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Vale Ron Males

The global equine community bid farewell to one its greatest horseman with the passing of Ron Males. The founder of Ralvon Stud with his lifelong partner Val in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales, the pair set the standard for the Australian Arabian community for decades with not only the horses they bred, but also with the horsemanship they exemplified and shared with fellow breeders and owners.
Val & Ron Males
Ron and Val Males at the 2019 WAHO Conference in Australia. Credit Sharon Meyers
Both Ron and Val were proudly inducted into the Australasian Arabian Breeders Hall of Fame in 2024 by the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition during the inaugural Legacy Awards dinner at Willinga Park. It was both and honour and a privilege to have Ron and Val in attendance with us, as well as several members of their extended family, on that special evening, during which both received a standing ovation by all those in attendance for their lifetime of devotion to the Arabian horse and to equine sport in Australia.
The video tribute played during the Australasian Arabian Breeders Hall of Fame induction ceremony can be viewed online below:
The story of Ron and Val’s extraordinary life and the enduring legacy of Ralvon Stud composed to support the video tribute is a fitting tribute to a couple who forever changed the equine industry for the better.
“Perhaps no other story of Arabian horse success is more quintessentially Australian than that of Ralvon Stud. It was as if the universe was always conspiring in their favour from the moment that Ron, then 18, and Val, just 14, first met in the late 1940s. Their shared loved of horses led from owning, riding and enjoying partbred Arabians and ponies while building a young family in the 1950s to their first purebred, the legendary sire Rikham (Rissam x Rafeena), acquired from Dick Hirst, who at 19 years of age, had never covered a purebred Arabian mare. Under the consummate stewardship of Ron and Val, Rikham would leave an indelible mark on the Arabian breed, establishing Ralvon Stud as the premier source of superlative stallion power in the country.
 Ralvon Pilgrim Ron Males
Ralvon Pilgrim
The acquisition of the unassuming Trix Silver (Royal Domino x Electricia) would forever alter the trajectory of Ralvon and elevate the reputation of both the stud and its breeders into legendary acclaim. Her 1969 foal, born on Ron’s birthday and sired by Rikham , was given the name Ralvon Pilgrim by Val as soon as she laid eyes on him, convinced that he “would travel far and go a long way”. After winning every major title in Australia by the age of five, a retired Ralvon Pilgrim made the long journey to England, with Ron and Val in tow, after receiving a special invitation by Michael Pitt-Rivers to compete at the Royal Ascot to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. With competitors from more than 14 countries in attendance,  Ralvon Pilgrim not only captured the title of Champion Stallion, he was awarded the coveted prize of Supreme Champion Arabian Exhibit in a sensational performance with Ron at the lead. This was a first for Australia, a trend the trailblazing Ron and Val would continue across a multitude of disciplines and essential aspects of the Arabian horse industry in their decades of selfless service.

After a harrowing journey home, Ralvon Pilgrim would establish himself as the most important sire in the long and universally respected history of Ralvon Stud. Alongside imported sires The Puritan (Talal x Miss Floco), an Egyptian sired stallion bred in the States; Milex (ex Mimoza by Negatiw), a pure Polish son of Exelsjor (Aquinor x Eleonora), a long-time favourite of Val’s bred in Sweden; and Royal Domino (Blue Domino x Scherzade), a Crabbet-bred powerhouse from the UK, the quartet together went on to create a dynasty of Ralvon-bred champions across all disciplines of equine sport and competition that established Ralvon as one of the most successful and enduringly influential Arabian horse studs in Australasian history. Icons such as Ralvon Nazarene (The Puritan x Trix Silver), Ralvon Elijah (Ralvon Nazarene x Mill Hill Sharmal), Ralvon Herald (Ralvon Pilgrim x Lymric Vashti), Ralvon Silver Jubilee (Ralvon Pilgrim x Trix Silver), Ralvon Morning Star (Manning Kadabbra x Ralvon Star of Bethlehem), Ralvon Identity (Ralvon Pilgrim x Cathay), Ralvon Job (Milex and Ralvon Silver Jubilee), and Royaljan (Royal Domino x Mutrif) still persist as standard setters in show-rings and breeding barns the world over, responsible for winning the hearts and inspiring generations of Arabian horse breeders, professionals and enthusiasts. Always ones to pass on their knowledge, expertise and experience to all those keen to learn, Ron and Val will long be remembered for their generous spirit, kind-hearted hospitality, down-to-earth approachability and practical hands-on horsemanship.

Ron with Ralvon Milarna
Ron with Ralvon Milarna. Credit Glenys Lilley

Not only are Ron and Val esteemed as international icons among Arabian breeders and professionals the world over, they are revered with even greater acclaim amongst the endurance community as the ‘godparents’, alongside RM and Erica Williams, of the sport in Australia. Foundation members of the inaugural Tom Quilty Endurance Ride Association in 1966, Ron and Val were charged with organising the very first 100 mile ride, which was conducted right in Ralvon’s backyard in the Hawkesbury. Ron competed on the newly acquired Shareym (Shafreyn x Ruheym), who finished fifth, earning Ron his first of 21 Quilty buckles, a record yet to be broken by any rider in the 55-year history of the gruelling event. Ron and Val’s essential connection to endurance eventually opened the doors to sales of Ralvon-bred horses to the Arabian Gulf, and trips to the Emirates and Qatar as guests of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and owner of the Royal Stables.

Ron and Val are quick to credit the Arabian horse for a most extraordinary life well lived. They have travelled the world while accompanying their horses, acting as judges and educators, visiting places such as the Middle East, Europe, North America and South Africa, all the while serving as superlative ambassadors of the breed and of Australia. Ever the innovators, Ron and Val are not only founding members of the Australian Endurance Riders Association, they were also instrumental in establishing both the NSW Arabian Horse Association and the Australian Palomino Horse Breeders Association, and proactively helped launch the Arabian Pony Studbook within the AHSA. They are both rightly honoured with life memberships of the Arabian Horse Society of Australia and currently serve as Joint Patrons of a society they have served and led for more than half a century. Most fittingly, Ron and Val have both been honoured with Medals of the Order of Australia for their years of outstanding service and exceptional achievement to Arabian horse breeding and equine sport.

Ron with Trincada Strike
Ron with Trincada Strike. Credit Sharon Meyers

Both Ron and Val have been lifelong residents of the Hawkesbury, having raised their three children in a region they love and all still call home. For decades, the Ralvon mantra has been Do not go where the road may lead but go ahead and leave a trail. Thank you, Ron and Val, for having the courage, the vision and the tenacity to blaze a trail of leadership and excellence for us all, one in which the future of the Arabian breed is unquestionably better and brighter.”

We remain eternally grateful for the generous friendship, the inspiring leadership and for the trailblazing contributions of both Ron and Val Males to our global Arabian community. Our deepest condolences are shared with the Males Family during this time of profound loss.


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