Rannock: and the story of Chilani
Peter & Jeanette Gower from Chilani Stud at Echunga in the Adelaide hills briefly visited ‘Tinagroo’ Scone in 1972 following a trip to the All Breeds Horseman’s Congress at Gatton College. Mine host at ‘Tinagroo’ was Bob Mackay who bred the might Panzer. Bob’s philosophies were simple: “Stick to the Thoroughbred. Nothing in the world can match it for versatility. Breeding for sheer speed produces the conformation required for athletic ability. Athletic ability is the underlying requirement of the Australian Stockhorse.”
Mackay horses were proven ay polo as this tested everything; speed, stamina, soundness, athletic ability and that vital ingredient temperament. Good polo bloodlines could be converted to almost any other sport, but few non polo bloodlines would successfully be able to change their rules to polo. Bob Mackay was the owner/breeder of the mighty PANZER, the sire of Rannock.
The Gowers operated their Chilani Stud at Echuca in the Adelaide Hills without a stallion until the opportunity arose to purchase RANNOCK in September 1975 from Alan McGregor’s Roskill property near Mt Pleasant SA. Backed by three generations of A grade polo ponies in his pedigree, he was inbred to PANZER with both his sire DUNDEE and dam MERSA being by the famous horse. The inbreeding was their insurance for pre-potency. Some of the conformation features exceptional in RANNOCK were his throat room, well defined wither, elbow room, powerful loins and hocks, square stance, tough legs and all the balance required of a good saddle horse.
RANNOCK was exactly 15.1 ½” but rode like a 16 hand horse, with great length of stride. In fact RANNOCK had exactly the same length of rein as the famous racehorse SECRETARIAT, acclaimed for his length of rein and measuring a hand higher.
RANNOCK’s best feature was his temperament. He could be ridden anywhere and in any company, usually being taken from his paddock of mares to the show-ring, or he could be ridden bareback among his mares. RANNOCK had outstanding progeny in SA but sadly died at age 16 years following injuries caused by a kick from a mare.