CM Murphy - the man behind the brand


Peter taught me so much about the style of the horse and to see into the future of what that horse could be or breed on to be. One of Peter’s prudent purchases for our brand new polo pony squad was Lily. A little tiny buckskin from NZ.

Having eventually “stealing” Lily from Peter’s string I became addicted to everything about this little nugget - legs of steel, a heart as big as an elephant but most of all her unique personalty.


After three years in England it was time to return home to Australia. At this point we had something like 23 playing horses, all bloody good horses from Argentina to NZ and beyond. Some had played under the great 10-goalers of that time such as Memo Gracida, so it was a painful decision, I wanted to bring them all home but that was impossible. In the end I selected Lily, she was the youngest of the mares, never had a day off from leg issues and fought like a mad dog in every ride off, in every game.


My human vision was I would create a parallel line of genetics to the Sharka / Patto line (he was about 14.2 at best) over my gorgeous thoroughbred mares.

Where I would use the pure thoroughbred stallion Highlight (roughly 16hh) over my “pony” Lily (14.2) to get her “shit” (Jim Gilmore knows what I mean) to meet his speed and elegance.


Well, here is the trick to breeding my friends. Lily did take the trip to Melbourne Australia to meet the tall dark handsome stallion Highlight who by this time had made a solid reputation as a polo stallion.

After her compulsory quarantine Lily travelled to stay with Highlight to commence my vision of crossing quality stock horses with the right thoroughbreds (either way, mare to stallion or stallion to mare. You breeders know what I mean.)


But it all went terribly wrong…………………Lily would not accept Mr Handsome Highlight as she had her eyes on another stallion on the property, Sharka / Patto.

Day after day Lily rejected Highlight, night after night little 14.2hh Lily would jump three fences to mate herself to 14.2hh Shaka.

'40 years ago EVERYONE in the Australian music industry told me that INXS would never make it as an international band nor have any success. INXS went on to sell FIFTY MILLION ALBUMS, and is still selling.


30 years ago, when I told folks I wanted to breed successful and athletic horses, I was told it is impossible because if my grandfather or father had not bred horses it wasn’t in my family genetics. I was cheeky enough to respond to these naysayers with “Mate, if I can pick a 2-legged rock star I'm sure I can pick a rock star on four legs”..


The foundation I built upon for brandedBP was to secure top quality thoroughbred mares to cross with an unlikely little colt who no-one believed in (at first) but would make a good stallion. His name was Sharka (later named Patto when Joe Curran purchased him). 


Next Jimmy Hayden selected a few fillies for me and within that selection was Dusk (Dam to the sensational Jamaica). While all this action was happening in Australia I was  living and playing in England at the Guards Polo Club. Peter Hayden had just finished a 3 year stint with Prince Charles as I arrived in England so on the suggestion of brother Jimmy Hayden, I hired Peter.

When the vet advised she was pregnant to Shaka I was devastated…………..all my planning had gone up in smoke…………..what would I do with a polo pony that could be 14hh.

Well well, a tiny little filly came from the self-managed mating, Morocco. Yes, she is just 14hh.


Now the next part of the story is reserved for passionate breeders or more importantly for the passionate breeders-to-be.

As that little horse Morocco became the foundation of an incredible line which are presently spearheaded by the new hot shot the pros are busting to ride……….COCO.


How we got there is another conversation.


Joe Curran recently giving me and my horse crazy family the elite honour to combine his genetics with the Murphy’s brandedBP genetics is only equal to selling 50 million albums. 


The moral of the story is sometimes things are not how they appear, its how strong your vision is to see what others cannot see.


Enjoy the ride, its pretty cool if you are passionate about what you do in life".

CM Murphy