BETWEEN breeding Australian Stock Horses, running cattle and constructing a world-class equestrian centre, it’s fair to say it’s an extremely busy time for the team at Willinga Park at Bawley Point in New South Wales.
For Willinga Park Farm Manager Chadd Percival, with so many things on the go, they require optimum efficiency from both the team and the equipment they use to ensure the Park’s smooth operation.
The 809-hectare property is owned by Terry Snow and is currently home to 120 Australian Stock Horses, as well as 80 Poll Hereford cattle, with facilities for horse agistment and training.
There is an obvious passion for Australian Stock Horses, but the Park’s breeding program has also introduced premium Quarter Horses, in an effort to produce top performance horses with a good temperament and natural ability to work with stock.
Willinga Park’s horse breeding program uses a combination of natural breeding as well as an embryo transfer program using surrogate mares.
Livestock Manager Brett Petty takes care of the cattle and pastures, Amelia Neilson manages the horses and Chadd is responsible for the overall management of the property.
The equestrian centre is currently under construction and on completion, expected next year, will feature 27 stables, a vet room, round yards, two open dressage areas, a covered area, polocrosse field, riders club, marketing facility and 33 stockyards.
There’s also 5ha of native gardens being developed, which were planted on remnant degraded grazing land and are watered by pools and a reservoir.
According to Chadd, they rely on rain-fed dams for the cattle and draw underground water through a bore to fill the horse troughs.
He said they used local ProWater Nationwide store, Gunning Ag and Water Solutions, to help with installing the horse troughs and other water management, turning to Manager Troy Willoughby for advice on the best products.
“It’s extremely busy here at Willinga Park, so we look to use the best people and take their advice on reliable products,” Chadd said.
“We don’t have time to be constantly dealing with overflowing troughs, so we need products that can withstand both the horses and time.”
Troy oversaw the installation of 20 concrete, 2000-litre round troughs, which he fitted with Philmac Series 200 float valves and 9-inch float balls.
He said it was the most suitable product for the conditions at Willinga Park, which used a system running at a water pressure of 600kPa.
“We completed the new install and fitted out the troughs using the Philmac Series 200, using the underwater kit, because they are easily adjustable and the balls can move around a bit if the horses are playing with them,” Troy said.
“They’ve been a good fit for Willinga Park and they’ve also been quite a popular product in general, as they are well made.”
The Philmac Series 200 (high flow float) valve is the ideal valve for stock watering, and features a tough body combined with a new cam and lever arrangement to provide a robust valve which can withstand the rigorous treatment from livestock over a long period.
The valve has been designed to provide a high flow rate and has a high level of shut-off performance, which meets rural pipe pressures in almost all configurations.
Even at 100kPa, the valves provide a flow rate in excess of 3L per second.
Shorter arms can be used to allow for maximum trough space and the high pressure adapter allows for both high and low pressure applications.
The high pressure adaptor offers the advantage of one body covering two applications, but, at the same time, ensures the end user does not have to worry about the pressure of the system being used, with the confidence that the valve can meet the application requirement.
Troy said he had been recommending the high flow float valves to clients and hadn’t received any negative feedback.
He said most of the clients he had sold the valves to were generally within a 150-kilometre radius of Gunning, where the landscape was quite undulating, often resulting in high pressure from gravity-fed water.
“In this situation, we’re always more likely to hear if clients are having issues or don’t like a product, and we haven’t heard any comments like that because they’re working well and clients have been able to get on with other jobs.’’
“They are built to last and they are a simple mechanism, making them easily serviceable.”
Farmers interested in the Philmac Series 200 Float Valves can contact Gunning Ag and Water Solutions on (02) 4845 1113 or find their nearest ProWater store at www.prowater.com.au