The Living Legends at Arrowfield: Flying Spur and Iceman
On a quiet morning, winding up the roads at Arrowfield Stud we find one of the stud’s great flag bearers, Champion Sire Flying Spur, and his paddock mate, Champion Steer Wrestling Horse, Iceman.
Flying Spur (Danehill-Rolls by Mr. Prospector) was born in 1992 and raced at two and three, winning the prestigious Golden Slipper. He was a multiple Group 1 winner, won prizemoney totalling just over $2 million and has built an enduring legacy. He was bred at Arrowfield, raced in the Stud’s colours and returned to join the stallion roster after his racing career. He retired from stud duties in 2012 with 17 full crops and is now on a “nervous 99” individual stakes winners.
Though Flying Spur is happily retired, he still holds a special place in the hearts of many at Arrowfield, including Media and Communications manager, Susan Archer. She describes him as having “rock star quality and he always turned heads when he paraded, even as an older horse. Flying Spur was – and still is – so easy to talk about.”
Long recognised as a sire of stakes-winning fillies, Flying Spur celebrated his 99th stakes winner when Traveston Girl won the $100,000 BRC Recognition Stakes at Doomben in November 2015. His best progeny honour roll includes the names of Champions Forensics, Inspiration and Mentality, and other Group 1 winners Alverta, Casino Prince, Magnus, Sacred Star and Dealer Principal – to name a few. His lifetime progeny earnings now stand at just over $132 million.
Flying Spur’s value as a broodmare sire is equally well-established and he is currently fourth on the 2016 Broodmare Sires’ list with 62 stakes winners, six of them Group 1 winners including Preferment, Speak Fondly and leading sire Sebring.
With history made both on the track and in the breeding shed, and his legacy secure, Flying Spur is enjoying a quieter pace of life, with his companion-in-retirement Iceman.
Iceman also had a distinguished career, in a quite different, but equally competitive field of equine endeavour.
Iceman is a 19 year old retired Quarter Horse gelding, who travelled throughout Australia competing in campdrafting and rodeo event for around 12 years. He was the Australian Bushman’s Campdrafting and Rodeo Association Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year in 2014 and carried his rider to win the Australian Steer Wrestling Championship in 2012, and Australian Champion All Round Cowboy in both 2013 and 2015.
Iceman was admired for his tenacity and willingness to please, and brought success to many competitors. He also appeared at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for 4 consecutive years, in the Australia verse New Zealand Rodeo and defeated the New Zealand Steer Wrestlers each time.
Both Champions are contentedly living out their days in their own private section of the farm, trading memories over the fence!
By Hannah Marks