When One Door Closes
Katherine Outback Experience was a product of the 2011 Live Beef Export Ban. Overnight Tom’s livelihood as a Horse-breaker and Trainer in the Top End of Australia was in tatters as a result of the Government’s knee-jerk decision to ban the live export of cattle. As a flow-on effect of the ban, stations were forced to seize operations which included the breaking and training of horses. This meant Tom had limited horses to train. To help make ends meet Tom started singing four times a week at the local Big 4 Katherine Caravan Park.
Another Door Opens
It was here the idea for Katherine Outback Experience was conceived. During gigs, Tom would often reminisce about stock-camp mischief or a problematic horse he had trained. At one of these shows a retired couple, intrigued by the life of a modern day stockman, approached Tom about visiting his property to watch him train horses. After an overwhelmingly positive response, it was clear there was a unique opportunity to combine his passion for training animals and singing, with his extensive knowledge and experience of station life to showcase the quintessence of life in the Australian outback.
In July 2013, Katherine Outback Experience was officially launched. The show has since evolved beyond expectations and has even attracted guest appearances from a number of nationally acclaimed music artists including Luke O’Shea, Harry Hookey and Bill Chambers as well as national and international film crews.
Four Years Later
Tom, together with his partner Annabel, has gone on to build a passionate and enthusiastic team who share a love for the outback and working with animals. From April to the end of October the team are based in Katherine, Northern Territory where they operated anywhere from 6 to 10 shows a week.
Over the 2016/17 summer (when it is too hot and wet to train animals outdoors in the Top End), the team took the show on the road to Dunsborough, which is part of the Margaret River Wine Region in the South-west of Western Australia. The show was well received by the local community. The Team are strong believers in the saying "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and as a result are always thinking up crazy new ideas.
Check out our Blog for our full story as well as regular updates on what we are up to and where we are heading.