2009, People, Stories and Articles

Bill and Robyn Hutton

Guts, Determination and Pride

Guts, Determination and Pride are three essential qualities that Bill Hutton promotes as he and his wife Robyn conduct farrier schools for workers on cattle stations in the Northern Territory and Queensland. At nine and a half years of age, Bill began applying guts, determination and pride when he left home and went on the road. He began his working life mustering with Charlie Prow, “who was like a big brother to me … a great man; one of the smartest men I’ve ever worked with in the bush.” During those formative years, Bill learned horse shoeing skills and kept shoeing around 1000 horses a year as he worked in the Moranbah coal mines. In the early 70’s, Ray Lincoln, a sixth generation master blacksmith / farrier tutored Bill, and a life associated with horses was firmly established, which included 25 years of rodeoing.

“My life is pretty boring,” comments Robyn, and Bill responds, “She puts herself down a lot.” Bill proudly describes Robyn’s swimming career, which Robyn remembers as a wonderful part of her life. She represented Queensland in swimming, and went on to become a highly respected swimming instructor. He continues … “Mum and I met as kids, we got married real young, and had our family real young. We’ve got two good kids, our daughter is skilled in roping, and our son’s been seven times Australian Champion team roper. What Mum doesn’t realise is that she is the hub of our life, without her we’ve got nothing. ”

Robyn has earned the title of “Mum” with groups of young people (she refers to them as “my kids”) across the top end, and the pair find it easy to be mates with the kids, as this in turn helps the young ones be mates with the horses. “We want the kids to take pride in themselves, respect others, and have a good time.”
Bill and Robyn began their travelling schools twelve to fifteen years ago, and linked with AACo seven to eight years ago. The highlight of each year is the AA Colt Challenge and shoeing competition. “We’re so proud of the kids. The first year most of them know nothing, and the second year they’ve stepped up to the plate. If some stay three or four years, we go back and see the growth. Some are still a bit wild and woolly around the edges but,” Bill cheerily admits “it took me to 40 years old to settle down!”

The Huttons have recently acquired a specially designed truck and gooseneck which combines living quarters with their farriers’ equipment. “It’s enjoyable; and we love it.” Their home base is 200 acres at Comet, Queensland, where in six years they’ve built a working complex with shoeing bays, a six fire blacksmithing shop, stables and a flood lit arena where they train and ride cutting horses. They love cutting and Bill says “I thought I was a pretty good horseman ’til I started working with cutting coach, Jason Leech, and I found out I knew nothing.”

All these activities keep Bill and Robyn very busy; and they regard their life style as “play and shoe, play and shoe; a b***** good life.”

Image caption:

1) Robyn and Bill Hutton