On a beautiful spring day, nestled among the greenery that abounds on the Isle of Wight Holstein Stud, David Quick speaks about his life in Murchison and his beloved horses, while we sit and watch them lay and work in the warm sunshine.
3610 Your family has a rich heritage of horse breeding in our region. Have you always lived in Murchison?
David I’ve been here for most of my life. I moved here from Lorne as a teenager to work on my uncle’s property, where he bred horses. My mother, who will be 104 this year, is still in Lorne, as is the family home up on the hill, overlooking the beach. After working for my uncle, we moved to a dairy farm at Dhurringile and eventually bought this farm in Murchison 40 years ago.
3610 In that time, have you seen many changes in Murchison?
David Not really, I mean the concrete foot paths and curbing of course
and increase in larger traffic, but Murchison still is a quiet, unspoilt town. The sense of community hasn’t changed; the people are so friendly and welcoming, always ready to help out. You can go down the street and know just about everyone you see. Our town has a fantastic atmosphere, one of the only small towns left with untouched riverbanks and huge gumtrees. I hope it never changes.
3610 Well you’ve certainly put Murchison on the map when it comes to horse breeding and training. What has contributed to such a successful career?
David My father bred thoroughbreds for racing in this region, and my uncle was a leading trainer in Melbourne during the 30’s. I guess you could say it’s in the blood ; it’s a passion I have always had. I was intrigued with genetics and breeding strong blood lines. I was one of the first in Australia to use Artificial Insemination when I started with the only Holstein in the country, imported from Germany back in the 1970’s. I now have some of the best lines of breeding in the world. Our area has the most hours of sunlight in Australia. This part of the Goulburn Valley all the way up to Mildura, has more sunshine than Perth or even the Sunshine State! which makes this the best area for horse breeding. It’s comparable to Kentucky or Ireland.
3610 You have travelled extensively with your career, what do you love best about retuning to Murchison?
David I have travelled all around the world, and seen some amazing places. But the quiet peace of Murchison is what I love about coming back home. My farm keeps me sane in my busy lifestyle! I’m so close to town here, yet it’s still so secluded. And we have fantastic facilities for a small town. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
3610 What are some of the highlights of your career?
David There is a lot of hard work involved in my job, but I’ve had some amazing experiences. I qualified for the 1976 Montreal Olympics on a horse called The Isle of Wight. Each Holstein horse bred on my property to date comes from that same blood line and carries a part of his name. I’ve had the privilege of entertaining buyers from some of the best horse studs from all over the world. They are always impressed by the beautiful environment of Murchison, and I’ve endeavoured to keep my property as close to the natural surrounds as possible. The property has been chemical-free and organic for 40 years. That in itself is a huge achievement. I now train at Grand Prix and Olympic level, and am proud to have coached two riders who have won best in year for eventing and showjumping. Being a President and lifetime member of the Australian Holstein Association, a founding member of the Goulburn Valley Showjumpers, and a lifetime member of the Equestrian Federation is very rewarding. I get to see new generations come through and witness some great riders in the making.
3610 What would you like to see happen in the future of Murchison?
David The natural aspects of Murchison should be showcased;
how it is still so connected to the river. I would hate to see it become commercialised. I love the little bush tracks that run down and along the river and I think they could be made great use of if connected up with walking trails. There is a historic railway bridge on the river that would be ideal include in a rail trail, would make a great scenic point of interest along with some of the other historic buildings.