HALL OF FAME
There was never a question who should be the first inductee into the Barastoc HOY Hall of Fame.
It was Peter Gahan’s foresight and his support as mill manager for Barastoc that were responsible for the Barastoc show horse classes being introduced. Originally proposed as supporting events for the Victorian Show Jumping Championships, the show horse classes were introduced in 1971, thanks to Peter Gahan. With his wife, dressage rider Marie, Peter steered the Barastoc Horse Of The Year into its own identity from that time and presided over it for many years thereafter. Without Peter’s involvement and direction, one wonders when Barastoc would have commenced. Instead, thanks to Peter’s drive and support, Barastoc has sponsored this event for a remarkable 53 years.
Peter Gahan was a man with vision and the expertise to drive our event to become the most prestigious Horse Of The Year in the country.
There have been few people who have been involved with Barastoc as long as Graeme Barker.
Generally known as the ‘voice of Barastoc,’ Graeme began commentating on the showjumping championships at Olympic Park before the show horse classes were introduced. He then continued to commentate at Barastoc until his retirement after some 47 years. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport was unsurpassed and his announcement of “and the Barastoc Horse Of The Year is……….” became legendary.
Prior to his commentating role, Graeme was a very successful boy rider, show jumper and eventer. He was champion rider of Sydney Royal Show and the winner of Melbourne and Gawler Three Day Events.
Just as Peter Gahan was a logical first inductee into the Barastoc HOY Hall of Fame, so was the initial winner of the showhorse section, Lure.
Lure was a thoroughbred horse by Meadow Mist and raced successfully before his venture into the show ring. His first three championships were achieved with Malcolm Barns as his rider and after an absence of a year, he returned again to win his fourth title ridden by his owner Donnie Wilson.
Apart from his good conformation and appealing dapple-grey colour, Lure could always be relied upon for a stirring gallop which was a feature of workouts at Barastoc. Champion Hack at Sydney Royal Show as well, Lure dominated his era as a hack to become one of the most successful hacks ever.
Affectionately known as Fad, Picasso is the only horse ever to have won four consecutive Barastoc Horse Of The Year titles. Renowned for his big trot and huge canter, Picasso was also a Royal Show champion at all eastern and southern states, three-time Garryowen winner and for three years was never beaten at an agricultural show. He won his height (or weight as it was then) class at Royal Shows on 13 occasions- likely to be an unchallenged record. Originally purchased from renowned horseman Vince Corvi by his owner Vickie Lawrie, Picasso was only shown for four years before retiring firstly as a dressage horse and then as a pleasure horse for Chris Hector and Ros Neave.
Always the true showman, Picasso will be remembered as a genuine champion who set a standard for others to try to emulate.
Fran Cleland has had many role in equestrian sports in Victoria including being ringmaster of the Barastoc Horse of the Year show for 8 years. During that time she introduced Newcomers, Owner Rider classes, Show Hunters and First Ridden classes to the program. She also assisted with the organisation of the first National Show Horse Titles at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Currently a horse journalist for the Regional Horse News, Fran was 20 years a journalist for Rural Press Victoria and editor of the national equestrian magazine for 10 years.
Team manager for the Victorian team at many National titles, co-founder of the Victorian Horse Council and horse specialist on the Victorian Govt Animal Welfare Advisory Committee from 1989 -1992 were just a few of the many hats Fran wore.
After wins in the Galloway of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1993, Covers was again victorious in 1995 making her the only Galloway to win 4 Barastoc titles. Owned by Dale Plumb and Billy Warke, Covers was a thoroughbred chestnut mare foaled in 1986 sired by Nareeb from Starfreux.
Usually ridden by Billy, Covers not only won 4 Barastoc titles but also was successful twice at the EA National Championships, twice Grand National winner, Champion Galloway at Melbourne Royal , twice Champion Galloway at Canberra Royal and winner of the Crane Trophy at Sydney Royal Show.
STAN FEAR was one of a pioneering generation of Australian riders who witnessed the introduction of show jumping as a sport in Australia. As a judge, administrator, team manager and international selector, Stan has certainly put back into the sport he loves. Stan was an integral part of Barastoc from its inception where he was involved in the organisation of the show as well as working as a Steward for many years.
SILKWOOD ANGEL WINGS
Sarah and Claudia McCormick and Denise and Barry McMahon’s pony Silkwood Angel Wings dominated the small pony classes at Barastoc HOY between 2006 and 2012. Four times Champion in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010, this outstanding pony was also Reserve Champion in 2007 and 2011. As well, she won the International Challenge Small Pony on 4 occasions in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and reserve in 2013. She was also Champion Leading Rein Pony in 2009, 2010, 2012 and reserve in 2013. As sweet in nature as she was successful in the show ring, Angel also enjoyed great success at Royal Shows and National HOYs. She was sired by Silkwood Babbling Brook from the mare Silkwood Seventh Heaven.