Willowcroft Stud wins perpetual trophy established 20 years ago

Trainer Michael Gates, Willowcroft Temptress, Amanda Jefferys and judge Robin Bland. Photo: Angie Rickard Photography
Trainer Michael Gates, Willowcroft Temptress, Amanda Jefferys and judge Robin Bland. Photo: Angie Rickard Photography

A GUNNEDAH horse stud owner has fulfilled a long-held dream at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, finally presenting one of her own horses with a perpetual trophy she established some 20 years ago.

Amanda Jefferys of Willowcroft Stud said it was a very satisfying show overall, with her colt being named the champion riding pony stallion or colt; and her filly winning the title of champion riding pony mare or filly.

It was the latter, Willowcroft Temptress, who also went on to win the Willowcroft Stud Perpetual Trophy as the supreme riding pony exhibit.

“When I popped out under the stadium, dressed to present the award, they were the only two competing against each other for supreme exhibit,” Dr Jefferys said.

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“It’s been on my bucket list for quite awhile.

“I established that trophy some 20 years ago and it has been won by my own horses, but I normally sell on horses as young stock and they go forth into the world … normally I don’t own them when they win.

“This time it was nice because I’d retained them.

“They’ll go on to be breeding stock in the stud.”

Dr Jefferys said it was the culmination of years of plotting the breeding program, and work from the team.

The achievement of the champion colt, Willowcroft Divergent, was also very more pleasing because he’s just a yearling.

Trainer Michael Gates with Willowcroft Divergent. Photo: Angie Rickard Photography

Trainer Michael Gates with Willowcroft Divergent. Photo: Angie Rickard Photography

“That was quite remarkable – for a yearling to take on all the senior stallions and do so well – so I was very pleased about that, obviously.”

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Dr Jefferys backed up competing at the Royal with judging at the Gunnedah Show, where, she said “the standard is very high”.

“I think Gunnedah is an exceptional agricultural show in comparison to lots of others.

“It’s particularly well-organised, it’s got a great committee who work amazingly and tirelessly …

“It’s really beautiful to see Gunnedah Show fulfilling its potential as something for the whole community.

“AgQuip brings the community together in a business way; I think the show is really for the community.”

Dr Jefferys, a psychologist who runs the stud with husband Warren Thomson, said it was a busy winter ahead.

“We’ve got some horses to break in over the winter and we’re obviously building into quite a strong show team for the spring; we’ll have six in prep …

“We also have 10 foals due in the spring.”

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