2011, People, Stories and Articles

Shane Easey

Winner of the Triple Crown
Warranella, Willow Tree, NSW

“I have had one of your saddles now for eight months. In that time I have broken in forty horses, the majority being thoroughbreds. The saddle has been on them all. It is by far the best saddle I have ever used on breakers. The cable rigging helps the saddle Sit all shapes and sizes and it never shifts. There is no need for a back girth or crupper.

In that time I have also managed to place third at two Stockmans Challenges, The Man From Snowy River Challenge at Corryong and King of The Ranges in Murrurundi, riding both buckjumpers in your saddle. It is a comfortable saddle, that has a tremendous amount of grip, which gives you the confidence an aging horse breaker needs.

Lyle and Helen went out of their way to make sure I received the saddle that best suited my needs; its spot on. They can definitely make a saddle that fits horse and rider. My partner, Louise plans to buy a Kent Saddle for herself also. There isn’t a better value for money saddle on the market.”

Helen and Lyle first met Shane in November 2009 when he was competing in and subsequently won the Dalgety Open Section of the Man from Snowy River Challenge.

The Man from Snowy River Challenge is an accumulative competition, so with the win from Dalgety, and other placings of third in the Corryong challenge, and third in the King of the Ranges at Murrurundi*, Shane was awarded the triple crown winner for the 2009/10 season.

Each of the three competitions have six identical preliminary events involving set disciplines.

In which the horse, rider and dog must cut out and settle 3 head of cattle, and in a controlled manner take them through an assorted obstacle course in a set time.

Within a fifteen minute time limit, and using their competition riding horse, competitors must evenly pack and balance the bags, and lead the pack horse through a set obstacle course, and then finish by unpacking and unsaddling the pack horse.

At a canter and using either hand, competitors attempt to cut nine targets on a set course, in a set time. Competitors then perform a self chosen freestyle routine.

Riding bareback, competitors complete a set course in a set time, demonstrating maximum skill, control, and manoeuvrability of their horse. This is followed by a compulsory 20 seconds freestyle performance.

Competitors must competently and neatly shoe one hind foot and one fore foot within 30 minutes.

Riding with the same stock saddle used throughout the competition, and in a set time, riders complete a two kilometre course containing twenty obstacles. A vet check is conducted at the end of the course.

The top ten open competitors then go on to compete in two additional events in the open final.

Using the same stock saddle and gear, finalists attempt to retain their seats on a bucking horse for 8 seconds, whilst also cracking a stock whip.

In an arena, and within 4 minutes, finalists attempt to rope and catch a previously unhandled horse.

During the final challenge of catching a wild brumby, the horse kicked Shane’s hand. (Subsequent x–rays showed that it was broken.) In spite of the injury, Shane made a conscious and determined decision to continue. He caught the brumby, and was declared the winner of the Dalgety leg of the competition.

Shane is a quiet, unassuming person, and his success and achievements in competition extend to a chosen vocation of Thoroughbred breaking in and pre-training at Willow Tree, NSW. He is ably supported and assisted by his partner Louise Turner, and together they have established a thriving business.

*King of the Ranges
King of the Ranges offers stockmen and women the opportunity to compete against each other over three days in a variety of traditional events.

The inspiration for the challenge was Archie “Bung” McInnes. He was known throughout the Hunter Valley and Northwest region as “the King of the Range” for his ability to track and catch wild brumbies and cattle in the ranges around Glenrock Station east of Scone. At the outbreak of WW1, Arch joined the First Battalion Light Horse, was seriously wounded in the battle of Beersheba and decorated with the Military Medal. He returned after the war and continued his life as a champion buckjumper and stockman. Arch was a true bush legend and his spirit lives on with this iconic Australian event.

King of the Ranges, run on the first weekend in May each year, is a true bush festival, with something for everyone. From bush poetry, music, markets, goat races for the kids to the Stockmans Challenge. The Challenge is open for 14–17 year old juniors, ladies and open competitors.

King of the Ranges President – Shane Easey

Image caption:

1) Shane catching a Brumby