Born in the Outback of Queensland, Australia in 1994, a golden dun colt now known as Nugget started life with an uncertain future. Sired by a Quarter Horse stallion and out of a Thoroughbred mare, the colt and his paddock mates were to be sold, as their owners were facing tough times and could no longer keep them. Two buyers materialized that fateful day: a young Australian horseman with big dreams named Guy McLean, and a rodeo contractor/dog meat buyer! Though McLean was only 21-years-old and short on funds himself, he felt the pressure to secure these young horses a better future. By the end of the day, Guy McLean was the proud owner of five untrained horses for the grand total of $650.
© Guy McLean
Of the five horses, it was the colt he named Nugget, for his coat that gleamed like a nugget of gold, which galloped his way into Guy’s heart. Using Nugget to test his new training ideas, Guy took the young stallion all over Australia to perform bridleless and saddle-less in front of millions of people, creating a true Australian experience complete with bush poetry and double-handed whip cracking.
With Nugget at his side, McLean fine-tuned his training system and their act, performing to heartfelt standing ovations across the Australian continent. Says Guy, “From a humble bush paddock in Gayndah, Queensland to Australia’s biggest shows and performances, to siring Quietway Hope, Sequel, Pride and Teggun who share their sire’s brilliance and arena presence, to millions of fans worldwide, Nugget has become more than a horse, he’s a best mate, an idol and a legend to all who saw him perform. Nugget is truly the stallion that runs in my heart.”
Nugget and Guy McLean has been welcomed to BreyerFest as performers, and Nugget was honored with his own Breyer portrait model in 2012.