Acknowledge: Australian Stock Horse Society 40th Anniversary Compendium
Featured Image: The only known photo of Cecil taken in 1903
Cecil was born at ‘Glenayr’, in Glenrock, New South Wales in 1899. Bred by W H “Black Bill” Simpson, Cecil was by Red Gauntlet, who was by Marmion, and out of a Thornthwaite mare.
Marmion was by Dragoman, an Arabian stallion then doing stud duty at St Aubins, Scone. Cecil’s dam was Meretha II, who was by Glenrock and out on Meretha. Glenrock Station is in the Hunter Valley, on the western side of the Greta Dividing Range.
Cecil was purchased by W H Simpson’s brother, A T ‘Long Arch’ Simpson, who wanted to keep the colt as a sire. He paid nine pounds, plus his half share in another stallion called Alpha, for the young chestnut horse.
‘Long Arch’ Simpson was a renowned mountain horseman, who knew the rough country in the Barrington Tops in the south and Nundle in the north like the back of his hand. This country is the watershed for the Manning River, which flows to the east, and the Hunter River which flows to the west. This mountainous terrain was the country in which Cecil worked and lived.
It wasn’t long before Cecil was to prove he was one of the greatest horses in the Upper Hunter, an area already renowned for producing great stockhorses. When ‘Long Arch’ began to compete on him at Bushman’s Carnivals, Cecil proved almost unbeatable in campdrafts and novelty events.
When the 1913 Geary’s Flat Rodeo (near Moonan Flat, east of Scone, New South Wales) attracted the best horsemen and horses of the day, ‘Long Arch’ was asked to leave Cecil at home, as he was considered unbeatable.
Cecil was a legend in his own lifetime; a legend which continues to this day. He is the rock on which the Australian Stock Horse Society is built, with eight of the ten most influential sires in the Australian Stock Horse stud Book tracing back to this horse.