Build­ing their horse dream

South Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY - CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­[email protected]­ral­weekly.com.au

KELLIE and Cameron Bond feel lucky to go to work ev­ery day and live their dream.

Both with a back­ground in horses, they de­cided to start a thor­ough­bred stud, Ken­more Lodge, in 2007.

“We thought it was just go­ing to be a hobby. We put a small fig­ure in a bank ac­count to start off and the busi­ness has grown from there,” Mrs Bond said.

“We moved from Du­lacca about three years ago be­cause our op­er­a­tion out­grew our prop­erty.

“We had cat­tle and grain as well, but we de­cided to move and fo­cus on the thor­ough­breds.”

In their first year, Ken­more Lodge had limited suc­cess.

But in the sec­ond year things re­ally kicked off.

“We bought a horse out of Ade­laide and ed­u­cated and sold him six months later at Magic Mil­lions’ r eady to run sale,” Mrs Bond said.

“He topped the sale at $180,000. That was by Gon­ski out of Blaz­ing Sky. He went on to win some big races.

“I’ll never for­get when we led him out into the ring. We thought we’d get about

$60,000, and the open­ing bid was $100,000.

“It was re­ally ex­cit­ing, we weren’t ex­pect­ing it.”

Mr and Mrs Bond said it took a mo­ment for it to sink in.

“It was a lit­tle bit sur­real that he made that money be­cause we paid a small fig­ure for him and we were rel­a­tively un­known,” Mrs Bond said.

“Peo­ple were in­tro­duc­ing them­selves and say­ing ‘en­joy the mo­ment be­cause it may never hap­pen again’.

“And that drove us be­cause suc­cess drives you to want more suc­cess.”

Ken­more Lodge is run by Mr and Mrs Bond and their nine-year-old son, Rhys.

In 2012 they started breed­ing their own horses.

“We bought a few brood mares. We have 25 to 30 brood mares that we’re breed­ing at the mo­ment,” Mrs Bond said.

“We sold a foal this year for $260,000 as a wean­ling that we bred.

“We sold a year­ling filly in 2016 for $350,000 in Syd­ney and that was a bit of a sur­prise. We bred her our­selves.”

“We also sold a horse called Ty­zone. We se­lected him as a foal.

“He’s gone over to win 13 races. He’s a suc­cess­ful horse at the mo­ment. He’s rac­ing in Bris­bane.”

Mr Bond said last year the stud sold the top-price horse at the Breeze Up sale.

“We sold My Big Boss for $320,000,” he said.

“He’s gone on to be suc­cess­ful in Sin­ga­pore and run a win­ner in a Group Two race.

“We’re lucky be­cause our busi­ness can op­er­ate at all the ma­jor sales, not just one sale for the year be­cause we do Breeze Up horses and breed our own.”

Mrs Bond said they felt lucky that they have the op­por­tu­nity to di­ver­sify in the in­dus­try.

“We breed year­lings, break in horses, train horses, and trade horses to Asia,” she said.

“It’s ev­ery­one’s dream to get paid to do some­thing

that they love.

“Ev­ery day when we go to work we get to live our dream and that’s prob­a­bly pretty lucky.”

Mrs Bond said she still got ner­vous be­fore a sale.

“We put our heart and soul into it and there’s a cer­tain level of ner­vous en­ergy that makes you strive for ex­cel­lence.

“I still get ner­vous, there’s a lot that can hap­pen at the sale that can make the end re­sult dif­fer­ent.”

Ken­more Lodge is run on 233 hectares across two prop­er­ties in Wyreema and Cam­booya, near Toowoomba.

“It’s within good prox­im­ity to the Gold Coast and Bris­bane,” Mr Bond said

“And we be­lieve the Dar­ling Downs is one of the best horse cli­mates in Aus­tralia.

“The cli­mate and the soil is very suit­able for rais­ing thor­ough­breds.”

Mr Bond said the next big goal for Ken­more Lodge was to breed a Group One horse.

“The suc­cess of the prod­ucts of our op­er­a­tion is what re­ally drives us,” he said.

“We want to see our horses go on and be good.

“Whether it’s a horse we’ve bro­ken in, sold, or bred, it’s sat­is­fy­ing to see them go on and be suc­cess­ful.”

We put our heart and soul into it and there’s a cer­tain level of ner­vous en­ergy that makes you strive for ex­cel­lence. — Kellie Bond

BIG SALE: Cameron and Kellie Bond with by Gon­ski out of Blaz­ing Sky, who topped the Magic Mil­lions sale in 2010.

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIBUTED

Rhys Bond with a colt.

This Ken­more Lodge colt sold for $260,000.

Mares and foals at Ken­more Lodge.

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