On the 28th of May this year one of our major sponsors of the Campdraft Central Future Star Series, Frankfield Stockhorses, proudly broke the record at the Toomba Stockhorse Sale in Charters Towers, with their 5 year old mare, Frankfield Calesi. Frankfield Stockhorses have now topped the Toomba Horse Sale twice in the past 3 years, with Frankfield Cover Girl taking the title in 2015. We have been thrilled to have Frankfield Stockhorses on board as a major sponsor since the Future Star Series began in 2014. We thought it was a good time to get some history on the Frankfield Stockhorse Stud, where it all began and where it is planning to go in the future.
Frankfield Stockhorses is part of the Burnett Group of Companies, with its base in the Clermont area, Central Qld. The horses are managed by Steve and Lizzie Burnett, who reside 65km west of Clermont at the Monteagle/Kalang aggregation. Their entity of the Burnett Group mainly focuses on breeding, backgrounding and fattening steers and heifers for the EU, PCAS and Live Export markets, as well as selling into abattoirs further south when the market opportunities arise. All the horse breeding, handling, breaking, sale preparation and selling takes place from Monteagle and is overseen by Steve and Lizzie. The horse stud breeds between 15 and 20 mares each year, with these foals then being weaned, grown, and started at Monteagle. The colts are generally allocated as 2 year olds to Burnett Group station employees as their “colt” for that season, aiming to match colts with rider ability. Towards the end of each year, the colts compete in the annual Burnett Group Colt Challenge, which is a 3 day event testing many facets of horse and rider skills, and including person development. A horsemanship school is also usually held at the start of each year, to motivate and encourage all employees to ride their horses softly and kindly, which helps develop their ability and future potential. From there, the young horses are returned into the stock camps, worked for at least 12 months and then, for those horse/rider combinations which are good enough, taken into the Futurity Campdraft circuit as 4 year olds.
This process has been in place since Frankfield was purchased from Stanbroke Pastoral Company in 2004. At that time, there were around 40 broodmares, which supplied work horses for Stanbroke properties in the Central Queensland area and further north. The Stanbroke horse book is still in use today, and tracks horse pedigree’s back to 1973. After the Burnett Family purchased Frankfield, it was decided to draft off the best 15 - 20 broodmares, combine them with successful Burnett Group broodmares, and continue on with the horse stud to breed top quality work horses, also offering some of the best horses for sale each year. It was always seen by the Burnett Family that the horses would be seen as a “business” and they had to pay their way, allowing horse sales to contribute back into the business and re-invest into continually improving the genetics of the stud.
In the early days, notable horse trainer Scott Schoo was managing the horses at Frankfield, as his parents Rudi and Nell managed Frankfield when it was purchased by the Burnett’s. They can take the credit for the purchase of Cooinda Acres of Det for $28,000 from the 2008 Dalby Stockhorse Sale, as they travelled to Dalby and selected the colt. This colt was seen to be a good cross over many of the Driscoll’s Serenity (x Blue Moon Mystic) mares. Acres of Det (Acres Destiny/ Cadet/ Abbey) was very successful in the Stockmans Challenge Circuit as a 4 year old, but unfortunately had to be put down as an 8 year old due to colic, just when he was starting his professional Campdraft career with Pete Comiskey. This was a major setback for the stud; however he produced more than 50 foals for the Frankfield Stockhorse Stud, many who have gone onto success in horse sales, and showing potential on the Campdraft circuit. It is envisaged Det’s exceptional pedigree will flow on through progeny for many years to come.
Driscoll’s Serenity, who is the sire of many of the Frankfield Broodmares, was a champion horse in his day and won many Open Campdrafts. Until recent times, he had the most ASHS registered progeny (as Blue Moon Mystic’s son), only being surpassed by Bonlac Gigalo in recent times.
Steve purchased a new sire in 2014, Glenkell Acres Duality, aptly competed on as “Duality.” He is a 4 year old Acres Destiny colt, out of a Romeo/Nabinabah the Gun mare, Palmers Cool Fantasy. His Grand Dam, Nabinabah Cool Change is a full sister to the champion 2 times Warwick Gold Cup Winner, Palmers Breezette. Steve has always found value in maintaining some of the Heritage Stockhorse bloodlines and is keen to start seeing Duality progeny come through, with the oldest foals being weaned this year.
Although many of the Frankfield Stockhorse broodmares do not have a resume of competition wins, the best of the mares were generally returned to stud at a young age, in order to meet the demand for quality workhorses from the Stanbroke Properties. The key traits and strength in the Frankfield mare line is that they were consistently selected for type, temperament and trainability – and although the proof of their actual ability has rarely been shown away from the mustering camp, the quality in the current broodmare line is now second to none.
Since Steve and Lizzie Burnett have taken management of Frankfield Stockhorses to Monteagle, they generally try to get to 4 – 8 campdrafts each year (when time permits) to showcase the ability of their horses and hopefully, over time, prove their capability in the competition ring.
The Burnett Group are great supporters of Campdrafting in the Clermont district, supplying cattle to many local drafts, being involved in committees and also encouraging their employees to be involved when they can.
We congratulate Frankfield Stockhorses on their Record Top Price Mare at Toomba 2017, thank them for their ongoing sponsorship and support of the Future Star Futurity Series and wish them all the best with the continuing development of their Frankfield Stockhorse Stud.
For any enquiries on sale horses please contact Steve Burnett on (07) 49 836 050
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