The Markham (Irish meaning “The Horsemen”) family have owned and raced Standardbreds since the 1900’s. Ernie Markham and his son John sold their first yearling at the Sydney Sales over 35 years ago, and except for the very first APGold Sale, have sold yearlings in every Sale since.

The family, through James Markham, sold hundreds of horses overseas to Japan & South Africa during the Boer war 1890’s – 1906 and owned the unbeaten trotters Andrew Mack and Ernie M, along with the famous trotter of his time – GUY FAWKES .

They have topped or finished second a few times in the Sydney Gold Sale, the highest priced yearling in Australia ($85,000 in 2006).

The property, “Rainbow Farms” named after his Irish heritage (John’s ancestors came to the valley 150 years ago) is located on the Hunter River in rich horse country, just south of Scone.

The Markham’s breed from very strong mare families each year, concentrating on only two and three year old producing families and breeding only to the top sires.  They were one of the first to use chilled semen back in the 1980’s. This picturesque farm is customised to the needs of all the mares and the upbringing of their foals and are catered for by the whole family.  All the breeding, foal handling, feet trimming ,foaling down, educating and sales preparations are carried out by John & Sue, Ernie (Dad), Dianne (mum), Patricia (sister), & the kids- Leila , Jack & Sam.

The family has bred many Classic, Sires Stakes, Group and $100,000 winners in their time – all with RAINBOW in their names.

John Markham is close to the longest serving original breeder in NSW and has been a constant member of the Harness Breeders NSW since the 1990’s. John along with his wife Sue, bred the sensational 2YO KEPT UNDER WRAPS.

KEPT UNDER WRAPS was originally named RAINBOW BETTS and was sold at the Sydney APG sale by Rainbow Farms. Bought by the All Stars Racing team of Mark Purdon for only $18,000, he has proved to be a bargain with just over $530,000 in prizemoney to date, $187,911 here in the Southern Hemisphere and $294,361 in the Northern.
The Markham’s are so excited about their latest draft that will be on offer with the team from Neds-APG in March 2022:

COLT – Captain Treacherous-Artistic Rainbow, 1.55,6..$100,000. (by Artsplace) .

Dam of A Rainbow Delight, 3yo,  1.52.9, $105,000.  Somwhereovarainbow, 1.54.3 $75,000 and a  Sister to the dam of – Im Supersonic , 1.49.8. $300,000.   Magnificent early foal !

COLT – Sweet Lou- Rainbow Sue, 3yo 1.56.4. (Art Major) Dam of Sioux Rainbow, 3yo  1.52.7 . Wraith Memorial.  This is her  2ndfoal .  Her dam is Starry Rainbow 1.58.2, $85,000, 6 raced 5 in 2.00 (Fake Left – Hikealong).

FILLY- Sweet Lou- Esprit Rainbow, 1.58.9  (Art Major) Dam of The Rainbow Beach 2yo , 1.56.9  2x 2yo wins 2021.Placed hts APG & Bathurst. This is her 2nd Foal. Her dam is Sky Rainbow 1.58.2. $113,000.(Fake Left-Hikealong).

COLT- Betting Line- Hartsplace Rainbow  (Artsplace – Sky Rainbow)  Big strong Black colt, early foal. 2nd Foal.

COLT- Always B Miki – Dance A Rainbow , 3yo 1.59.2. $53,000. Dam of Rainbow Comet. 2yo 1.55.6. Consolation Final 2yo APGold.

Let’s not forget the two trotters by the number 1 trotting sire, Majestic Son that will also grace the sale ring under the Rainbow banner.

Every year the team at Rainbow Farms fully pay up for all their yearlings to make them fully eligible for the NSW Breeders Challenge.  This is a serious saving for the new owners come sales day.

When we spoke to John Markham today he said:

“We would like to make it public and congratulate APG on the monumental prizemoney achieved for the Neds-APG $3M series. Not since the original race in 1991 with a $500,000 mixed sex 2yo final, have we been so proud to see this concept reach its full potential.  APG have combined a happy medium of state finals with a National Championship Final. (The BEST 2yo COLT & FILLY in AUSTRALIA !) which was the original concept in 1990. Well done”.

Be like John, Sue and the team from Rainbow Farms and click the link below to secure your place in history.


To be eligible for FREE ENTRY (NSW & VIC) and vendor bonuses, entries must be received by the 16th August.

Please phone Linda Graham – 0428 955 998 or e-mail her at and she’ll be pleased to assist you with your online yearling sale entries & enquiries.