Red and Jo now manage Trinity Stockhorses in Orange, New South Wales; Lizzie lives there too, and in between stints as a valuable working member of the team, she is also performing one of her most important jobs of them all – motherhood.
Lizzie’s first foal arrived when she still belonged to Jane Stephens. By the imported, cutting bred Quarter Horse Peppy Boontown, Boo is now a magnificent young mare with whom Jane is enjoying competing in cowboy dressage, scoring 71.66% in their first attempt. Raising Boo was not a job that Lizzie thought much of though; in fact, she simply fed her and left the rest of the foal’s care and attention to her own mother, who she was paddocked with at the time.
Lizzie’s second foal was bred by Red, a colt named Bruce by the cutting bred Quarter Horse Early Oak. Fortunately, Lizzie has now decided that motherhood is a worthwhile job, doting on Bruce and raising him beautifully. Red hopes that Bruce will grow to be as versatile – and legendary – as his dam.
“I only breed for myself. I breed the sort of horses that I want to ride, I’m not dictated to by the market. I rode a lot of Early Oaks back in the early 2000s and loved them, they were great horses but I never owned one,” Red explains. “Bruce is only a yearling, and he’s bigger than most two-year-olds already! A lot of horses these days aren’t built to last, their hocks and knees are starting to go out by the time they’re four or five years old. But these ones that we’re breeding from Lizzie have tree stumps for legs! You’re never going to wear them out. They are beautiful straight-legged horses, they stand up to the work and they’ll never need shoeing.”
This season, the plan is for Lizzie to be bred to the great imported Quarter Horse stallion Peptos Stylish Oak, sire of many cutting and campdrafting champions. Lizzie has no problem with staying in work during early pregnancy, and always returns from maternity leave without missing a beat.
As Lizzie is still a relatively young mare, her ridden and working career is far from over. When asked if there are any disciplines he’d like to branch out into with Lizzie, but hasn’t tried yet, Red emphatically states: “All of them!” It seems that the sky is the limit for this dynamic duo, and Red shares his advice for anyone who wants to try their hand at a sport or discipline that their horse may not be bred for.
“It’s only about the big cheques, the big winnings, for a very, very few elite people. The rest of us should just have fun and do whatever we want, whenever we want on the horse that we want to – with our mate! Learning as much as we can with the horse that we want to spend our time with, the one that’s in our own backyard. And that means that we’re not going to be competing at the elite level, it means we’re going to be alright at this, and we’re going to be alright at that. And at the end of the day, we’re going to have a lot of fun trying!” EQ