KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER – Australian Stock Horse Journal MARCH/APRIL 2014
Article and photos by Northern Horse Images
This 12 year old gelding continues to amaze his owners, Kellie and Tony Handford from Kelton Farm Australian Stock Horses. The gelding has a string of championships to his name, which he’s managed to achieve with every member of the Handford household, competing at both local agricultural shows as well as national Australian Stock Horse competitions.
KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER comes from a line of good breeding stock. His sire is the now deceased NONDA SWAG (DOCS FRECKLES OAK – IS/NONDA SWEET DREAMS), a full brother to the famous campdrafter and 2000 Warwick Gold Cup winner, NONDA LETS TALK LATER. He was purchased as a nine month old colt in 2002 still on his dam ASHVALE ROSEWOOD LASS (OPHIR ACTION – HSH/ CEDAR PARK BROLGA). He was purchased from Alan and Vicki Cameron of from Coominya in Queensland and moved to the Hanford’s “Kelton Farm”. The property was established in 2000 and is located halfway between Casino and Kyogle on the far north coast of New South Wales.
“Cam”, as he is affectionately known at home, arrived as a small adorable brown colt with a love heart on his head and two white hind fetlocks. Within three months of arriving he became known as KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER, as he took a liking to every other horse and as a result of jumping fences he cut his nearside front fetlock through the coronet band, which continued to reopen a further five times on the same hoof and twice on his offside fore. ‘It was a big job continuously dressing wounds and at one stage he even wore a plaster cast. The final time he reopened his wound, I recall dressing his hoof, taking his headstall off and rapping the lead over his rump, saying heal yourself this time!’ exclaimed Kellie Handford.
Little did the Hanfords know at the time that within the next 12 months their horse would go onto to win a Queensland State Australian Stock Horse Working title for 4yrs and Under with Tony in the saddle. Over the next few years both Tony and Kellie showed KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER in everything from Branch shows to campdrafts and dressage days. The gelding never missed an agricultural show on the local circuit and quickly won his way into the open galloway hacks and dressage tests. He scored particularly well in camp drafting and almost always managed a win or a Champion Working ribbon at the local shows. KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER has become the “go-to” horse for the whole family, competing in all sorts of events.
￼Kellie explains, ‘As our children Sam (now 15), Brooklyn (now 12) and Matilda (now 7) grew, we knew all along that horses were not only a good pastime for us but also the best recreational pastime for the children. So, just as my mother Gale Munce taught my three brothers and I how to ride and look after our horses, I began teaching our own kids how to ride and look after horses as well.’
Kellie and Tony’s son Sam began competing on KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER at pony club and local shows in 2008, and in September 2011 Sam and the gelding took out the Supreme Working Australian Stock Horse at Kyogle Show.
Tony won the Jim Brown Memorial Challenge on KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER in April 2011, and in 2012 Sam won the Under 17yrs Champion Working State Title at Pittsworth in Queensland. Later in 2012 Sam handed over the reins to his younger sister Brooklyn to let KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER teach her a few new moves. Being “Mr Reliable”, he came to her with the removal of spurs and a change of saddle.
‘KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER is a truly unique horse with the temperament and ability to consistently perform…’
Brooklyn and KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER hacked about at pony club and practiced at home working each other out, with a goal in mind to win at the New South Wales State Youth Show in Grafton in September 2013. The talented couple received their first major win of the Overall High Point for Under 13yrs and took home three state titles: Champion Junior Handler, Champion Junior Rider and Champion Junior Working. With another young horse TARLINGTON TOPDECK waiting in the wings, Brooklyn handed over the reins to her younger sister Matilda, who took KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER to a few Pony Club outings and to West Moreton Branch Show in September 2013. The gelding continued the tradition of showing yet another family member the ropes by winning the Utility section for the Under 8yrs, taking second place in the Rider section and placing third in the Working section. As a team they claimed the Overall High Point winner for the Under 8yrs.
‘KELTON FARM SWAG JUMPER is a truly unique horse with the temperament and ability to consistently perform, with a soft athleticism and quick turning hooves and a brain that is always thinking ahead,’ reflects Kellie. ‘It has been a great journey so far with this horse. Nothing that we do can be claimed as an individual effort, horses or riders. It is a team effort and a long process.’
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Story by Sally Carrington – Northern Horse Images 2015
With the Pacific Highway bypass due for completion in 2016 tourism could well take a nosedive in small towns like Urunga on the far North Coast of NSW and for one small business, The Honey Place it means looking at all options.
Owner, born and bred local Jeff Daly, is so passionate about his bees and honey, that he’s had the quirky yellow façade of the building constructed to resemble an old fashioned SKEP (a straw beehive).
He points to a framed photograph displayed next to the register. “My Dad, he was a hobbyist beekeeper who started selling honey here from a roadside store in the 1960’s.” Jeff’s father has been his biggest inspiration, prompting the acquisition to purchase more land to build the family business.
Since it’s inception in 1982, The Honey Place has steadily grown. In the shop, there is a wide variety of local organic honey, beauty products, candles, toys and other tourism goods for sale. Lunch from the café can be enjoyed sitting on the sunny veranda of the old house behind the shop and short tour of the property reveals a well-stocked nursery, a museum full of paraphernalia and a viewing window that allows a fascinating insight into the bees breeding colony.
The business has experimented with infused honey for a few years and novelty tastes like chilly; lime, ginger, mint, rosemary, and coffee are popular with the locals and passing tourists. “Putting the chilly product with the sweet fire taste on the shelf was interesting. Some people went uh nah can’t handle that, and others asked for hotter.” Jeff laughs. His son in-law, Sandy comments. “Mint is great on lamb chops and honey ginger can be used for stir fries or tea. Anyone can taste to their heart’s content. If we’ve got the time we’re happy to sit and chat about bees and honey. It’s a great way to get educated on our little honey bees.”
The collection of pollen and nectar from gumtrees in Nambucca, Macksville and Urunga greatly influence the colour, taste and appearance of the honey. To source different flora, Jeff moves hives to other properties in Coffs Harbour, Coramba and Glenreagh where inspections are conducted fortnightly. “If the hives need to be robbed (harvested) it’s done there and then.” Says Jeff. There’s no maturation for honey so it can be harvested today, extracted, filtered and packed and on the shelf the following day. “In a real good season when Mother Nature has been kind to us we can produce as much as 20 tonnes of honey yearly.”
Currently the business is only trading to locals and passing tourists. The bypass is due for completion next year and it could mean a severe drop in local and tourist trade. With that in mind, Jeff and his family are making plans for further expansion and will sell honey to gourmet and wholesale markets further afield in NSW. “You either go bigger or get out.”