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Impact of early education shines through

Photo credit: Jump Off, 2019

By Andrew Adermann

The name Double Impact may not mean much to your everyday punter.

Trained by Jackie Crompton in Toowoomba, Double Impact is a born and bred Queenslander having never raced outside of his home state.

“Double Impact was hand-picked by my husband Wayne and I as a yearling and has been a part of our family for the last 10 years,” Crompton said.

The nine-year-old gelding had 76 starts in his racing career, resulting in nine wins and 16 placings, collecting more than $500,000 in prize money along the way.

Double Impact was retired from the track in mid-2018 but is still enjoying plenty of success post-racing.

In November 2019, the former galloper won the Just Raced category in the second series of the Channel 7 program Jump Off.

The TV series’ primary focus is on equine welfare and showcases meaningful life after racing for thoroughbred horses.

The Just Raced category, for horses that had raced within the past two years, came with a first prize of $50,000.

“To win Jump Off was a massive thrill for us, seeing eight months of planning come together,” Crompton said.

“After we retired him as a race horse, he went to showjumper Gemma Creighton for a month to get some education over jumps and cross-country fences.

“She identified that he had some real ability in the discipline, so when he came back my husband Wayne took him to a few jump clubs and carried on with more lessons.”

While the training Double Impact received post-retirement held him in good stead for a career in show jumping, Jackie and Wayne Crompton believe that the early education he was put through as a yearling set him up to be a horse that could do far more than just follow the white rail.

Paul Moody, with his wife Angela, were responsible for the early education and breaking in of Double Impact in 2010, at the family-owned Invergarry Equine Centre - a breaking-in, pre-training and spelling facility in Allora.

Paul’s background in horses is mixed discipline, and states that although he can’t tell if a horse is going to be fast when he works with them, he can tell if they are going to be professional.

“The education of a horse has definite parallel to that of a child, however there are some limits” Moody said.

“A child can learn by seeing, listening, doing and writing whereas a horse's brain is wired a little different to ours so only listening and doing fits their capabilities.

“When I take a horse on to the track for the first time, I can usually tell how professional they are going to be.

“The horse is relying on me to navigate him around the track and if he acts as though he's been there before, then he is very accepting and relaxed.

“I can still remember from all those years ago, Double Impact was very professional from day one.

“For Double Impact to achieve what he did in the jumping ring later in life, he needed to be taught some of the basics and that’s what I tried to give him when I first worked with him as a yearling.

“You would have trouble teaching a year ten student hand-writing if they haven't done it in year one, and the same applies here.” 

Once it became clear that there was a jumping career on the cards post-retirement, the next step was finding an experienced rider who could utilise the raw talent at hand. 

That man was former Olympic equestrian jumper, Ron Easey.

“Ron was someone I always looked up to as a kid as I had ridden show jumpers, like my dad had as well,” Wayne Crompton said.

“I’ve known Ron since I was 10-years-old, so there was no question in my mind who the best person for the job was.

“Ron and I travelled something like 8,000 kilometres together for Double Impact to compete at more than 30 shows to get the miles in his legs for Jump Off.

“We went everywhere from Taroom to Roma, Charleville and up to Cairns, back to Toowoomba and on to Nambour, where he won the Jump Off qualifier.

“Two weeks later we were in Melbourne competing, and winning the Just Raced category.

“It’s a credit to everyone involved in the horse, ten years ago up to now, to make what he has achieved possible.”

Double Impact is back at work now in preparation for this year’s Jump Off Series, where he will compete in the Have Jumped category.

“We’ll get him jumping in shows across the state like we did last year before we head back down, but we’re really excited to see our boy compete again – win or lose, it doesn’t matter to us,” Wayne Crompton said.