Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cowboy Magic: Guy McLean

By Kitson

Photo courtesy of Guy McLean
This weekend show-stopping Australian rider Guy McLean heads to Murfreesboro, TN where he’ll compete with other top horsemen and women at the Road to the Horse 2012 International, a wild colt-starting competition. I’d love to be in Tennessee to see this. After seeing Guy at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and then last October at the Washington International, it’s confirmed: Guy and his Aussie stock horses put on a great show!

The Road to the Horse competition starts with a remuda, or a stampede of horses. From that group, competitors select their unbroken colts and the real competition begins. (photo courtesy of Road to the Horse)

He’s also a really nice guy. I chatted with him recently while working on a story that will appear in a future issue of Young Rider magazine. Here are a few things about Guy I learned, that you are probably dying to know:

  • He’s Australian, 37 years old and has won every major equestrian competition that would allow him to enter, at least once.
  • Almost always, Guy performs with a team of horses in the arena “at liberty,” meaning working with no trace of tack.
  • He got into exhibition riding because he figured out it was the only way he could be paid to ride and keep his own horses. “The horses I have with me, I’ll have forever,” he told me.
  • At nine years old, the golden dun gelding Quietway Hope is the oldest son of Guy’s famous stallion, Nugget. Hope has been traveling Australia with Guy since he the colt was two.
  • Guy has two teams of horses: the very experienced team that lives in Texas that he tours with in the U.S. (they’ve performed about 1,000 times together) and a team of five horses in Australia. When they’re not performing, his horses get “as much rest as possible.”
  • His U.S.-based horses lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas when they’re not touring.
  • He’s been in the U.S. since January and plans to head back to Australia in May for a string of performances.
  • Guy is an award-winning bush poetry champion.
Now, let’s review the Guy McLean vocab words that we’ve learned here today:
Remuda - A stampede of horses 
At liberty - Loose horse!
Bush poet - Aussie poet during colonial times who wrote about life down under. 

Good luck this weekend, Guy!

1 comment:

  1. Really, ever since The Man from Snowy River, "Australian" and "horseman" just work together so perfectly. . .