2001 is where our story begins; we were living in suburbia with a dream to one day own a shire horse. 7 years and an amazing journey later our dream was realised when Deacons Gate Shires began in June 2008. The early years were spent researching, reading, attending shows trying to decide which breed was best for us. The heavy breeds always took our interest because of their power, temperament, size and rarity. Attending the Gatton Heavy Horse Field Day was a memorable experience; we witnessed an amazing selection of gleaming, beribboned, harnessed beauties. Percherons, Clydesdales, Draft and Shires competing in all manner of events. The highlight was watching these huge animals being ridden, such power but so quiet and graceful; we were hooked and I wanted to be one of those riders from that moment on! With only 70 Shire horses in Australia at that time, we set ourselves on track to find one. In between visiting breeders, speaking to Shire Association members all over the country looking for a horse to buy, we settled into the acreage lifestyle, acquired 5 miniature horses to keep the grass down, set up 20 chooks, 6 ducks, 4 geese and added 3 more cats… life was busy but satisfying. 2006 we found a Shire mare, in foal, available but unfortunately other circumstances didn’t allow us to buy at this time and we despaired ever finding our Shire, we even re-evaluated our decision and breed selection only to discover that we came back to the Shire time and time again.
Finally 2008, another mare available, also in foal – the stars were aligned that day, and we knew that this was our opportunity to bring our dream to life. We made our way down to Melbourne to arrange her trip home to us. Southern Cross Celestial Pearl arrived home on the 6th June 2008 and our dream was finally realised. Deacons Gate Shires begins. 8 years have passed since we settled into our wondrous horse heaven, amongst the many joys, heart ache also touched us in the last two years and moving past these losses has been challenging; a still birth foal in 2015, the loss of our grand dam Celestial Pearl and the loss of our miracle filly Cerefin, both passing in 2016. These deeply grieved losses were devastating in our little world and we struggled to see our way forward, but, forward we go with a leg up from amazing people we are blessed to know. New arrivals since our journey began include, brood mare Arcadian Duchess in January 2009, stallion Shandell Park Lucius in March 2016, brood mare Mingara Charlotte in December 2016 and excitingly, another brood mare Muraoka Lucile will arrive in 2017. Foals born to Deacons Gate include; Quantum Rebel 09/09/08 (now sold to NSW), Salazar 25/02/10 (resident gelding), Kytan 19/10/10 (sold to QLD), Cerefin 15/11/11 (deceased), Aurora 15/09/13 (sold to WA), Fiera 09/10/16 (retained as future brood mare). Amazingly our little world still rambles along, always constant learning wanted or not, moments of frailty and power alternate daily, there is always drama, the hours of washing white feathers will always be, preparations for eventing and showing become epic every year and the adjustments to feeds, foals and maintenance are never ending, but, the satisfied smirk remains glued to our faces whenever we watch them play. It’s the simple interactions that enchant the most, the morning neighs, the excited galloping when the herd move camp, the jostling for position as the hay goes out for the night feeds, witnessing a new foal’s first breath, first step and wonder at their world….. Welcome to Deacons Gate Shiress
Dale & Katrina