Inside High plains stockhorse stud
Gentleman of equine world produces winners
A YOUNG colt whose owners considered gelding, has helped found the Highplains Australian Stock Horse stud.
When Vicki and George Camilleri purchased Talisman from the Ilalong stud near Sydney they had no plans of going into equine breeding.
Fast-forward 17 years and the stallion has many event titles to his name and has produced award-winning progeny.
The horse is a heritage-bred stock horse, described as having a great temperament and a true gentleman of the equine species.
In his younger years, Talisman was showcased in many different events.
“George won a two-handed cutting event on him, a friend and I also hit the show scene with him and he was successful in halter and under saddle,” Mrs Camilleri said.
“We’ve been horse lovers all our lives and we love the lifestyle and all the people we have met through breeding.
“He’s also a fully trained trick and liberty horse.”
For 15 years the Camilleris have run their stud in Dundathu near Maryborough on the Fraser Coast.
“We thought of gelding him,” she said.
“But we had a lot of people who were interested in him and it all just fell into place from there.”
The 24-hectare stud has facilities to make mares as comfortable as possible during their stay at the property.
“We’re set up pretty well for breeding,” she said.
“We’ve got post and rail yards, a stable block and a breeding area which is undercover with a mare crush.
“There’s also an arena for riding and individual paddocks.”
At 17 years old, Talisman has now retired from competition, but he is still producing award-winning progeny.
“We’re very proud of the horses by him,” she said.
“His progeny are proving to be very versatile.
“One of them called Sovereigns Cadet was purchased by the Australian Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast.
“The actors would ride him and he was used as the MC’s horse. It’s quite a loud atmosphere and he handles it very well.
“Others have gone on to win campdrafts, and a lot have won titles at royal shows.”
She said stockhorse owners and breeders are big on heritage genetics.
“It’s good to conserve the heritage of the breed,” she said.
“He carries the Abbey, Rivoli
Ray and Panzer heritage working bloodlines.
“Breeding keeps us very busy between September and January. He’s our only stallion.”
She said his quite nature has remained the same right up until today.
“He’s very sweet and he’s very gentle with the outside mares that come for breeding,” she said.
“He just has the most beautiful temperament.”
Mrs Camilleri said depending on if they have live mares to service or if they are
collecting semen their days can be very different.
“If we have live mares here they’re teased daily until they show signs of coming on heat,” she said.
“Then they are served every 48 hours until ovulation which is when they go off heat.
“If we’ve had semen ordered we use a teaser mare and we collect it, then we process and extend it here.
“From there it’s taken to Hervey Bay vet surgery and they report on it and ship it.”
At 17 years old the stallion is still producing award winning progeny in multiple disciplines.
Despite his age, Mrs Camilleri said he’s in top condition.
“We hope there’s still a few more years in him,” Mrs Camilleri said.
“We’ve been very lucky with Talisman, he’s a very easy horse to have around.
“Once he is gone we’ll probably tone things down a bit and just enjoy the youngsters to go on and keep showing his kids and grand-progeny.”
PRIZE WINNER: George Camilleri won a two-handed cutting event riding Talisman, just one of many titles won by the stallion.
Progeny of Ilalong Talisman, Highplains Compadre.
Talisman is also a trained trick and liberty horse.
THE STUD: Breeding season keeps the Camilleri’s busy between September and January, they also offer semen from the stallion.
Vicki and Highplains Dartagnan 2016 EMB ASHS Yearling Futurity Winners, Kilcoy Queensland.
Talisman progeny Highplains Jasmin with Lillie Camilleri.