Best coaching stallion medal
Won by Vermont Junior in 1883
Vermont Junior was judged best coaching stallion at the 1883 Hawkesbury and District Agricultural Society Show. This 'bright bay stallion with black points' was imported to Australia with eight other trotting horses from California in 1881. He was purchased by William Harris, and joined a number of other American horses at Harris's studs Killarney, near Mulgrave, and Mayfield at Moss Vale, New South Wales.
The Town and Country Journal noted Vermont Junior was a 'sure foal-getter' who as a sire combined the 'physique, pace and docility' required of trotting horses. A 'marked peculiarity' of the stallion was the 'wonderful uniformity with which he transmits his own remarkable qualities to his progeny'. At his death in 1887, Vermont Junior was valued at £1250.
Agricultural show competitions
Agricultural show societies in Australia encouraged competition between horse breeders, with a view to measuring and improving the quality of local stock, from the mid-19th century. Some classes focused on recognised breeds, others on the development of horses bred for purpose, such as 'best carriage pair', 'ladies hack' or 'heavy horse'. Ribbons, medals and certificates were presented as prizes, often adorned with images of horses at work or on show.
Horses in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.