Below Gill Sawrey and Bomber Doc at Koonoomoo in 1998.
Photo credit: Photo by Sally H.
One of the most exciting and interesting things which has happened in my life in the past few years was meeting Karen Thrun and hearing of her plans to publish this book on Australian Quarter Horses of the past. Karen knows and appreciates her subject matter first hand as a breeder and exhibitor. She knew this was something that needed doing – to document the breed and its history in this way. And she has achieved this brilliantly, with complete commitment and painstaking research on the horses and people who believed in them, (and those who didn’t), along with the personal stories of the people who were involved in many different ways with the early Quarter Horse days; breeding mares to stallions, exhibitions, shows, cutting, campdrafts, rodeos, clinics, anything to get the breed out where it could be seen and appreciated.
As well as the written word, Karen has filled the book with many photographs going right back to the first four stallions. All this helps to open a portal to the past for the reader, taking us back to the horses who created the solid foundation of the Quarter Horse in Australia, in large part crossed with station and thoroughbred mares. When Vaquero, Mescal, Gold Standard and Jackaroo arrived here in 1954, the American Quarter Horse Association was a mere thirteen years old. By 1964, just ten years after their arrival, our own Registry was started and by 1972 the Australian Quarter Horse Association was incorporated. Today there are 152,000 registered Quarter Horses in Australia!
I was given the privilege of a sneak preview of Australian Legends to enable me to write this endorsement and I am sure that every reader will truly enjoy this wonderful journey through the development of the breed in this country as much as I have.