It’s been a huge year for Glen Innes reiner David Nixon and his superstar mare A Smooth Kitty.
The duo have managed an Australian title, a NSW state trophy, two Queensland titles, a Pacific Coast win, saddles, buckles and many more coveted trophies in the last year.
Nixon bred, broke in, trained and rode the young mare for her futurity season.
“It is a family concern as far as the delight goes with breeding your own horse and then have success with them,” he said.
Nixon said he saw the potential in the horse he calls ‘Pheobe’ when he began taking her through the training process.
“You really never know until you start to show because you can have such a talented horse but if it can't handle the show conditions, you might not do as well as you expect,” he said.
“But she had the talent as a young two-year-old, I could tell she had the talent to keep on going as a reining futurity prospect.”
Pheobe handled the competitive environment continued to win.
Such was the rise of the mare, she even built up a fan base with spectators in the sport.
“My family came down to watch the NSW state show and the nationals and one of my family members said ‘gee, you must have a lot of friends,’” Nixon said.
“I said ‘why is that?’
“She said ‘you were the main person they were cheering.’
“I said 'it wouldn't be me, it would have been the horse.’”
Nixon has been competing in the sport for 15 years after spending a lifetime around horses.
He breeds, trains, competes and sells his horses with a large number continuing their careers in the arena.
“I have been fortunate enough that people buy them and they compete favourably on them and they are still showing them,” he said.
“That is quite rewarding as well to see that they go to good homes.
“My wife makes sure we sell them to good homes, we don't know where they are going to go from there but we are quite selective when we sell our futurity horses.
“They are part of your family.”
But they won’t be parting with the superstar of the stable.
“With Pheobe, we can't sell her,” Nixon said.
“I have to sell another one, a younger one that was going to be my futurity horse for next year.
“Because she is such a talented filly, we didn't want to sell her. We regret selling our horses anyway, if I had the money I would buy them all back but horses are quite expensive to compete.”
A Smooth Kitty is currently leading the Australian Quarter Horse Association’s Non Pro Reining Horse of the year.
David’s and A Smooth Kitty’s titles:
Pacific Coast Reining Spectacular Championship-Won a trophy buckle with a first place in the Non Pro Futurity, and another buckle with a win in the Intermediate Open Futurity. They also placed third in Open Futurity.
NSW State Reining Championship- Won the Intermediate Open Futurity and finished reserve champion in the Open Futurity.
Queensland State Reining Championship-Won the Non Pro Futurity where they received a western saddle, the Joyce Olsen Memorial Trophy and a Trophy Buckle. They also won another buckle in the Intermediate Open Futurity and was reserve champion in the Open Futurity.
Reining Australia National Championship Show – Won the coveted bronzed Lawson Trophy statue and a trophy buckle with a first in the Intermediate Open Gold Buckle Futurity and placed third in Open Futurity.