Wilga Park Morgans:Latest News
October 2015 - January 2016
I have been SO remiss in not updating our Latest News page ... here is some news from the past 4 months!!
We have had our very first STATE Morgan Show in Queensland! - Photos down the page ...
The weekend prior to the Qld State Show was huge at Wilga Park. We spent 4 days with Ian and Liz Leighton. Ian held a two-day clinic here at Wilga Park and then we enjoyed two days of Ian giving us private lessons with our horses. Watching Ian having fun with Sabre in the Trail Paddock was one of the highlights for me. Sabre totally enjoyed the education games Ian was playing with him amongst the trees. I wish I had captured it on camera.
On the Sunday morning of the clinic – 8th November, 3.40am to be exact – Liz Leighton, Greg and I were out in the foaling yard with Pelennor Belmarie as she delivered the most delightful buckskin filly, Wilga Park Nevada Rose. Liz didn’t seem to mind the loss of sleep. This birth was made even more special as Nevada was born on NRAMD (National Ride a Morgan Day - the date was chosen to remember the day the very first Morgan was born in Australia.)
Wilga Park Tarragon and Wilga Park Cabernet were due to leave home for their future adventures in NSW with Nila Latimer and Liz Baynham, so we decided it would be nice to have the ladies visit for the week prior to the Qld State Show. It really made us get out and practice our stuff with the ladies here. The in-hand trail course was set up in the round yard for initial practice and then moved to the wide, open spaces. Every day we spent some time practicing the course, as the Prize was an Ian Leighton Halter … and we ALL wanted that!!!
As Tarragon had not had an outing before, and two year old Silver Sabre’s testosterone had kicked in (in-season mares hanging on the fence looking at him hopefully across the laneway made that happen, I think), we decided to take the 5 minute trip to Linda Shore’s property for a practice session. Tarragon was perfect for Nila in a new environment, which made Nila totally confident about handling him at the show.
I could not have been more pleased with Sabre. Though he was fully aware of the mares and Wirraway Copyright, the mature stallion working in the arena with us, he could not have been better behaved. That gave me huge confidence. Greg was handling Sabre at the show, but I needed the confidence boost so that I wouldn’t be a nervous wreck as we unloaded him at the Pittsworth showgrounds. Cabernet and Liz Baynham came along for the ride, but Cabernet is a seasoned performer at new environments, so her presence was simply for that all important float ride with the three horses on board.
We felt very proud of all the Wilga Park kids at the Qld State Show. There was good competition in each class. I’m not sure if I’m most proud of the Champion Mare and Champion Gelding sashes that Cabernet and Tarragon were awarded or the fact that, apart from the lovely part bred mare, who took first ribbon, the next three horses carried the Wilga Park prefix in the Best Behaved on Parade. With 11 nominations for that class, that felt pretty special.
Wilga Park Cabernet has gone to NSW to live about an hour away from her full brother, Chancellor and their younger brother, Castelao, has begun the long journey to WA to live a short distance from one of the other full siblings, Wilga Park Conquistador. Based on the brilliant job Terrance Rowe did in starting Cabernet, Debra Gyde chose to send Castelao to him as well. It was rewarding to see both Cabernet and Castelao under saddle before they left ‘home’.
Now that those three horses have left the herd, Wilga Park Boquila has suddenly become the oldest of the youngsters. She turned two in October 15. She has been ignored for a while, so we decided to give her a bath and take some photos – she really does love the attention. She is the perfect model for a Barbie horse with her amazingly long and curly mane and tail.
By the end of September 15 we were blessed with three coloured foals – Eclipse and Nevada Rose sired by Cortez and Arizona Sunset sired by Wilga Park Conquistador. They are all a total delight. The boys are bold and brave and can often be seen well away from their Mums. In fact, if there is a human around, Eclipse and Arizona will leave the herd (at the canter) in the hope of a cuddle and scratch. They are both losing foal fluff in odd places as the temperatures rise and are not so photogenic right now, but they are still good looking dudes. Arizona being the taller of the two, though he is three weeks younger.
Then in early December, our last two foals arrived!! A glorious palomino colt by Ragtime Oro Blanco and a beautiful black filly by Cortez! We are delighted.
This year, all five foals are even more than we could have wished for. Our Wilga Park Conquistador foal out of Wilga Park Malaynee (Arizona Sunset) is going to outstrip all of them in height. He looks like he is heading well over the 15hh mark. He and the other two colts, Eclipse (Red Bluff Evette’s foal by Cortez) and Desert Storm (Wilga Park Desert Rose’s foal by Ragtime Oro Blanco) are all super brave boys with smart minds. The two fillies are both by Cortez. Nevada Rose (Pelennor Belmarie) and Gypsy Lass (Red Bluff Paprika) are also super smart and both seem to have the Tall gene!!
We have enjoyed the company of a number of visitors over the past couple of months. It is a lovely time for visitors as the foals are always so accommodating when it comes to cuddle time.
Wendy Brown’s Mum was visiting over Christmas, so they popped in on their way past one day to enjoy some ‘foal scratching’ time. There were no cups of tea on the verandah that day … all available time was spent in the paddock with babies.
Angela Brown from Victoria was in Toowoomba visiting her family, so decided to pop out to meet our Morgan herd prior to heading to the Sunshine coast (and, on the way, meet Wilga Park Grenadier). Kath Fry had given Grenadier such an excellent start in life, it was going to be almost impossible for Angela to not want to own him once she rode him. After meeting Angela, we were SO pleased when she decided Grenadier was to be her Forever horse. Grenadier has arrived safely in Victoria and Angela reports that she and Gren are heading off to one of her regular Steve Brady clinics in the near future.
We spent a few very enjoyable hours with the Leeson girls from Warwick. Jane brought her two daughters, Elissa and Bianca, over to spend some time with our Morgan horses (Jane religiously purchases Horse Deals and is an avid fan of the MHAA advertisements and stories). I captured some lovely photos of the girls with their favourite Morgans. I do feel that it was more that the Morgans chose which human they wanted to spend most time with. Sassafras made it known that Elissa was her favourite on the day while her paddock mate, Gamble Oak, stayed right away from everyone. Quite interesting to watch! Of course, Boquila was up for a cuddle from anyone who looked in her direction.
Young Silver Sabre is growing beautifully. I look back on photos from the November Qld State Morgan Show and am amazed at just how much he has filled out. Tammy-Lee was very obliging when I asked her to give Sabre a little work-out in the paddock so that I could capture some photos of him. Greg seems to be way too busy building that deck on our little old school-house to spend time doing horsey stuff! I love Sabre’s sensible head and absolutely adore his looks! He really enjoyed the fun things Tam was presenting him with.
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