Colin McTaggart reflects on a lifetime of horse sports

Long legacy: Colin McTaggart will turn 85 on March 23. Colin adores horse sports, and has a string of rodeo accolades to his name.

Long legacy: Colin McTaggart will turn 85 on March 23. Colin adores horse sports, and has a string of rodeo accolades to his name.

Known all over the world for decades of horse sport accolades, local rodeo legend Colin McTaggart will be 85-years young this month.

A former saddle bronc, bareback and all round Australian rodeo champion, his birthday party on March 23 will be an exciting event for all lovers of the sport.

"It’s sort of a birthday party, a bit of a reunion because they’re old time cowboys back in the 50s and 60s as well," he said.

"In my lifetime I’ve met a lot of good horses and met a lot of good people and I’ve got a lot of good friends all over the world and I’m pretty proud of that."

Born into one of Australia's oldest rodeo families, Colin is just one of five generations of rodeo and quarter horse stars, including all four of his children. 

The son of a drover, horse trader and contract musterer, it felt natural for Colin to become a stud groom on Warwick's King Ranch in the 1950s. It was there that he fell in love with the Australian quarter horse, which he continued to breed, own and show ever since. 

He competed from 1953 to 1979, claiming five Australian titles over the years. His first win was the open buckjump in Rockhampton in 1954. He went on to win every major saddle bronc ride in Australia.

Along with brothers Kevin, Max, Malcolm and Bruce, Colin also had many Australian state rodeo titles to his name. The family have organised over 200 rodeos in the past 30 years. The enormous legacy has continued with Colin's grandchildren Jay, Colin and Wade, who are all leading bull riders. 

Despite a lifetime of individual achievements, it is an honour shared by the entire family that Colin treasures the most. In 2017, the McTaggart family were inducted into the Australian Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

"To list the McTaggart’s achievements would take a lifetime, for every one of them has contributed to their own success and the success and enjoyment of so many others," the citation read.

"It’s great, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a big honour," Colin said. "What we’ve done over the years, we’re pretty humble about it, but still very proud as well."

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