Nestled in the Mountains on the edge of the Pennsylvania State Forest, three hours west of Sydney, is a glorious 2650 acre property that is home to Rocky Ridge Quarter Horse Stud. The property is a wonderful mix of undulating hills, picturesque valleys, naturally timbered forest and fertile river flats. It also boasts an endless supply of water, in the form of mineral rich natural springs, which never cease to run, even during New South Wales’ recent ‘worst drought on record’.
Rocky Ridge Quarter Horse Stud is owned and operated by Sergio and Leonie Rossi, along with the endearing assistance of their eight children. In this modern day of fast food outlets, ever increasing traffic jams and electronic gadgetry, Sergio and Leonie decided early on they wanted their children to have the freedom to ride horses and motorbikes, the tenacity to grow their own vegetables, collect eggs from a real chicken, milk a cow or shear a sheep.
With this in mind, the young couple set about implementing a five year plan; buy a property, work hard and move their young family from the outer western suburbs of Sydney to the quaint historical township of Neville. Sergio originally purchased 1800 acres from his Uncle and over the years has added two adjoining properties to make up the 2650 acres the couple currently own.
The affinity for the Quarter Horse breed may be perpetuated by Leonie and Sergio Rossi; however the influence of this most versatile of equine breeds was nurtured by Sergio’s father, Giovanni Rossi, when he bred Dolly, his palomino Stock Horse mare, to Colony Inspector (Q-690) back in 1974. This mating produced Lucy, a strong and sure footed cow horse to work the family property, high in the hills above Kurrajong, NSW.
So impressed with the athleticism, intelligence and versatility of this little mare, Giovanni bred her to the outstanding sire of all-round performance athlete’s, Crimson Glo (imp) in 1978. From this mating came R Bella Donna, another very handy cow horse mare, who was to become one of Rocky Ridge Quarter Horse Studs foundation mares.
The affinity for the Quarter Horse breed may be perpetuated by Leonie and Sergio Rossi; however the influence of this most versatile of equine breeds was nurtured by Sergio’s father, Giovanni Rossi, when he bred Dolly, his palomino Stock Horse mare, to Colony Inspector (Q-690) back in 1974. This mating produced Lucy, a strong and sure footed cow horse to work the family property, high in the hills above Kurrajong, NSW.
So impressed with the athleticism, intelligence and versatility of this little mare, Giovanni bred her to the outstanding sire of all-round performance athlete’s, Crimson Glo (imp) in 1978. From this mating came R Bella Donna, another very handy cow horse mare, who was to become one of Rocky Ridge Quarter Horse Stud’s foundation mares.
While still living in Sydney’s outer west, the Rossi’s would religiously travelled the six hour round trip every weekend, to establish the stud facilities and permanent living quarters at Rocky Ridge, in order to make the eventual transition as smooth as possible. It was during this time they purchased the chestnut Quarter Horse stallion, Fifteen Grand and a couple of solid foundation mares.
In 2002 the Rossi’s purchased an Oaks Lynx mare with a beautiful bay colt foal at foot by Docs Spinifex (imp), with the intention of developing him as their new stud sire after moving Fifteen Grand on. The young colt, now known as Docs Doin Time, is everything they wanted in a stallion. He has an impeccable nature with a kind and even temperament; he is heavily muscled, well proportioned, athletic and intelligent.
After making the permanent move to the new property in 2005 with their young stud sire and their small band of broodmares, they set about breeding affordable, good quality ridding and rodeo sport horses the entire family can enjoy.
Five years later and it seems all their hard work and determination is now paying off. They have an ever expanding list of new clients; they also pride themselves on the amount of return clients and friends of clients who seek them out to purchase one of the horses they have bred. The greatest compliment afforded a breeder is a return client.
On top of all of this, their trainer owns and campaigns two horses he purchased whilst breaking them in for the Rossi’s, a third he is currently starting and has already placed an order for a fourth, by Docs Doin Time out of the dam of his first purchase, to be foaled in the 2011/2012 crop. It is fair to say their breeding program is definitely working.
‘The Rocky Ridge Quarter Horse Stud horses are the best minded horses I have ever worked with. They have a generous and intelligent manner, sound and balanced movement, a ton of athletic ability and they love to partner with you. They have no dirt in them at all which makes my job very easy. On more than one occasion I have sent horses home after only a couple of weeks starting and education because they have not put a foot wrong and picked things up on the first go’. Quote: trainer Dane Howarth.
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