Toomba Stock Horses is an Australian Stock Horse Stud located 100km north west of Charters Towers on Toomba Station. Toomba was originally a part of Bluff Downs, which was purchased by the White family in 1872. In 1904 E.E.D White acquired Toomba and it became an out station of Bluff Downs. This well renowned historic northern cattle station from 1967 was run by Ernest Bassingthwaighte who took over management of Toomba.
Ernest recalled that North Queensland in the early days was lucky enough to have some exceptional stallions standing at stud near Ingham. One of these stallions was Hall Mark, who was a champion of his era. Winning 16 principle races including the Melbourne Cup and winning 28,600 pounds in stakes. It was Hall Mark who was the grandfather of the great Stallion Toomba Snip. The Melbourne Cup also features in the dam side of Toomba Snip. Her grandsire was the great stayer, Spear Felt who won the Melbourne Cup in 1926.
Ernest and Robin Bassingthwaighte were passionate about producing exceptional horses with great bloodlines. It is no wonder that in 1973 they started the Stock Horse Stud at Toomba.
It was breeding from these exceptional horses and their ability to adapt to bush work that the foundation of the stud was built.
Another significant stallion that has had a major influence over the Stud was Stanton Stud Black Breeze. Black Breeze has proven himself in the campdraft arena, being an open horse himself and having won many campdrafts. It’s through Breeze’s progeny, which has been the biggest beneficiary to the stud. His progeny have proven themselves to be athletic, versatile and have good stock sense. Their ability to handle the harsh conditions of North Queensland make them the ideal horse in the campdraft arena or in the mustering camp.
Ernest Bassingthwaighte and a few other local horse enthusiasts started the first ever invitational ‘Toomba Horse Sale’ in 1990. In 2021, the Toomba Horse Sale grossed $1.113 million. After Thirty-two years, the sale was re-named to the Nutrien Northern Performance Horse Sale and is still run in Charters Towers in the last week of May.
The Heading family purchased Toomba in June 2012 and continued on with the stud selling horses through the Toomba Horse Sale as well as private sales. They knew they needed a great sire to uphold the Z6Z calibre so they purchased Branchvale Icon as a 2 year old in 2014 Landmark Classic Horse Sale in Tamworth. Icon introduced some fresh bloodlines into the 140+ years of quality Stock Horse Breeding.
Jason & Helen Heading now own and run the Toomba Stock Horse stud. Jason has handled all they young horses since 2012. He stated “It was very evident when Icon’s progeny started coming through just how much of a positive impact it had. Foals out of Black Breeze mares were exceptionally quiet, smart and good around their feet. It was at this moment when we realised Icon didn’t just have great breeding but was shaping up to be an excellent Sire.”
Branchvale Icon has proven himself in the campdraft arena and is a great horse in his own right. His wonderful nature as a sire and his ability to pass his great attributes onto his progeny has enhanced the quality of the Toomba Stock Horse Stud.