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Our Society’s Foundation Member, Honorary Life Member and distinguished Arabian horse breeder Elizabeth Staunton [nee Bligh] has passed away unexpectedly on the 27th November.  Her funeral service will be held in Toowoomba, Queensland, on Monday the 15th of December at 10 am at Burstows Chapel in Ruthven Street.

Elizabeth, together with her mother Elwyn Bligh, bred Arabian horses at their Bostocks Stud at Brookstead, just outside Toowoomba, which had been established in 1947.  They imported some significant Arabian horses from the UK, including the great stallions Count Manilla, Crystal Fire and Abiram [Holland], and the mare Scherzade in foal with another Australian icon, Royal Domino.  In their day these horses were the cream of Arabian bloodlines, and as a result the progeny bred with them dominated the showrings in Queensland for over 20 years.  Many young people had their first contact with Arabians at Brisbane Royal, which was then the peak State breed Show, seeing the magnificent Count Manilla with his regal presence in centre ring.  The Bostocks horses were immaculately presented and their trainer and handler was Elizabeth Bligh, so proficient with what she did and so long before the era of professional handlers.  She set the standard.  Some of the great horses bred by Bostocks were the mother and daughter mares, Fantasy and Miraya, Nefertiti, Nofret, Nafsu, Kastana and Fayda, Our Queen; the stallions Sirocco and Sahib, Farhan and Crystal Count.   Many, many studs such as Jangharm with Royal Domino and Mutrif; Farleigh with Zenith II and Lady Blunt; Dunwingeri with Farhan and Aliya; Oxford with Contessa; Scimitar and Arabesque Studs with Desert Pride; Cascade Arabians with Gay Cascade; Naaman Stud with Count Chatain; Fawley Stud with Sahib and Kabiram; Tarong Stud with Bay Hallany, and many others, got their start with horses of Bostocks lineage.

Elizabeth was generous with her time when the Queensland Division of the AHSA was formed, joining the committee in the early years, and serving as Treasurer.  She also spoke and demonstrated at the early Gatton College schools, although she was always very modest about her own achievements.

Elizabeth was a fine rider and staunchly supported all the activities of the Queensland Division, even honouring the first Queensland Arabian Show by riding Count Manilla, then quite an old horse, to victory in his saddle class, and a very heavily-pregnant Nefertiti in the Costume Class.  She campaigned actively to have Stallions Under Saddle at Brisbane Royal, and often rode Count Manilla or one of the other stallions in the Grand Parade at Brisbane, right under the noses of  the officials running the Parades.

In 1976 Elizabeth married Frank Staunton, another prominent Queensland Arabian breeder, and they moved to Torryburn in the Maitland area of NSW where the stud was continued.  By now the progeny of the American stallion AK Jabal Ibn Moniet was prominent, more Anglo Arabians were being produced, while Frank and Elizabeth pursued interests in endurance riding and Arabian racing, and their cattle.  Frank passed away several years ago, and Elizabeth, living with her daughter Catherine at Scone, still owned Arabians and took a keen interest in the Arabian horse world.

The staff and Directors of the Arabian Horse Society of Australia express their condolences to Catherine, also to Elizabeth’s sisters and brother, on their sad loss.

Notification regarding the AGM

Due to the much earlier date for the running of the up and coming Australian National Arabian Championships, the Society's auditors have advised that it will be impossible to have the audit finalised in time to meet the constitutional time requirements for notifying members and supplying the necessary financial report that has in the past allowed for the AGM to be held during the Championships.  The AGM will be held at the end of March as usual.  The date, time and location will be advised shortly after the decision is made at the October board meeting and all considerations will be given to allow for as many members as possible to attend.

Allan R Preston - Chairman AHSA 

The 2015 Australian National Arabian Championships information, schedule and entry forms are all now available from the Championships Page - click here
Board Nomination Form is now available here

Statement regarding the sale of the AHSA property

Chairmans Statement Regarding the Building

New Membership Requirements - please refer to the Membership Page here for the New Membership Categories

Board Reports can be found here


For the past number of years, the Society has been endeavouring to combat the effects of the world downward economic trend and been looking for alternative income streams. After many vigorous debates, professional advice and the forensic analysis of The Societies financial sustainability the inevitable decision has been made to restructure the office. The sustainability and longevity of the Society is our prime objective. Over the last few years, every effort has been made to cut costs whilst still providing quality service to the members. However, despite conscientious efforts to curtail spending and adopt additional income streams the unfortunate conclusion has be made that the only long term solution is to reduce staff numbers. This decision was not made lightly as all of our staff are valuable. This initial step brings us closer to a stable future. Please be assured that all enquiries and transactions will be handled as efficiently as possible during this transition. We wish Harold and Laura all the best in the future and thank them for their contributions during their time with the Society. Your ongoing support is appreciated.