“It doesn’t matter where you go to a horse event on the eastern seaboard of Australia; there is probably a former Longreach Pastoral College horse student riding or working around there somewhere.
And most of them would have learned their skills from horse instructor John Arnold who has just clocked up 30 years of instruction at the College.
First involved with the College as a student, John then spent time away working up to the position of station manager before returning to the college to be an instructor in 1987.
Since then he has coached as many as two thousand students.
John’s reflection on his own successes in his instructional career are primarily based on the successes of stock and students at events and sales.
Under Johns guidance, students have prepared the top priced gelding four times at the Toomba Horse Sale at Charters Towers; one of which is still the current record price.
Twice John and his students have prepared the top priced mare at this venue.
“Over the years the students have twice prepared the highest priced gelding at the Rockhampton Quarter Horse Sale, which set new records each time,” John said.
“Apart from the horse sales, the fact that many students have gone on to pursue careers in the working horse industry either working for other professional trained trainers or are training their own horses at home to compete on, makes me proud.
“We can’t take all the credit, but it’s good to know that we helped to those people to get them started to be able to get where they are today”.
John’s other notable achievement was founding the Australia Stock Horse and Quarter Horse stud at the College to the point where the college has horses that they can be proud of.
The Longreach Pastoral College Board, staff and students recently joined together to celebrate John’s milestone.
Longreach Pastoral College Campus Manager, Bernie Ingle, said he had been at the College for a few months, buthe can already tell that John’s enthusiasm stems from his strong beliefs in the rural industry.
“The future for youth entering this industry, and the value of the type of rural skills training that Longreach Pastoral College is known for, in particular in the rural working horse industries,” he said.
Bernie spoke of a ‘match well made’ between the college horse stock, John’s passions and abilities and the students enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
“After all these years he still enjoys seeing an ex-student doing well in their chosen pathway.
“It’s good to hear that people go out, and work hard and stick at it, and achieve something.”
The Longreach Pastoral College Local Board made favourable comments at the cake cutting celebration held in John’s honour, and these were also endorsed by Mr Ingle.
“Thirty years of being committed to a job is clearly something you only do when you are truly passionate about something, and I think that each time John comes across a past student who has gone out into the industry and done well, his enthusiasm for engaging with his current crop of students gets a little boost as well”.