Jamaican Rum, who was shown as Millionaire, ridden by Valrie Mayger

Jamaican Rum turned Millionaire of the show ring

Terry and Pauline Van Heythuysen attended a clearance sale at Duncraig Stud in the latter part of the 1980s where they purchased a young horse by Beau Sovereign from the mare L’Amourette. They named the gelding Jamaican Rum, and began his racing career in the eastern states before travelling to Western Australia.
Jamaican Rum retired from racing as a five-year-old in October 1990. He had 25 starts for one win, three seconds and a third for a total of $4,000.

Standing at 16.2 hands, Jamaican Rum was much bigger than the galloways and hacks Pauline preferred to ride. The Van Heythuysen’s decided to send Jamaican Rum to well-known show horse and dressage rider Valrie Mayger for re-training so he could be sold with some education under his belt. Little did they know, Val was on the lookout for a new horse, as her main horse Lighthearted had sustained an injury. After three weeks of working with Beau, as Val had fondly named him, she decided he was the horse for her and purchased him for $500.

When Beau and Val began as a partnership, Val recalls that the handsome brown gelding had two paces; stop and go. It took nearly two years of hard work to establish the basics, however over the next 17 years as a partnership, the pair would far surpass this basic beginning to reach the top of advanced level dressage and show horse competitions around Australia.

He was re-named Millionaire for competition purposes and in 1996 the pair won the Barastoc Show Horse Council Grand National; which Val recalls as Beau’s greatest success. The shows at that time were not spilt, as they are now into show horse and show hunter sections, with only one section for Beau’s height group. This meant the entry numbers were high and the quality of horses was very impressive. Other entrants for the 15 hands and over class included legends such as New York ridden by Roy Davis, Vienna After Dark ridden by Robyn Barry, Le Pigalle ridden by Maree Tomkinson, Spellbound ridden by Kim Durante and Cruise ridden by Carla Pateman.

The class was judged by Jennie Loriston Clarke, who was an Olympic dressage rider and bred and showed hacks in England. In those days it was typical for judges to ride the horses presented, and for this class Jennie rode ten or eleven of the horses she considered potential winners. After riding them, Jennie narrowed the field to seven horses, who after having their saddles stripped, were inspected and run out on foot by the riders. By the end of this process, Beau was  declared the winner and received a rug, garland and $1,000. After this prestigious win, Val turned down an offer of $25,000 to purchase Beau.

On their returned from the eastern states Val and Beau continued their success on the WA show scene. They were twice Reserve Champion Hack at the Perth Royal Show and three times the WA Turf Club trophy winners, for the WA bred thoroughbred with the most points. Beau regularly won the heavyweight, hack over 16hh classes, lady’s hack over 16hh and gentleman’s hack over 16hh.

Beau was largely a one-woman-horse, however he also worked well with Nadine Merewether, Stefan Faye d’Herbe and Roger Fitzhardinge.

Beau retired after his final win of his career at the EFA Horse of the Year Show in 2000. He spent the first part of his retirement at Val’s property, then Beau moved to Helen Newland’s property in Harvey. This is where he lived out his days, pampered by Helen until he passed in 2010 at 25 years old.