Mitavite Partner Rider:
Western – Cutting, Reining, Cowhorse and Campdraft
It is hard to find enough superlatives to describe master horseman Ian Francis. As a champion competitor in reining, cutting and camp drafting, Ian reached legend status many years ago and has continued to share his vast knowledge throughout Australia and the US, producing many informative videos and conducting regular horsemanship clinics. Ian’s popularity makes spending time with his cattle on his Murgon property a challenge. It is a real privilege to be able to call Ian a Mitavite Partner Rider for nearly 10 years now.
Introduce your horses:
One Roan Peptos (Roanie) - Quarterhorse - Bay Roan Stallion: A total gentleman and an athlete. He is the best male cutting horse I have ridden.
A Littlebitlucky - A bay roan Quarterhorse filly by One Roan Peptos.
Doobee Lucky - A chestnut gelding: He has just been started, but he moves well and he is pretty calm about things.
Commanche Gold AKA Miss Prim - Palomino Quarterhorse mare: Nicknamed Miss Prim because of her blonde good looks – she is a proper show pony.
Where did your love of horse-riding begin and when did you get started within your discipline?
I started riding as a child in Maryborough and things progressed from there.
Did you have any horse-riding role-models as a beginner rider?
Barry Whitaker was my role model.
What have been some of your greatest achievements within your discipline?
- Five times Australian National Reining Horse Futurity Champion
- Five times Australian National Reining Horse Futurity Reserve Champion
- Four times Australian National Reining Horse Derby Champion
- Five times Australian National Reining Horse Derby Reserve Champion
- Equitana Asia-Pacific Reining Masters Champion
- International Reining Council Open World Cup Champion
- Three times Australian National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Champion
- Three times Australian National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Reserve Champion
- Australian National Cutting Horse Association Derby Champion
- Four times Reined Cowhorse Futurity Champion
- Seven times Reined Cowhorse Futurity Reserve Champion
- Two times Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge Champion
- More than fifty Australian Championships in Halter, Trail, Cutting, Reining, Working Cowhorse and Western Riding
- Australian Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame Inductee
- Australian National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame Inductee
- Reining Australia Hall of Fame Inductee
- Furlong Stud (QLD) Equine Hall of Fame Inductee
- Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to the Equine Industry as a trainer, breeder and competitor.
What are your aspirations for your riding career? Where do you see yourself in the future?
In 2010, I ceased training horses for the public and competing as there was an interest for me to conduct clinics. Since then I have around 50 clinics a year in all states of Australia and in America. My intention is to continue to conduct clinics – but perhaps not at the rate I am doing at the moment. I have also produced a series of Training DVDs which have proved to be very popular. My ambition is to be recognised as the foremost clinician available in Australia.
Which Mitavite feeds and/or supplements do you use?
We use Mitavite Breeda – it is a good all-round feed for the Broodmares, weaning and growing foals, two year olds just being started and for the horses being trained for competition. As the older horses are competed more often and to a higher degree we shift to using Pro Sport for the extra energy. If we have a horse that gets a bit hot on the high energy feeds we use Power On. I have the necessity to present well conditioned demonstration and competition horses to the public. Mitavite is a complete feed giving essential vitamins and nutrients in a convenient form. There is a variety of formulations to suit varied needs of the horse and rider – be it a pony club horse to a high performance horse – and the horses like it. The horses always have a sleek shine to them and great muscle definition from using Mitavite feeds. Mitavite is also easy to feed in a busy barn when we had up to 45 horses- no need to mix feeds.
What is your all-time favourite Mitavite product and why?
Breeda because it is very versatile.
What has your experience as a Mitavite Partner Rider been like?
I enjoy my association with Mitavite – it is good to interact with a progressive company and to be have the opportunity to be involved and supported by them at major events and with clinic presentations.
Do you have any advice for beginner / aspiring riders?
Work on your feel, timing and balance, and educate your hands and feet.