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TAS Country : October 21st 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010 Tasmanian Country 23 The Stock Report Time to saddle up for Equitana TRAINING RUN: Susan Elliot, left, stallion Riverdowns Luv to Consent, and horse trainers David and Sandi Simons. Picture: KAROLIN MacGREGOR KAROLIN MacGREGOR TRAVELLING the country training horses and riders is a full-time occu- pation for David and Sandi Simons, one of Australia's most well-known horse-training couples. The couple recently spent time in Tasmania breaking-in and training horses at Susan and Peter Elliot's Ellsan Appaloosa Stud. Based at Drysdale in Victoria, they have been working full-time in the horse business for about 14 years. Mrs Elliot said she was having difficulty finding someone to break-in young horses bred at her property near Bishopsbourne. That was until she met the Simons and had a chat with them at Agfest, where they were doing training demonstrations. ''I was having trouble finding some- one down here, and because I had quite a few to do it was feasible for them to come over,'' Mrs Elliot said. During the past fortnight, the Si- mons have worked with a number of horses, including starting about eight under saddle. Mr Simons said the Ellsan horses were a pleasure to work with due to their good temperaments and the extensive handling work Mrs Elliot does with them when they are young. This includes getting them used to sights and sounds across the farm. The Simons will be part of next month's hugely popular Equitana in Melbourne, which will see thousands of horse enthusiasts from across the country, including Tasmania, flock to the four-day event. Equitana features a program of high-level competitions across a num- ber of disciplines, demonstrations and education sessions, along with a large range of trade stands. Mrs Simons said events such as Equitana had brought about signifi- cant changes in the horse-training industry in recent years. ''Equitana came to Australia and really lifted the professionalism, and gave trainers the opportunity to show what they could do and the different training methods they use,'' she said. ''In some ways, it's changed the whole industry.'' Mr Simons specialises in breaking- in horses for all disciplines, and he also works with horses that have existing problems. Mrs Simons is one of the few trainers in the world who specialises in clinics for women riders who have lost their confidence. ''It's hard to believe there is no one else doing this because the majority of people who ride are women and a lot of them at certain points in their lives will lose their confidence,'' she said. ''I'm a mother of five, so I've been there done that and I know exactly where they're coming from.'' Mrs Simons has also had requests to travel to other countries to run her confidence-building clinics. Mr Simons said while he worked with horses of all breeds, a growing interest in dressage was seeing more purpose-bred warmbloods now being broken-in at their property. ''The basics are all the same wheth- er you're doing reining or dressage, so I don't treat them any different in the early stages of training,'' he said. The pair will also use two Ellsan stud horses for demonstrations at this year's Equitana. Mr Simons said five-year-old Appaloosa mare Aanuka Consenting Lace and stallion Riverdowns Luv to Consent had the ideal temperaments to cope with the high- pressure atmosphere at Equitana. The Simons said they get a lot of satisfaction from being able to use their skills and experience to help horses and riders overcome their problems. ''That's the part of it that we do really enjoy,'' Mrs Simons said. Mrs Elliot said she would keep some of the horses the Simons have been working with, but others would be offered for sale. Demand for dairy offsets rising dollar STRONG demand has held dairy commodity prices stable and pro- vided an offset for the rising Australian dollar. In US dollar terms, dairy com- modity prices have varied little during the past six weeks, with skim milk powder ranging in price from $US2900 a tonne to $US3300 and cheddar from $US3700 to $US4200. Since the beginning of Septem- ber, the Australian dollar has gradually risen from 90c towards parity with the US currency. Murray Goulburn managing di- rector Stephen O'Rourke said good demand and limited supply had maintained the ''reasonably'' firm dairy commodity prices, which have acted as a counter-balance to the higher Australian dollar. At the beginning of the season, Murray Goulburn forecast a season-end weighted-average farm-gate milk price of $5.30-$5.50kg of milk solids. Mr O'Rourke said suppliers would be updated about this end- of-year forecast towards the end of the month. He said Murray Goulburn sup- pliers should still expect step-ups this season. Burra Foods chief executive Grant Crothers agreed that de- mand had held prices stable. He said the recent major commodity price jump, about six weeks ago, had also assisted in balancing out the rising Australian dollar. Mr Crothers said the Korumburra- based processor reviews its milk price every couple of months. Fonterra reviewed its farmgate milk price at the end of last month, but made no changes. In May, Dairy Australia forecast an end-of-season price between $5kg/MS and $5.40kg/MS, with an Australian dollar at US90-95c. The Weekly Times For further informa on contact: AUSTRALIAN WHITE SUFFOLK ASSOCIATION Secretary - Nikki Ward P: (08) 8210 5231 E: email@example.com WIN a $500 voucher T f W i S R . F i i i - WHITE SUFFOLKS AUSTRALIAN . i . . 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October 14th 2010
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