By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Private collection
Oaks Milky Way (Clearway - Galaxie Piereville x Jalisco B) is the flagship of the Oaks Sport Horses breeding enterprise in Australia. The mare is competing at 1m70 level under the saddle of Australian Hilary Scott and the pair represented their country at last year’s World Equestrian Games in Herning, Denmark.
We look at the story behind the breeder of Oaks Milky Way when Hilary Scott took her time to answer a few questions.
Oaks Sport Horses
Alice Cameron started breeding in Australia 20 years ago after importing four mares from Europe. Two were in foal. It was the starting point of a very interesting journey. These first mares were:
• Altes van Beekveld (2000/BWP Darco - Raltes x Voltaire, breeder: Rik Spaas)
• Vedette S (1998/BWP Cassini I - Roulette x Brown Boy, Stamm 3801, breeder: Schrickx BVBA)
• Galaxie Piereville (1994/SF Jalisco B - Sentinelle x Grand Veneur, breeder: Georges Brohier)
• Miss Platiere (2000/SF Verdi - Fetiche Platiere x Papillon Rouge, breeder: SCEA Leforestier)
Hilary Scott is the daughter of Alice Cameron and has been based in the Netherlands for the past nine years. She is now competing at the highest level with the home-bred mare Oaks Milky Way.
Q Why did your mother start with breeding?
Growing up she always loved and had passion for horses. My mother rode non-competitive dressage and we had pony club ponies, but she was always interested in animal husbandry.
My mother was a farmer; she grew cotton, wheat, and raised cattle, plus she used to be an English and history teacher. When she sold her cotton farm she decided that she wanted to do something with horses and maybe breed. At that stage I had started to focus more on showjumping. Had it been a different discipline maybe my mother would have start breeding different horses. But because I was more into showjumping and we shared the same passion she started to breed jumping horses.
My mother is somebody who likes to do things properly, with a lot of integrity, and to do it the right way. She also wanted Australian riders to have access to the same quality of horses as the rest of the world. It has absolutely provided Australia with good quality horses. Also thanks to Chris and Helen Chugg, who imported Vivant (Feugo de Prelet x Landino) and Conquistador (Clinton x Heartbreaker) to Australia. That was the beginning of a lot of change for the way breeding was going in Australia. We basically were breeding with Thoroughbreds, which were also fantastic horses. But the Thoroughbred horse has changed into producing more sprinters, shorter-distance horses, and becoming smaller, not the types that would make the really good jumpers. So my mother really wanted to try to give Australia the opportunity to have those Warmbloods that were winning jumping competitions.
With the help of Chris and Helen Chugg and their partner, Mike Berera, my mother purchased her first Warmblood mares. Chris and Helen were on a trip at the time with Mike, who was very interested in breeding, and was the co-owner of Vivant and Conquistador. Between Mike, a Thoroughbred breeder, and Helen and Chris there was a lot of breeding experience. My mother surrounded herself with these knowledgeable people. She also did a lot of reading on the history of Warmbloods in Europe, delving right into it. She told them them that she wanted to have three mares for breeding: It was more affordable to buy broodmares. They came back with our four foundation mares. I remember Helen saying that the moment she saw Miss Platiere she knew she wanted to have her, because she was just stunning. She became a very good mare for us, winning a World Cup qualifier herself, producing the WEG competitor Oaks Redwood, and has several youngsters coming up now.
Q When did your mother start with breeding?
It was around the time Vivant and Conquistador were imported into Australia. That was around 2003. Our first properly bred foal crop was in 2005, although she’d had one or two foals in 2004. The first horse she bred went to jump World Cup in Australia with David Dobson. It is pretty impressive how many horses mum has bred that went to World Cup qualifiers and championships. It is a high statistic for what you would call a small breeder. We now have quite a few Oaks horses in Australia that are looking very exciting for the future.
Alice was also recognised for Service to Sport, an award from Equestrian Australia, just recently. There are around 200 Oaks-bred horses registered with Equestrian Australia. I think we’ve bred 42 that are registered with the FEI which is a high percentage that made it through to FEI level... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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