Plaintree News

22 July 2009

Congratulations to Huon Smith on his richly deserved win in the 2009 Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge.

Huon rode Boonera Party Girl, a filly he bred himself, to take out the prestigious event held in Cloncurry, North West Queensland in July. Huon has either placed second, third or fourth on too many occasions to count, and his win underlined the power of persistence – the art of never giving up.

The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge is; of course, very dear to everyone at Plaintree, since it is the memorial of Heather Pascoe’s late father, Reg Brown. The famous silver quart pot is now one of the most important events in the Performance Horse industry in Australia.

Heather was the original founder of the event – which makes her the original founder of the Stockman’s Challenge industry, now booming right across Australia.

There is no Challenge more honoured or sought after than the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge, regarded as the original and the best. In a lovely twist this year, Huon’s mare Party Girl is in fact a daughter of Nonda Feel The Rhythm, a mare that Heather bred and sold to Huon some years ago.

Feel The Rhythm (Doc’s Freckles Oak – Yarranoo Bethena (Star Black Minstrill) comes from a family that Heather purchased from the great breeder Ventry McLennan and introduced to the Nonda broodmare band some 25 years ago. Feel The Rhythm’s influence on the pedigree of a Stockman’s Challenge winner once again underlines the tremendous power and depth of the Nonda broodmare band. The win also continues a wonderful record of Nonda bred or owned horses in the event.

Twenty two years ago, Heather won the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge with Star Carousel (Star Black Minstril – Glenna’s Daughter), ridden by Ian Francis. Carousel, now 26, is long retired from the broodmare band and enjoys her retirement in her favourite paddock out the back of the farm along with mares like Nonda Let’s Talk Later, who won the Warwick Gold Cup in 2000 ridden by Terry Hall, and her dam, Nonda Sweet Dreams.

The paddock, by the way, is called Cloncurry.

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Through the days of love and celebration and joy, and through the dark days of mourning
- the faithful horse has been with us always.

—Elizabeth Cotton