11 colts under 3 yrs and 12 futurity horses from  Frankfield Stock Horses 2015  progeny, with stockmen and women from JoJo, Monteagle, Bendemeer,  Blair Athol and Frankfield assembled at Monteagle from 27 to 29th October  for the Burnett Group Colt Challenge and Property Challenge. Although competitive, this is far more an opportunity for staff to come together for 3 days of social interaction and an opportunity to develop and improve life and horsemanship skills. Wednesday morning commenced with competitors demonstrating their abilities to catch and prepare their Colt for a day’s work, then proceeding to show their control and Colt development in the Stockman’s Hack. Over the next 2 days colts were put through their paces in a Colt Dry Work pattern, a Trail Course, a Freestyle competition  where competitors demonstrated  extra skills they have been able to teach their Colt, and a cattle working competition, an area where the Burnett Group horses will spend most of their working lives.

Competitors were also judged on the way their colts were presented and their horse shoeing ability. All Competitors performed well with horsemanship skills showing strong improvement as the competition progressed, but overall winner, Sam Bates, excelled picking up placings in most sections – even more impressive when recognising Sam had such a short time working with his Colt, “Frankfield Opal” (Acres of Det X Rosebrook Opalette). In 2nd place was Callum Clement with “Mirage” with Allana Parker and “Justice” coming in 3rd.

The Futurity Challenge again produced some good results. As expected, these colts from last year were able to demonstrate a superior level of training in both the dry work and cattle working fields. Again Sam Bates, competing on Chanel (Acres of Det X Carisma), proved too strong, with Steve Burnett on Armani and Gav Vallis on Gucci close behind.

Competitors unique combination of skills were again tested in the Property Challenge. As well as an aggregate of scores from the Colt Challenge, an entertaining display of whip cracking on Thursday night, and a ” Day in the life of a Ringer”  display involving cattle skills, fencing, and a fair share of cunning from teams from each property to wrap up Saturday morning were judged and scores tallied to decide the winner for the “Soul of Bendemeer ” trophy. This year the JoJo team proved too consistent and won in a popular choice.

Ben Prescott with his Colt ” Bravo” was awarded the “Hoch and Wilkinson Best Stock Horse.”

Anna Speers, CEO of innovative marketing system Auctions Plus, travelled from Sydney to speak at dinner on Friday night. She inspired all to embrace change in our industry, and outlined her journey from “ringer in the top end” to her present position of influence in rural industry. The opportunities are there for those who look for them!

A big thanks to all staff who participated, as well as our Judges Craig Moller, Michael Foot and Ross and Sandy McKeering.

The 2017 Colts are now all broken-in and will be delegated to employees in mid-February when our Colt Handover and Horsemanship School is conducted over 3 days with Mr Robert Durkin.