Claredale Champagne Charlie - HSH 

1972 - 2002   (deceased)
15.2h Palomino Australian Stock Horse Stallion, (classified Heritage Stock Horse)
registered APHA – ASH (24471) – AJC
Date of Birth:    04 November 1972

On the 4th November 1972 a palomino colt was foaled in the suburb of Oxley in South East Queensland.  This colt was to become one of the best-performed Palominos in the show ring, as well as becoming one of the most influential sires of palominos in Australia today.

Charlie was a son of Desert Gold, a palomino stallion who himself was very well performed in showing, dressage and jumping. 
“Pal” as he was known, at 14.3 hands, was a Galloway, with perfect colour and a superb white mane & tail.

Charlie’s dam, Beauleigh Redwings, was a chestnut mare purchased by Kenneth Rossington at a sale.   Her breeding was later traced to a Darling Downs station, which had the imported French Thoroughbred sire, Casir, running with the mares.  This tied in with Redwings being a mare of outstanding quality, and showing thoroughbred conformation.  She proved to be a prepotent mare to type and all her foals showed a strong resemblance to her.  Tragically for the palomino world, although Redwings was only ever bred to palomino stallions, she never produced another palomino foal.  She was registered as Australian Stock Horse and Non Stud Book Thoroughbred.

The Rossingtons - Phyllis and son Kenneth, operated Claredale Palomino Stud.  When Charlie was 10 months old and still at foot, Redwings was leased to another Rossington son - Peter, and wife, Gail, who operated Beauleigh Stud.  Peter and Gail did not want the colt as they already had a stallion - Beauleigh Deno Royal - and did not want another.  Kenneth insisted that the colt must go with the mare, and so Charlie came into their lives and changed their direction completely.

Charlie was of course registered as a Palomino, but in time was registered as a Non Stud Book Thoroughbred (or AJC as it was then), and also Australian Stock Horse.

Colour wise, while Charlie’s body colour was always darker than the "ideal" for a palomino, this was offset by his colour being solid, even, and without blemishes.  His colour also did not darken with age.  His mane was good but his tail had a lot of dark hairs in it.  The body colour and tail can probably be traced back to Redwings’ body colour and prepotency.

Conformationally, Charlie was an attention getter wherever he went.  He stood at 15.3 ½ hands with a superb front and a lovely length of rein, and neck set on to a big sloping shoulder and huge forearm.  He had a beautiful refined head.  His hindquarter was not as good as his front, but a judge told Peter early on that because his front was so good, it made his rear end look worse than it was.  Charlie was very suitable for sidesaddle with that wonderful shoulder and length of rein, refinement for a lady, and beautiful paces to make him a very comfortable ride.  Gail rode him sidesaddle in a Warana Parade.  He had a wonderful goose-stepping action in front that had a little flick at the end.  It was very distinctive and came from his dam.

Temperamentally, Charlie was a thoroughbred and didn’t have a nasty bone in his body.  He had a bad experience in a measuring bay as a youngster and this gave him a phobia about being in very confined spaces.  He was a prima donna who definitely knew his worth.  He disliked being rained on and felt that mud was only to be looked at and not experienced.

Charlie knew when he had won, and if that purple sash did not go around his neck, his head would droop and he would leave the ring with head held low in embarrassment.  He was very sensitive to pain and only required a loud voice to discipline him.  The occasional cut with the whip was not well received.  Once, he had cut the front of his hock and it required stitching.  The vet, who was well acquainted with Charlie's horror of pain, looked him in the eye and said:  "if you hurt me, I am cutting them out".  To everyone's amazement, Charlie never moved a muscle while John squatted underneath him and stitched away.

His show career started as a yearling, and went on from there.  Being from thoroughbred stock, Charlie was late maturing, and this was, of course, a draw back in the ring at an early age.  He did not gain full maturity until he was 6 years old and his show career continued successfully until his retirement at the age of 16 years.

Charlie had a stellar show career, both in Queensland, and then later, in Victoria.  His wins in Queensland included Champion Palomino Stallion at Brisbane Royal in 1976, 1977 and 1979.  He was Supreme Led Exhibit at the Qld All Palomino Show more than once as well as being awarded Horse of the Year in Led, Under Saddle and Best Presented.  He competed and placed in official dressage competitions and trained up to medium level.

As Peter and Gail had been riding Charlie and their other young stallion B Gold Stream in a halter around the horse lines at the shows where they stayed overnight, breaking Charlie to saddle merely meant mouthing him and putting a saddle on his back.  Charlie was even better under saddle than he was at halter, if that’s possible.

At the 1979 All Palomino Show where he was awarded Supreme Led Exhibit among other awards, an incident occurred and as a result Peter and Gail stopped showing their own horses.  This meant Charlie was relegated to the paddock, where he hadn't been since he was a foal, and became just a stallion at stud.

Charlie was shown interstate at the Sydney Royal Easter Show as well as at the National Stud Horse and Pony Show and the NSW All Palomino Show.  Although Peter had met Jan Currie at the 1976 NSW All Palomino Show, it was at the 1979 National Stud Horse & Pony Show and NSW All Palomino Show, (Jan had married Colin Lovett in the intervening years), that an association was established.

Peter and Gail had seen the Lovetts showing and knew they were committed to continue.  In 1981, Peter and Gail offered Charlie on lease to Colin and Jan, and in May of 1981 Charlie was duly sent to Victoria, at 8 years of age and in his full prime.

The second stage of Charlie's life had begun.

Colin and Jan had already established a name for themselves with their other palominos, and now Charlie took them to a higher level again.  Rarely was he beaten at halter and performance, and with his many progeny following in his footsteps, the showing world was taken by storm.  Charlie had been leased to Lovetts for many years when another person made an offer to Peter and Gail to purchase Charlie.  They considered that in fairness to Colin and Jan, they should be given first option to buy.  The Lovetts took up the option, and Charlie passed from Rossingtons ownership to Lovetts.

Charlie’s foals (both Queensland and Victorian) have been sold to all states of Australia as well as being exported.  Whether coloured or solid, they have proven themselves in all areas of performance.   Charlie was very prepotent, and his foals are instantly recognisable as “Charlie” foals, especially by their heads and the distinctive walk.

He was very fertile, and it was very unfortunate that Charlie would not accept the procedures for semen harvesting, so freezing for the future wasn't possible.

Charlie's legacy of quality and ability will be passed on from generation to generation, and Peter and Gail consider themselves privileged
to have built the foundations of his career and to have witnessed the fulfillment of his potential.

Peter & Gail Rossington


Major Achievements - Claredale Champagne Charlie


Life Time Achievement Awards - Opal Award and Diamond Award

Certificate of Superior Rating – Australian Stock Horse Society

Brisbane Royal - Champion Stallion: 1976-1977-1979

Melbourne Royal - Champion Stallion: 1983-1986      Res. Champion Stallion: 1982-1984-1985

VIC Palomino Championships Supreme Led: 1982-1983-1984-1989

Supreme Ridden: 1982-1983-1984-1985-1986

High Point Horse of the Show: 1982-’83-’84-1985

Successfully competed in Dressage at Medium Level

Queensland Palomino Championships Supreme Led Exhibit: 1976-1977-1979

APHA Horse of the Year: 1985 & 1987

Multi Supreme Led & Ridden in Open Classes & Australian Stock Horse Classes