Murray Lamperd has always been a fan of Thoroughbreds as eventing horses. It’s a love that stems from a partnership he had more than 25 years ago with Propaganda, a horse that took him to an Australian national title. “He’s probably one of the horses I have the most affection for,” reflects Murray. “He has a big place in my heart.”
Later on, it was another Thoroughbred that took the Victorian around the world to some of eventing’s most prestigious venues. “Under The Clocks had a big influence on my career. Mick Kent trained him originally – he raced under the same name and had 20 starts for two wins. Mick put us onto the horse, as he wasn’t quite going to make it as a show jumper or as a show horse. We got him as a seven-year-old and he was a magnificent horse who we ended up taking overseas as an 11-year-old.”
Before heading overseas, Murray and ‘Ninja’ finished on the podium in the five-star at Adelaide, and then went on to complete Burghley twice – finishing 10th in 2014 as the best performed first-timers. They also competed at Badminton, Luhmühlen and Aachen, and were members of the Australian Olympic Squad in preparation for Rio 2016.
“To be honest, early on I just didn’t know if we were ever going to get him settled enough,” recalls Murray. “In the end, he was competing in front of hundreds of thousands of people on the cross country, and in stadiums of 10,000 people. Not without consideration, but he was amazing the way he could handle that. He did a lot for us.
“Both Propaganda and Under The Clocks were so similar; sensitive, but they’d do anything for you and I had a very deep relationship with both of them. We achieved a lot together.”
More recently, Murray has found himself partnered with another talented off-the-track Thoroughbred named Secret Mojo. The now 14-year-old gelding, by Keffelstein out of the Big Boost mare, Ulterior Motive, only had four starts in his racing career before being retrained and ridden by a number of riders. Owned by Raenor Priest, he came to Murray’s stable two and a half years ago – and this year they successfully stepped up to four-star level, with Secret Mojo ultimately being named Off The Track Eventing Horse of the Year.