A “Ducatoon” was a silver coin minted in the 12th century in Venice and was commonly used for gambling purposes. This name was selected for a big gangly filly in 1979, called Ducatoon.  She was by Gay Gambler from True Ruler, and this is the start of the Ducatoon Park story. 

Ducatoon had a special place in Peter Toole’s memory bank.  He was with her mother True Ruler, when she was born, Oct 20th, 1976.  He handled her as a foal, weanling and prepared her for the 1978 Adelaide Yearlings Sales.  She was sold for $10,000, but one year later she was re-offered for sale and was purchased by Peter and brother Brian for $9,000.   

Ducatoon was an exceptional racehorse winning 9 races, but her claim to fame was when she started from barrier 18 in the Group 1 QTC Stradbroke as a 3 year old and led all the way to win by a widening 1-1/2 lengths.  Unfortunately she was disqualified after returning a positive swab, which contained a minute sample of caffeine.   

Ducatoon also won the STC Queen of the Turf Stakes and ran close seconds to Manikato in the VATC Futurity and in the AJC Doncaster Handicap to Lawman.  Her daughter Topatoon, a foundation mare at Ducatoon Park, has already thrown Real Currency a multiple stakes winner in Western Australia. 

The Kambula Years

Peter Toole was born to be a horseman.  His father Laurie was a very successful amateur jockey on Eyre Peninsula, and he dabbled in breeding for years before he purchased the W.S. Cox Plate winner in Chanak. Chanak proved very popular and soon the sideline hobby became too big, and in 1952 Laurie with his family, purchased the well-established Kambula Stud at Kadina. 

Unfortunately in 1959 Laurie died at the age of 52. Leaving Brian aged 20 and Peter aged 18 to carry on the business.  The going was extremely tough for the Toole families, but in 1972 they decided to increase their land holding of 250 acres, by buying the neighbours 450 acres, and then in 1974 they bought out another neighbour’s farm of 900 acres. 

Toole Brothers as they were known then, stood quite a few stallions with moderate success, but Gay Gambler put them on the map with many group and stakes performers. 

Many top horses came from Kambula in those years including Favoured (Queen Of The Turf and 13 Sydney wins), Inner Magic- STC Reisling Slipper Trial, Bianca – STC Reisling Slipper Trial and Black Opal Stakes, Lady Fontaine SAJC Oaks, Ducatoon- QTC Stradbroke- later disqualified, 2nd AJC Doncaster, 2nd VATC Futurity ( to Manikato). 

But like a lot of partnerships, Toole Bros was wound up in 1995 and Peter, wife Valmai and family embarked on the next phase of their lives establishing Ducatoon Park.

The Family

Peter and Valmai have been married for 46 years and have 4 children:

Natalie a very talented hairdresser, who had her own hairdressing business at 20 years old, she has closed her salon and working part-time now as she has 2 daughters, Abby 11 years and Emma 9 years.   
Natalie was given the honour and privilege of styling the then governor of South Australia, Margorie Jackson Nelson’s hair prior to a very important function, when her normal hairdresser was away on holidays.

Diane an extremely understanding schoolteacher, taught at Wallaroo Primary School for 7 years, has been school counsellor, Deputy Head, and was at St. Leonards Primary School at Glenelg in Adelaide for 7 years and now in her fourth year at Goodwood Primary. She is a one-eyed Western Bulldogs fan and enjoys her football.

Mark has been at Ducatoon Park since day one and a very capable horseman.  In 2003 he worked at the famous Ashford Stud in Kentucky for 12 months, at Windfield Farm in Canada and also at Keenland yearling sales.  He is a talented country footballer with many awards to his credit.  Highlighted being awarded ‘Best on Ground’ in the 2004 Grand Final, which they won.
Mark was regularly hired by leading Eastern State Studs, Widden, Eliza Park and Erinvale as a professional yearling leader. He is now married to Hayley and has 2 children - Montana 3 years and Darby 2 years.

Steve is a qualified baker, having 6 years at Price's Bakery at Kadina.  He has qualifications as a tourism guide. When Mark went to America to work, Steve came back to Ducatoon Park for 15 months and under the skillful eye of his father, developed into a top horseman. After spending 3 years at the historically successful Widden Stud in N.S.W., where he looked after very successful stallions Anabaa, General Nediym and Golden Slipper winner Stratum then moved onto one of Australia's top Studs in Arrowfield in May 2007 and is on the Stallion team and looked after Redoute's Choice, Flying Spur, Danzero, Snitzel and Hussonet.  During his time at Widden he spent 6 months at Three Chimney's in Kentucky. He is currently a senior stallion handler at Darley and looks after the leading Australian sire in Street Cry and Sepoy. Steve and Amanda have 3 children - Clancy 7 years Henry 2 and Lola 10 days.

Peter himself has been a member of Kadina Lions Club for 30 years, after having 10 years in Kadina Apex Club.  He has held many positions in both clubs and was President of the Lions 1999-2000. He is currently historian. Peter is a foundation member of the Yorke Peninsula Branch of the Make A Wish Foundation. His main job is  Public Speaking. Football has played an important role in Peter's life, having coached or managed junior teams for 10 years in Kadina with 3 premierships. 

Valmai manages the office work at Ducatoon Park. She was completely computer illiterate when commenced business in 1995.  Having had many hours tuition from Diane and also help from Hayley. Valmai is a typical farm housewife, mother, grandmother, child-minder, entertainer, truck driver and helps with many jobs.