Brown Stallion — 14.3 HH — Foaled 1956 — ASHS 85
“There was courage in his quick impatient tread and he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye and in the proud and lofty carriage of his head.”
For those who knew Beranghi this verse is testimony to the type of horse he was. This renowned brown stallion died at Haydon Horse Stud on the 26th August 1984 aged 28 years. Over the years he proved a truly versatile Australian Stock Horse sire, with his stock reaching the top in many equestrian fields. He was a great horse to ride, very alert, a fast walker and extremely athletic.
Beranghi was bred by Mr Gus Frizel near Armidale in 1956 and was then purchased by Mr Oliver Varley of Guyra, who broke him in and worked him. A very well bred horse, he was by the Medalist sire, Gaelic Chief out of Elsie by Radon. He carried the best of Cecil and Saladin blood with the distinctive dorsal stripe running down his back.
For years he was ridden to work each day by Oliver Varley, who also showed him. He classed Beranghi as one of his best mates, ‘the sort you sometimes read about but very seldom see’. The personality and presence of Beranghi although hard to emulate has been passed on to his stock and as many horsemen confess, once you’ve ridden one you can’t get enough of them.
In his early days as a sire he produced many top horses in the New England area. In campdrafting Keith Smith’s ‘Millie’, ‘Ace’ and ‘Adios’ were examples of campdraft winners. Other top horses include innumerable top pony club mounts. For example, ‘Goldie’ ridden by Peter Choice won the Junior bending, flag and barrel races, the Open bending, flag and barrel races and then the Juvenile Campdraft all on one day at a Guyra Rodeo. In an endurance ride sponsored by the Armidale Pony Club over 75 miles on one occasion, six of the first seven to finish were all mounted on horses by Beranghi. Another successful horse was ‘Oliver’ ridden by Alan Robson to win numerous hack, dressage and showjumping events, including Horse of the Show at an Armidale Show. Another was ‘Letter’ out of the successful Beranghi mare ‘Chatter’ bred by David Wirth.
In his later life he moved to Haydon Horse Stud where he was joined to more thoroughbred type mares. Again Beranghi showed his amazing versatility as a sire. At the Upper Hunter Stock Horse Show, Scone he has been unbeaten in the Sire Progeny Class in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984. He was also Most Successful Sire in 1980 and 1983. His daughter ‘Beranghi Lass’ won Champion Led mare, in 1981 and 1983 and Supreme Led Exhibit in 1983. Other successful daughters include ‘Gaelic Lass’ who won the Champion 3 yr old filly in 1983 and ‘Star Night’ who won the Champion 2 yr old Futurity in 1984.
In the Murrurundi Pony Club in 1981 there were only two Beranghi horses competing. ‘Cumulus’ ridden by Jill Murphy was top point scorer
with ‘Radial’ ridden by Cathy Hunt runner-up. Both horses had been ribbon winners in many different events, including numerous Championships. At one pony Club day at Nundle ‘Cumulus’ achieved the remarkable feat of being one point short of a possible perfect score. Out of the 14 events, she won 13 and was second in the remaining event.
Two Beranghi horses ridden by Jamie Inglis were winners of open campdrafts with ‘Kerina’ running second by one point at Melbourne Royal Show in 1983 and then competing in the Campdraft at the Sydney RAS. ‘Boss Cocky’ has won many campdrafts and working classes.
This amazing versatility of Beranghi has been further highlighted playing polo and polocrosse. ‘Necklace’ proved to be a top polocrosse mare, started by David Wirth and then ridden by Les Fraser of Warwick winning Champion at the National Titles. ‘Quartz’ won the Queensland State Titles polocrosse award, as did her daughter by Drawn, ‘Festina’. The Best Female Horse at the 2007 World Cup ‘Flag’ was out of the Beranghi mare ‘Fancy’. ‘Light Jewel’ won polocrosse awards as did many others by Beranghi.
In polo, their pace and handling ability resulted in many top ponies. ‘Dark
Jewel’, ‘Beranghi Lass’ and ‘Dark Night’ were in the Champion Team of Ponies at the Queensland Gold Cup in 1983 ridden by Peter Haydon. Dark Jewel won eight polo awards. Other prizes were winning the Team of Ponies at Wirragulla and at the Hector King carnivals, Reserve Champion Pony at Tamworth, North Star, Wellington, Scone and Wirragulla and Runner-up Team of Ponies at North Star, Gunnedah, Hector King and Wirragulla Carnivals. ‘Star Night’ won the 1987 Sledmere Cup at Scone.
The progeny of ‘Austock Beranghi’ have undoubtedly displayed the truly versatile traits sort after in the Australian Stock Horse. They have performed to the top at polo, as show hacks, in campdrafting, polocrosse, dressage, jumping, endurance rides, pony club, led classes, as well as being good bush horses. 133 of his progeny were registered in the stud book.
His presence will be missed but the potency of his blood will ensure that his name lives on for a long, long time.
Click here for pedigree (pdf)