50 Years of Yulgilbar Horses

To the uninitiated, hearing the name 'Yulgilbar', little distinction is made between Yulgilbar Quarter Horse Stud and the historic Hordern/Myer family property, Yulgilbar Station.

Today they are separate entities, yet essentially still a part of each other. Encompassing a vast area, situated on the banks of the beautiful Clarence River near Grafton in Northern New South Wales, Yulgilbar-thought to mean "Place of the Platypus"-is the subject of a book by Janet Cannon (Yulgilbar 1949-1999, published by Hardie Grant Publishing). Steeped in history, today it is a successful beef cattle operation breeding high quality Santa Gertrudis cattle.

Yulgilbar Quarter Horse Stud as we know it today, began back in 1954 when the late Sam Hordern (Snr) together with King Ranch Australia, imported the first four registered Quarter Horse Stallions to Australia. The Horderns retained 'Mescal' one of the four-a gift from King Ranch-for their own stud at Retford Park in Bowral NSW. Mescal was a son of the great King Ranch stallion Wimpy, P-1 in the American Quarter Horse Stud Book. On the advice of the American Quarter Horse Association, the Horderns purchased a line of registered thoroughbred mares selected on their breeding, conformation and temperament to breed to Mescal. Their progeny were an instant success. These first cross Quarter horses went on to compete in all Equestrian and Western events with outstanding results. These horses underwrote the success of this breed from that time onwards. The Hordern Quarter Horse Stud, after the sale of Retford Park, moved to Cinnabar Station-adjoining Yulgilbar-then later down to Colony Stud at Scone in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.

Sam Hordern Jnr., with the help of the late Jack Reilly, a foundation AQHA councilor and Breed Classifier, continued to import some of the top American blood lines to breed to these first cross Mescal mares. Such stallions as Alazan De Lela-another Wimpy bred stallion-Bill's Crocket, the first Dual registered Quarter Horse and Australian Stock Horse in Australia, Pars Music Bar, a grandson of Three Bars and a top performance horse in the US and Australia. All these stallions have been a contributing factor, as foundation lines for the outstanding success of the current Yulgilbar Stud progeny competing around Australia today. From this early beginning they continued to breed from an elite selection of the best imported bloodlines such as Lee Bars Boy, Jackeroo, Mr. Leotoe and Clover Drift. These horses were used over Yulgilbar's carefully bred station mares, which were from top thoroughbred and stock horse lines. One of Mescal's early progeny, the legendary Elgrando, set the standard when cutting competition was in its infancy in Australia.

Today the stud is owned by Sarah (daughter of Sam Hordern Snr.) and Baillieu (Bails) Myer and those classic Quarter Horse bloodlines are still represented in the current broodmare band, together with outcrosses to later imported lines (Flappers Breeze, Pars Music Bars, Peppy Snake, Easter Chex, Buc Lena, Wagon Cook, 49'er Doc, Doc's Freckles Oak, Chickeramic, Doc's Spinifex and King's Phillip). The current senior sire is Playboy Roy, a grandson of the legendary Freckles Playboy. Imported from the USA in 1994 as a seven-year-old, Roy's lifetime earnings in cutting in the United States at the time, was in excess of US$74,000.

"In 1976 the stud moved to Elgee Park, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria where facilities for raising horses include a large stable complex with day yards, an 100 x 50 ft. indoor arena, 175 x 75 ft. outdoor arena and two round yards, the largest of which is 140ft across. Sarah and Bails have always believed in providing the best possible facilities and care for their horses. They continue to produce horses that cater for all the diverse activities of Quarter Horse enthusiasts across Australia. As a new generation of the Myer family emerges here at Elgee Park, their passion for this wonderful breed continues, ensuring that Yulgilbar horses will continue to lead the way in the future of the Quarter Horse in Australia, as they have done for the past forty years.