and we all support each other!
  8. Can you give us an idea of your training routine to prepare a horse for the challenge?
    How many hours do you think you would have put into this horse?

    As I have said I don’t like to “train” them.  I only have it in the back of my mind what I want them to be eg.
    Challenge horse.  First and foremost I try to get them to be a nice riding horse, then try to get them to work cattle, which comes naturally to them.  It’s hard to say, but I would think at least half the prep time of getting a young horse ready for a challenge would be spent spelling.  At a guess I would estimate it would be about 150(plus)hrs to get a horse to be competitive at a challenge.
  9. Give us a tip that might help our up and coming challenge riders!

    For getting your horse going; settle for the smaller improvements.

    For competing; if you have done the right thing by your horse and prepared it well enough and haven’t mistreated it in any way, you don’t need to be nervous or worried about how they will perform, they won’t let you down.
  10. Tell us the one thing you can’t live without at a competition!

    My horse!
  11. How do you spend your spare time? What do you do for fun?

    Ride horses!
  12. Tell us something that not many people know about you!

    I’m chocaholic!!
  13. Tell us why you love Horse of the North and what brings you back every year.

    I like the setup, it has a good atmosphere. There is something about the North, it’s probably a good place to have a Challenge, you can draw on a big area of people from Cattle and Horse country.

Winner 2010, 2008 & 2007 – BERRY SHANN

  1. What age did you start riding and how did you get into it?

    I began riding horses at the age of four or five. I had an old brumby that Dad caught and broke in called 'Black Jack".

  1. How old were you when you first started competing and at what discipline?

    I didn't start competing until I was seventeen. I had a few runs in juvenile campdrafts but the family wasn't into campdrafting back then.

  2. Who was/is your favourite horse and what did it teach you?

    Probably "Reflection" a big brown gelding by Peppy Shadow. He was one of my first camp horses and won six opens and got numerous placings when I was very green. He was fifth in ACA  open horse one year. He taught me how a horse should chase a cow. Myall Springs Omar would be a very close second to him.

  3. Who was/is your mentor or inspiration?

    I pick up hints and tips from anyone at any time. Cameron Parker was the one who helped me become much competitive in the dry work of the challenges.  You must be solid in this area because it's only you and your horse. It's a lot harder when you add another variable like a cow.

  4. What is the story behind the horse you won with at the Challenge – breeding, owner, breeder, broken in by, trained by, how old, how old when you first started training it for the Challenge, history, other events its won, future hopes for it.

    Horse of the North 2007 "Nibbereena Okay"  Sire: Myall Springs Omar Dam:TKAY Kindness. Broken in and trained by me. Bred by BE and KJ Shann.  Campdrafted for two years but broke leg in campdrafting accident.

    Horse of the North 2008 "Sandy Spin"  Sire: Acres Destiny Dam: Spinolena  Bred by Mark and Joanne Smith. We bought her in 2006 and then trained her for the challenges. She also was 2nd at Cloncurry 2008, 3rd Rocky Rush 2008, 4th Rocky Rush 2009, won Futurity, Novice and Open drafts.

    Horse of the North 2010 'Nibbereena Omiss" Sire: Myall Springs Omar' Dam: Willandon J Miss Mac. Bred by BE and KJ Shann. Broken in and trained by me.  She also won dry work at Cloncurry 2010 and placed 8th. Won challenge at Nebo 2010 and Open challenge Capella 2011, placed in numerous drafts in 2011.

  5. Do you have a preference for a particular bloodline (eg Freckles Oak, Abbey) for Challenge horses and why?

    The Stock Horse Quarter Horse cross seem very competitive to me. There are good horses in every breed though. I believe Quarter Horses have the edge in challenges as they have an excellent temperament at a young age.

  6. Tell us a day in the life of yourself!

    Because we live and work on a cattle property we ride our horses for work which is a little different to professional trainers. But as for riding a challenge horse it usually happens after work in the afternoon and sometimes into the night. My Family is my support team. We try to breed most of our own and some to sell but sometimes we will buy a nice mare to ride and to breed to our stallion.

  7. Can you give us an idea of your training routine to prepare a horse for the challenge?  How many hours do you think you would have put into this horse?

    I try to slowly teach the horse all the different skills it will need in a dry work pattern without actually doing the pattern. You try to ride each afternoon but that doesn't always happen. If I get to ride it four days a week I am pretty happy. I usually ride them between half an hour to one
    hour.

  8. Give us a tip that might help our up and coming Challenge riders!

    Watch successful competitors and ask lots of questions A good quote I have heard is "THE DAY YOU THINK YOU CAN'T LEARN ANY MORE YOU WONT!!!"

  9. Tell us the one thing you can’t live without at a competition!

    Family which are also strappers.

  10. How do you spend your spare time? What do you do for fun?

    Usually my spare time is spent riding horses or with family.

  11. Tell us something that not many people know about you!

    I love playing cricket, I play for the Clermont Bulls and we have won the last six premierships. Played some Rep cricket for Central Highlands.  I also love fishing.

  12. Tell us why you love Horse of the North and what brings you back every year.

    Horse of the North has a great committee and friendly atmosphere which is important. Also I'll keep coming back as I have had reasonable success at the Horse of the North. It also runs in conjunction with the Toomba sale which we always sell at.


    Congratulations to you Berry, you obviously have a winning formula when Breeding and Training Challenge horses.

Winner 2009 - Jess Glenwright & Laroona Shekaya

What age did you start riding and how did you get into it?
I started riding on a stick horse at 6months old!  And at 5yrs old I started riding a real horse.  All of my family are into horses.

How old were you when you first started competing and at what discipline?
I started campdrafting at 6yrs old.

Who was/is your favourite horse and what did it teach you?
Hero was an awesome little grey pony, he taught me how to situp and hangon!  Hero was a legend all over Queensland in the campdrafting fraternity.  He taught most of my cousins and my brother Lyle to ride! 

Who was/is your mentor or inspiration?
Michael Wilson, John Arnold and my Mum and Dad  (Peter & Dal Glenwright).
I look up to John and Michael for their achievements.  They have also been able to answer any of my questions and find solutions for my problems whenever I have needed them.
Mum and Dad gave me the foundations to build on.

What is the story behind the horse you won with at the Challenge – breeding, owner, breeder, broken in by, trained by, how old, how old when you first started training it for the Challenge, history, other events it has won, future hopes for it.
Laroona Shekaya was a 4yr old mare by Soda Nomad out of a Glen Idol mare.  Owned and bred by the Glenwright family.  She was broken in by Harvey Wakeford as a 15month old, trained by Dal for 2yrs and I took her on 5 months before the challenge.  I started her in a few local drafts before the challenge and I ran a 2nd in a novice and maiden on her.  She was sold through the Toomba horse sale to Sean & Bindi Brassington where she was the top priced horse of the sale.  She is now an open campdraft mare.

Do you have a preference for a particular bloodline (eg Freckles Oak, Abbey) for Challenge horses and why?
I don’t have any preference in bloodlines.  If you have a horse with a good mind and natural ability you can do anything!

Tell us a day in the life of yourself: eg Your daily routine, hrs spent training, how you train, where you train, do you breed your own horses or buy them in, do you have a support team that strap/help you?
I train my horses as I am going along in a days mustering (when Dads not looking!).  The few that I have bred and bought myself are coming along.

Can you give us an idea of your training routine to prepare a horse for the challenge?  How many hours do you think you would have put into this horse?
Like I said I train them in my daily work on the property.
This is a hard question to answer, she was ridden consistently since the time she was first broken in until she was sold.  It would be many many hours of work.  

Give us a tip that might help our up and coming challenge riders!
Nerves are only a great waste of energy!

Tell us the one thing you can’t live without at a competition!
Wouldn’t say can’t live without, but good mates make it everything!

How do you spend your spare time? What do you do for fun?
Don’t mind fishing! But I wouldn’t say I’m any good at it! And I love playing backyard cricket at the LCG (Laroona Cricket Ground).

Tell us why you love Horse of the North and what brings you back every year.
The atmosphere and the great friends you make!
This Challenge means a lot to me because it is in honour of my grandfather;
Allan Glenwright.