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I am the owner and operator of Attard Stock Horses. I am 65 years old and my mother tells me I was given my first horse at the age of three, it had a mop head and a broom handle. My father bought my real first horse when I was 12, she was a two year old filly which I had to share with my two other brothers. By the time I was 13 I had saved enough money to be able to buy my own horse. He was a little bay gelding aged 11 that went by the name of ‘Jingles’. I owned him for 25 years and he sadly passed at the ripe old age of 36.
Between the ages of 13 and 15 I was more interested in the social aspect of the horse riding and spent most afternoons after school and weekends riding around with my mates. When I turned 17 I had already left school and started buying and selling my own horses, by then I was old enough to have a car license, I would spend most of my weekends travelling down from Blacktown, west of Sydney to Nowra State Forrest in Batesman Bay. There I would chase and catch brumbies to take home, break them in and sell them. I also spent a lot this time studying the brumbies in their natural herd environment. This gave me a real insights into their natural behaviours and temperament which helped enormously in the years to come.
I did this till I about 20 it was at this time there was a turn around in my horse career. It was at the royal easter show in 1972 I seen my first reining and cutting demonstration and I was blown away. From that night onwards I tried to find out as much as I could about reining and cutting. By this time I had probably owned about 250-350 horses, spent my life in the saddle but I didn’t know a thing.
I spent the next few years trying to learn as much as I could about getting a horse to stop and turn around. I bought every type and issue of western horse magazine. Then read every article I could.
My friend John Burke and I both shared this passion and teamed up together in our learning journey helping each other training horses everyday. I was fortunate enough to spend time with Leon Harold who was in Australia for period of time from America. I believe he was the best reinsman in the world and had won at that time the world championship cutting and reining twice.
I trained and competed horses professionally. I was showing and campaigning two Appaloosa stallions one being Little Big Joker and the other being Little Horn Cody. I also sprint raced Cody successfully.
Little Big Joker and Little Horn Cody were both extremely successful in led classes, western pleasure, two handed cutting and reining.
Although Joker stood out in 1977 and won the National Snaffle Bit Reining.
I performed these two stallions to their retirement. Their success paid for my first property and home.
After a marriage breakdown I moved to northern NSW and purchased ‘Gurteen’. Shortly after moving to ‘Gurteen’ I traveled a lot of miles trying to find an ASH colt that was quarter horse infused. This led me to the Toowoomba Yearling and Broodmare sale. At the sale wasn’t any colts that appealed to me except for a small poddy reared, rough coated, pot bellied bay colt with a swollen eye by the name of Glencoe Heartbeat. Although he didn’t have the right start due to being poddy reared I could still see his frame and type which impressed me greatly. I asked his owners the Fraser Family if I could lead him around to feel him. I was blown away with his sensitivity and responsiveness to the lead. I thought this is the colt for me. Needless to say I purchased him fed him up and let him grow.
I broke him in as a three year old and again I was unbelievably impressed with his train ability and cattle sense. He was mind blowing.
We both started our campdraft career at Allora Campdraft. In the maiden run we got the whip in the yard for a tail turn due to my inexperience not knowing the rules properly. In the novice he got 3rd and won the cutout. In the open he got 2nd. He then went to achieve over 50 placing, winning 8 drafts 3 being opens and countless cutouts. He has scored three 93 s in his career. One of his major placing was 4th in the Fraser Livestock Transport Stallion Draft. He has made the finals in all drafts at the Warwick Gold Cup.
He has been a true sire in every sense of the word. Reproducing himself time and time again. He puts his stamp on all of his progeny. I feel so privileged to own, train and ride a horse of this caliber.