This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

RADIUM - A Unicorn from Down Under!

Radium is one of the most famous Campdraft stock horses in Australia. "What is a campdraft horse?" you say. Well, a campdraft horse in Australia is just like one of our American cutting horses. Have you ever been to a stock show and watched the cutting horses segregate one steer or calf from a herd? Cowboys do this to separate a calf that needs branding or medication or for some other reason.

While Radium died in 1947 at the age of 29, he still has his own Facebook page...That's a pretty with-it horse, I'd say! This is what it says on his facebook page:

Radium was an outstanding Australian bred campdrafter and very influential ancestor of Australian Stock Horses. He was a bay stallion bred by Donald Beaton of Levedale, Gloucester, New South Wales. This son of the outstanding campdrafter, Cecil (1899, by Red Gauntlet from Meretha II) from Black Bess by Hukatere (1882) was foaled on 11 November 1918. Beaton took great care in the breeding of his horses requiring horses with ability and stamina, for which he culled heavily. Radium’s sire, Cecil was so successful that in 1913, his owner, Arch Simpson was asked to leave his champion campdrafter at home in order that other competitors had a chance to win the campdrafting event at Geary’s Flat Bushman’s Carnival.

Radium was broken in by Archie Grant and Billy Tout when he was a two year old, after which he had several trips to the Cooplacurripa area. He began to show his exceptional ability as a stock horse as he developed and matured. Donald Beaton often drove long distances to compete at bushman’s carnivals with Radium tied behind the buggy. Radium would then compete in the campdraft, often winning and if he was going well, round off his success with an exhibition of campdrafting without a bridle.

In circa 1928, Radium was sold to Herb O’Neil, who, as a friend of Donald Beaton, had ridden the horse in competitions for Beaton when he had been unable to get away from his property. Herb O’Neill competed extensively with Radium, winning over a large area of the state. Just prior to the Second World War (WWII), Radium won a Championship Campdraft at Kempsey, New South Wales with the next ten placings going to Radium’s sons and daughters. Radium was also highly successful in led contests for the best type of Stock Horse. During WWII, at a Dungog Bushman’s Carnival over 20 horses were competing in the led stock horse class. In this event Radium received the first placing with the remaining four all being his sons.

I especially liked the part about Radium being "Towed" to shows tied to the back of the buggy. That reminds me of myself as I pull into Dressage shows and park my rusty stock trailer next to the huge, fancy multi-horse-with-living quarters-trailers! Go Radium! And now you have left your mark on Australia's stock horse breeds. Enjoy galloping around Celestia and cutting cattle in the Animal Kingdom! (If you don't know what I am writing about you need to read Behind the Mist!)

Here is an informative video about cutting horses that you will enjoy and learn from!

Send me the story of your Noble and Great horse!

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