Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Australian Stock Horse...kinda

I have been meaning to write this post for some time. About seven years ago I started watching a television show called McLeods Daughters, an Australian drama that is centred around a group of women running a sheep farm and the love, struggles, and woes they face trying to survive in a mans world. I managed to keep up with the show as it bounced from one obscure channel and time slot to another and watched the central characters grow and change with each passing season. Today, IMHO, McLeods Daughters is a shadow of what it once was, but I continue to watch faithfully. I fell in love with Australia, and the horses they love, through this program.

(one of the studly men and horses of McLeods Daughters)

(Stallion to be imported into Canada Spring 2009)
In 2004 I did some pretty serious research into traveling to Australia and importing and Australian Stock Horse (ASH) into Canada. As far as I knew, there were only a 6-8 ASH in the United States but not one in Canada that was reg. ASH. I had hoped to be the first. As it would turn out the red tape behind exporting was a little much, as was the cost, and well, life got in the way and I never did follow through with my dreams. Just a few months ago I read an article in a local horse magazine about a woman in Calgary, Alberta who last year successfully imported an ASH stallion and who plans on setting up a breeding operation in parternship with a major Australian stud farm. I am excited that this breed is being brought in to Canada and hope that it will continue to grow both here and in US. I think this breed has a lot to offer on its own and as an out cross on the American Quarter Horse!!!!
(an Appy reining, and doing a nice job of it!)
*gasp* Did I just say I wanted to cross breed an QH??? I must be going soft in the head!! But no! Wait! Hear me out. I LOVE Quarter Horses. With a capital "L". There is, in my opinion, no other breed that effectively would cross with a QH (please include paints in this statement) to improve their qualities for NRHA (reining), NRCHA (reined cowhorse) and NCHA (cutting). I am not saying that other breeds can not do well and compete at these events but 99.999% of the time, they do not win at top levels. When was the last time you saw an Arab or an Appy winning the NCHA Futurity? While half Arabian (X QH) and Arabian competitions do exist in the reining world, and Appys have placed well, when was the last time one of them won a major NRHA Futurity and Derby? I am not trying to say that a QH is a better horse than an Appy or Arab or any other breed, I just think that statistics back me up when I say that no other breed dominant es the NRHA, NRCHA or NCHA like QH's do!

(An Arabian cutting)

I know a Quarab that was one of the best horses I have ever ridden. She was small, light on her feet, could go all day, work a cow and keep up with horses twice her size. She never took a bad step and was the best minded horse I have ever known. I also knew and Appendix that cleaned up in the Hunter circuit and an QHxAppy that kicked ass at three-day-eventing. So, I am not going to argue that QH crosses can not be great!

(An Appendix jumping)

Now, what was I saying? Oh yah, the topic of this blog! The Australian Stock Horse! I guess I will have to do this in two parts after that rant. lol

Let me leave you today with a link to the farm that has the first ASH in Canada and that is importing this beautiful stallion in Spring 2009.

Their stallion:

Stay tuned....


  1. Wow, he's gorgeous. I'm sure worth every penny and all the blood, sweat, and tears it too to get him over here too. I hope they are successful.

  2. Wow! I live in Australia and have been lurking your blog for a while... And have always had a dream of getting a foal by Cadabra! He is absolutely my favourite ASH stallion here. I had no idea he is going to canada! I guess I will have to ahceive my dream via A.I.... Once I get a mare, lol. Just want to say, love your blog, LOVE MacLeods, and love that you love the ASH :]

  3. As someone who is in a research class right now, I am not about to argue with!!!

    I also agree with you about the QH thing. Other breeds amy excel in the disciplines that you have mentioned, but no one breed can consistently outwin a QH in them.

    Are you seriously thinking about getting your paws on an ASH? How cool would that be??? They kind of seem like they are what a QH is to the US...the all "Australian" horse!

  4. Sorry...I meant to write "may" not "amy!!!"

  5. He is absolutely stunning!!!

    I can see why you think the ASH would be a good cross for the QH.

    I see that I will have to do some research on this breed. I could handle having one of those in my pasture.

  6. I have heard of MacLeod's, but never seen it. I wonder if it is available on DVD?

    That stallion is gorgeous! I will have to read more about it. What "breeds" or bloodlines make up the ASH, where did they originate from?

    Loved the pic of the Appy reiner, of course! :)

  7. Just tried to leave a comment (so if it appears twice, forgive me!).

    McLeods Daughters website:

    DVDs are available.

    ASH's rule (down under at least!) - work all day and cow sense like nothing else. Of course I am biased! All Granite Glen horses are ASH. Natch.

    Here is my McLeod's post:

    Great site!


  8. Very impressive. I am with Bec, I will have to look into this breed. I am a die hard QH lover myself. THis ASH looks comparble I have heard of the show, but we don't get that channel! Dang it! I may have to chek out the DVD Thanks Bush Babe.

  9. What a wonderful blog. These horses are gorgeous! Love the reining App.

  10. Ezra- Isnt he pretty! I hope they do well with him too.

    Anonymous- Welcome!!! I always love hearing what you have to say. I am glad to hear that Cadabra has a good repuation in AU. I think he is gorgeous and am so excited that he will be on Canadian soil soon! And sorry of course, that you will miss him:) I love talking to people that love McLeods b/c I have NO ONE to share it with b/c no one I know watches it!

    Melanie- I am seriously wanting an ASH but will probably breed a QH mare to one using shipped *ehem*. It is just too expensive otherwise. Someday...

    BECG- Just like QH's they range in type a lot depending on what they are bred for. They are crossing SOOOOO nicely on QHs!! They just are a little lighter all the way around.

    PG- I think Bush Babe is right about McLeods being on DVD. The first seasons are the best. Hope you enjoy todays post to answer your questions.

    Bush Babe- Thanks for stopping by. Hope I managed to represent them well today. I hate posting pics on the takes forever so I put up as many different types as my patience would allow:)

    Trainwreck- I know a few ranchers in the Midwest that have shipped over an ASH stud and bred him on their QH brood bands. They LOVE the result. They are a nice outcross for sure! Especially for ranch work. They have better endurance than a QH.

    Jennifer- Thanks for stopping by!!! You'all come, ya hear! lol

  11. Careful what you say about the Arab crosses. They are rapidly moving up the ladder in the competitions that you speak of. Many of the big name AQHA stallions are now making reference to how their horse crosses with Arabs because of that very thing. Times are a changin'.........

  12. Hi!
    Came across your post while doing some research on the Australian Stock Horse.
    You remind me of myself - it could be me talking in your post.
    I also have watched McLeods Daughters for years, through time changes etc. and even thought it had been cancelled at one time, but it did come back on again.

    I didn't even think about importing due to the cost etc. but have really come to like this breed from what I watched on TV and the research I have done.

    Crossed on a QH? Well I guess so!
    I'm not much for crossbreeding but this cross would be a good one and the performance bred QH's today need some new blood anyway.

    I'm off to check out the website links that you provided . . .