Martin Myors is a genuine horseman with a need for the real deal when it comes to the horses he uses for his everyday work program. Managing a joint holding of some 600,000 acres mid-way between Bourke and Tibooburra in Far Western NSW and being 200 kms from anywhere means there is no time or energy for anything that isn’t A grade. EBs Ironbark was always going to be that A grade horse who is totally versatile and suited to whatever work schedule is thrown his way.
Martin developed an interest in the Cutting Futurities through his friend Ken Irvine in the late 80’s. Starting out with sporting and gymkhana horses next came campdrafting. Martin & Rose-Ann’s first stallion (in partnership with Ken Irvine) was Oaks Navigator (Docs Freckles Oak X Teak O Lena).
By the end of 2012 Martin & Rose-Ann decided to purchase another stallion. Oaks Navigator was ‘getting on’ a bit and they decided to look for another stallion with a view to putting him over their Oaks Navigator mares. This was going to be a bit of a challenge, as not only would he have to be good, he would have to be good enough to make the Futurity Final.
With the help of Grant Quigley the Myors’ found a young 2 yo colt by Acres Destiny and from a wonderful mare line in Mia CDee, the 2008 NCHA Futurity Champion. He was bred by Extra Fineline Quarter Horses and owned by Robbie Hodgman and Stacey McGregor and was the style of horse Martin had been looking for to go campdrafting. He was physically correct, athletic and carried the striking black colour of the Acres Destiny progeny.
After purchase he was sent to Grant Quigley, green broken, for his Futurity cutting preparation with strict instructions, he had to be good enough to final. If he wasn’t, he was to be sent back to Wanaaring to be a work horse. However, an exciting two years of competition followed for Martin, Rose-Ann and the Quigleys as Ironbark continued to final and place. Not only was he the Cotton Country Futurity Champion, he finalled in 4 of the 5 Futurities, and again throughout his Derby year he finalled in 3 of the 5, finishing as the Reserve Champion in the Derby at Toowoomba.
EBs Ironbark was a tremendous horse to train and Grant spoke highly of him from the beginning. “The first time I worked Tiger on a cow I was impressed. He had a lot of rate, feel, smooth move and soft in the face. I liked him from day one” said Grant. These traits have made Ironbark the horse he continues to be today as he developed into an all-round cattle horse.
However two years were all Ironbark enjoyed as a cutting horse. Martin was keen to have him home, get him to work and start his campdraft career. The Myors have an extremely limited annual campdraft program due to travel distances, isolation and work commitments but they do try to get to four or five drafts a year at venues including Bollon, Charleville, Windorah, Adavale and Noccundra. Martin and Ironbark started drafting in 2016 but droughts, floods and cancelled events meant they managed minimal outings for the next two seasons, with minor placings at Windorah, and Noccundra.
They eventually did get to Charleville in 2019 which is where the real Ironbark had his first chance to impress. Winning the Novice with a 90 and 89 showed everyone what this impressive stallion was capable of. The following weekend he was second in the Open at Bedourie and finalled in the Novice.
The rest will be history as this stallion continues to impress with his natural athletic ability, cattle sense and the toughness that is required in his natural working environment. Mainstream campdrafters will only get rare opportunities to see him in action as he will remain at Wanaaring but we do hope he makes the trip to the bigger events so everyone will be able to see him in the flesh.
He won’t be standing at an Equine Centre due to geographical restraints but Martin will ensure that there is always frozen semen available.