Marnies Destiny is now one of the greatest horses in campdrafting history. He is so special to my family and anyone that has been involved with him. He has won or placed in over 185 campdrafts and challenges. His results have re-written the record books. He has the highest ACA Register of Merit points in history and has now been inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame.
People often ask me how Marnies Destiny came to be. Here is the story:
Way back in 1998 I was working in the DPI at Cloncurry. Sean Brassington and myself set a goal to find a colt that would one day win the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and then stand at stud in the North West Qld region. We searched for about 18 months and then I attended the Rocky Quarter Horse Sale in 1999 where we were losing bidder on the top priced led colt. The colt was one of the first ever by Acres Destiny. I didn’t really know much about Acres at the time. Len Whitley came over to me and said “I have 6 Acres bred colts at home but one colt is out of one of the best mares in the country – Marnie James. Come and have a look at him”.
I was a bit cautious as I heard similar comments from many people with colts for sale in the past. I went to work that night trying to find out as much as I could about Marnie James. I was told about the achievements of her and her progeny. Chiller Seeney said she was the best mare to ever put a bridle on in Australia. I rang Len and said I would be there in the morning.
When I got to Len and Norma’s place at Monto I was immediately taken back by the quality of horses on their place. They had worked all their life to produce these broodmares and the mares had every fashionable bloodline bred into them over the years. Len said he never bred a mare unless it had 3 generations of winners in the bloodline. We went into the house and the cabinet was full of trophies won by Marnie James.
We walked to a paddock and Len called out. A bunch of yearlings came running. There he was – he stood out immediately amongst the galloping yearlings. I then rode a mare with the same bloodlines and she was amazing. I was very excited – I couldn’t believe that everything was lining up. After sighting Marnie James the decision was made to purchase Marnies Destiny. I believe that a good horse is the result of a strong mare line. We didn’t buy Marnies Destiny because of Acres Destiny – we bought him because of Marnie James.
I explained our plans to Len and said that when he was old enough he would be sent to Tony Mortimer. Len Said to me, “This horse will change your life. He will put you and Tony Mortimer on the map”.
Len and Norma wanted to keep Marnies Destiny at their place so that they could halter show him as a yearling through until he was 2 years old. We agreed – it would help them promote their stud and also help to promote Marnie. He won 13 led classes, including several Supreme Champions.
Marnie was sent to Tony Mortimer to start his training and this is where it all began. Tony showed Marnie at the NCHA Snaffle Bit futurity in 2002 where they finished third in the Open Snaffle Bit section and were Reserve Champion in the Limited Section. Tony then had a lot of success on him as a four year old, where he won the Springsure working horse spectacular and was second at the Rocky Rush. It was then up to Cloncurry and our goal was finally achieved – they won the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge!
After Cloncurry, Marnies Destiny was sent to Terry Hall to campaign where he stayed for the next five years. As a five year old Marnie and Terry competed at 21 Campdraft venues for 20 wins or places (11 wins, 9 places). Terry and Chris had an incredible amount of success winning or placing in over 50 campdrafts, including Chinchilla Grandfather Clock, Warwick Gold Cup, Condamine Bell and Paradise Lagoons.
Then in 2009 things changed a little and we bought Marnie outright. We knew what a special horse he was and set a new goal – win an ACA Open Horse title. We knew it would take a while though. I spoke to Terry about it before I even thought about sending Marnie elsewhere and Terry said he had cattle on the road and might not do many drafts that year. So after discussions with Terry, we decided to send him to Pete Comiskey.
I am extremely grateful for the effort that Terry and Chris put in to Marnie. We couldn’t have got to where he is without Terry and Chris. Terry and Chris are great friends and have been very helpful in planning Marnies path.”
Pete took over the reins after the Blackall ACA Finals in April 2010 and in 2012 our goal became a reality. On the 14/04/2012, during the ACA National Finals at Springsure, Marnies Destiny was presented with the ACA Open Horse of the Year. Not only is he the only stallion to win this elite prize in 20 years but he won it with record points achieved in a season. He only drafted for 7 months of the year but collected a massive 693.50 points – 205 points above second place and 368 points above third place. In 2011 Pete Comiskey and Marnies Destiny competed at 26 drafts and collected 27 ribbons, including winning Warwick Stallions Draft to finish the year. For the year of 2012 he had 73 runs and put 68 around for an average of 82 points per run for the year. Scores included: 7 x 88, 13 x 89, 9 x 90, 3 x 91, 1 x 92, 1 x 93.
It was great to win this award once but Pete and Marnie continued to win draft after draft. They won the title again in 2016. We retired him from professional drafting after the ACA National Finals 2017 at Clermont. At this point they had racked up 186 wins or places. I am going to do a few drafts myself on him now and have a bit of fun.
Len was right – This horse has changed my life. We have put so much of our lives into Marnie and he has returned that with all his heart. This has been an amazing journey for all involved and this horse just continues to win. As with achieving any goal, it has been a lot of hard work, determination and enjoyment.
Marnies Destiny is one of the greatest horses in campdrafting history and he is so special to my family and anyone that has been involved with him. It is a great honour for him to now be inducted into the AQHA hall of Fame. It really summarises what an amazing horse he is and cements his place in history. He has won so many awards but this achievement is one of the most special moments for Marnie, my family and myself.
Thank you to everyone that has helped but most of all thank you to Marnies Destiny for all the joy and happiness you have given to my family and the campdrafting world.
by Rick Young