Rob and Jacqui Jones are city folk through and through, with Rob being a plumber and Jacqui a teacher in North West of Sydney. Growing up and raising a family in the suburbs doesn’t leave much room for other interests. So, owning cutting horses was probably something that they never expected to be a priority.
Growing up as a city child, Rob always had mates that hailed from rural areas and from these friendships he developed a genuine interest in the country lifestyle and atmosphere. He enjoyed getting out in the bush and experiencing the rural lifestyle.
He was introduced to the sport of cutting several years ago and fell in love with not only the horses, but the people within the industry. Rob spent two or three years hanging around the Futurities, watching, learning, and enjoying the excitement that cutting had to offer. The desire to be involved began to stir and the first reaction was that if he and Jacqui were going to be involved it had to be done right. There was obviously too much money involved to not have definite aims and goals. Without truly understanding the costs involved, Rob set about forming a plan to breed a potential cutting champion and a horse that one day he could potentially compete on.
It was recommended that he start with an Embryo Transfer program using eggs from a chosen mare to breed with, that mare was One Moore Annie, a beautifully bred mare by One Moore Playboy and from an Acres Destiny mare. Rob then had to decide on a sire. At the time, Dual Rey was the “best”, but Rob got his first shock when he learnt the price of the Service Fee. So he reorganised his thoughts and decided he was better off to spend the same money on two foals by younger sires, finally deciding on Metallic Cat and Highbrow CD.
They were very excited when the program was totally successful and they received two live healthy colts. Being new to the breeding game they had no preference for fillies or colts, they were just pleased to have them alive and healthy. Both colts were agisted on open paddocks until it was time to send them to be broken in. Rob had met Steve Smith, a breaker from Goondiwindi, to take on the task of forwarding these young colts into the next stage of their development. Steve was impressed with Moore Metal (Joey) and indicated that he would justify the faith that Rob had in him.
The biggest decision then had to be made. To find a trainer that would fit Rob’s plan to give both horses the best opportunity. With the number of outstanding trainers on offer the decision was a very difficult one. Trent Smith was recommended as a really good young trainer who had recently returned from the States with an A Grade reputation. He was looking for horses to kick start his career, and after discussions Moore Metal was to head his direction. Rob and Trent were careful in planning his training to ensure they got the best out of the horse as well as monitoring him to ensure his health and attitude were always protected.
Trent had always liked the style of horse, as he had ridden Metallic Cat horses while overseas. Leading up to Tamworth, Trent had Moore Metal firing throughout his training and came to the 2016 Futurity in peak condition. Little did Rob and Jacqui know that the long journey of watching their horse grow from a young foal to a fully trained colt would end with Moore Metal becoming the 2016 NCHA Open Futurity Champion.
Moore Metal stood his first season in 2016 with Stuart Kellar at the Tamworth Equine Centre and had a very busy book for a first-year sire with quality mares from both the Cutting and Campdraft industries.
Rob and Jacqui felt it only fitting to stand their horse at Tamworth as Stuart and the team had become very much part of the horses’ lives from birth. Rob felt the same as having a family doctor that you trust with looking after your own children.
The Moore Metal story is the ultimate Cutting story in that Rob and Jacqui were able to win the Futurity with one of the first horses they bred, however Rob admits there was a lot more to it than getting the luck of a good draw, the right cows and your horse firing at the right time.
Living in the city and not owning a rural property means that everything comes at a cost. Semen and Egg fees, Veterinary costs, Embryo Transfer Fees, agistment, breaking, training, transportation, rugs, farriers, feed etc. It makes it a very expensive exercise when you decide that every step has to be top quality. It’s a journey that needs total commitment, but a journey that can be well rewarded if it is done right.
What Rob feels he has learnt in this industry is to have patience and not to push your horses too hard. Some horses mature early and some much later but in the end if you allow them to be themselves it`s amazing what they can show you when you least expect it.