After a quick trip to the States as an 18 year old, Hugh Miles decided to return the next year to have a better look around. With his mate from school, Sterling Osland in tow, they arrived in America to simply experience what the country had to offer.
They were 19 years old and barely had enough money for the airfares, let alone a horse. However, while in Texas Hugh decided to show Sterling the Babcock Ranch. He’d been there the year before and thought they had pretty smart horses. It is a big operation where they stood 12 stallions and bred 130 foals a year and when they arrived they had 60 colts stabled in a big barn. Hugh remembers arriving at the sales desk and like all brash 19 year olds pretended that they were looking for a colt. He couldn’t believe his luck. This guy took them seriously and started showing them the whole 60 colts.
It was a lengthy process where the salesman took his folder and went through every colt’s breeding and performance record in detail. The tour was too much for Sterling who is better known as a showjumper. All these colts and all this breeding and for no reason thoroughly bored him. He wandered ahead hoping Hugh would hurry up and get the hell out of there. At the 3rd last stall he stuck his head in the box and yelled back to Hugh, “This is the horse. This is the best one I’ve seen”, and away he went. Finally Hugh’s tour of inspection arrived at the 3rd last box and he too was impressed. But with no intention of buying a horse he simply told the salesguy he would be back to look at him and away they went.
During the next 2 days the idea of actually buying the horse started to take form in Hugh’s head. The colt had really impressed physically and he thought he would be perfect for campdrafting. He was leggy with a good rein and not as thick set as the other colts. His breeding was also impeccable being Smart Chick O Lena x Doc’s Remedy, the No.1 and 2 Cow horse money earners of all time.
Hugh had no plan in place to make the decision he was about to make, no fore thought and it was completely off the cuff. He returned to Babcock Ranch had the colt vet checked and purchased him. With no idea how to import a horse he then rang Richard Bull and followed the routine.
A totally life changing decision had been made. He organised to have a mate break him in before he left for Australia and then Hugh went back to finish his 19 year old’s fun trip to the States.