R F Moses (RFM)

R F ‘Reg’ Moses (RFM)

‘The Star Kingdom Dynasty’ Video has been one of the most popular hits on this website. I have written earlier about two of Star Kingdom’s owner S T Wootton and A O Ellison. The third member of the triumvirate was R F ‘Reg’ Moses.

RFM was born at Randwick in 1900 and taken to the family property at Moree. His father was F A ‘Frederick Albert’ Moses of the famed duo of brothers W & F A Moses of ‘Arrowfield’. They were the most successful of breeders from 1910s to the 1930s. Their sire ‘Valais’ was champion for five seasons in succession 1922-23 to 1927-28. Among many great horses either bred and/or raced by the Moses brothers were ‘Poitrel’, ‘Heroic’, ‘Valicare’ and ‘Manfred’.

The Moses family had been closely associated with Richard Wootton since the time of his return from England in 1915. It was natural that RFM would strike up a relationship with Stanley Wootton (STW). Reg Moses had been breeding thoroughbreds in his own right since the 1920s. He consolidated his interests into the Fairways Stud Pty Limited which purchased the eponymous property at Muscle Creek, Muswellbrook.

At the time Star Kingdom arrived in Australia RFM and STW were already in partnership in the sires ‘Confessor’, ‘Newtown Wonder’ and ‘Port Vista’. ‘Newtown Wonder’ proved to be something of a sensation siring multiple winners of major sprint races including ‘Cultured’, ‘Apple Jack’, ‘Apple Bay’ and ‘Dubbo’. ‘Port Vista’ was initially very promising with ‘Gay Vista’ (bred by STW) in his first crop. Later he faded but still sired good performers in ‘Our Cobber’, ‘Toi Port’ and ‘Regal Vista’. RFM had been an AJC Committeeman between 1945 and 1954. This ended ignominiously with insidious accusations of illegal betting transactions involving a leading jockey.

Many other Moses family members also played major roles in thoroughbred breeding through the Star Kingdom era adding considerable cachet to his outstanding success. Brothers Bill, Fred, Geoff and Henry all purchased shares and/or nominations to Star Kingdom. They bred some of the best racehorses including ‘Fine and Dandy’, ‘Time and Tide’ and ‘Gold Stakes’. A cousin R W (Rupert) Moses bred ‘Magic Night’ who was Star Kingdoms’ fifth successive winner of the Golden Slipper Stakes in 1961.

The Moses’ family tradition in thoroughbred racing and breeding continues to the present day. Fred and Mary Moses (nee Munro) own and run Kanangra Farm at Scone. Henry Field is RFMs great grandson. He is the Principle of the burgeoning gargantuan ‘Newgate Farm’ at Aberdeen.

I was most fortunate to share lunch with Mr & Mrs Reg Moses at ‘Fairways’ every spring season Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This homely privilege dissipated with the failure of RFM’s imported Rockefella stallion ‘Radames’ (Fr).

Of the three owners of Star Kingdom RFM was the most astute observer of bloodstock despite losing an eye as a young man; STW the most sagacious and sapient; AOE the best gardener.

I acknowledge my good friend the late Peter Pring as the source of much of this dialogue in his seminal tome: The Star Kingdom Story (The Thoroughbred Press, Sydney).

Toby Edmonds

Toby Edmonds

Toby Edmonds is another Scone-bred local who is making tsunami scale waves at the very top level. I am reminded by Geoff Palmer in the ‘Belmore Hotel’ that he taught Toby to ride when at Noisy Noonan’s old stables at the bottom end of town. Another stable mate was emerging champion trainer Peter Snowdon. There must have been something in the feed; or water in lower Aberdeen Street? Maybe it was Geoff’s exquisite early tuition? Geoff was multi-skilled at shearing, stockman, horse breaker, track work rider, trainer, rouse-about, slaughter man and a variety of other. I clearly recall a dedicated young ingenue asking all questions and desperately keen to learn.

The mix of old school horsemanship taught to him by two greats in Neville Begg and Peter Snowden and new training techniques learnt by vying his trade in some of the best training centres in Australia has given Toby the necessary tools to compete with the best.

Based on the Gold Coast at Bundall the climate and facilities enable horses to produce their best performance possible on race day.

Toby believes in his ability to place his horses to perfection giving owners the ultimate chance at success they strive for.

Toby offers first class facilities at the Gold Coast Turf Club home to the famous Magic Millions Carnival and also the time honoured Hollindale Stakes.

After spending 2010 as Patinack Farm’s Queensland foreman Toby is now training back in his own right and has already firmly entrenched himself as one of Queensland’s leading trainers. Toby’s facilities consist of a 37 horse barn, 8 horse-walker, a beautiful canal walk to the track where the horses can stop for a pick of grass and all the world class training tracks. Col Watts told me Toby has recently expanded his stables with some serious 21st century construction. With nearby beaches frequently utilized there is every reason to believe any horse will be a winner with Edmonds Racing!

Stallions Illustrated by Clarence Hailey

Stallions Illustrated by Clarence Hailey Newmarket: Part I; December 1910: Price 10/6

Preface by the Right Honourable the Earl of Coventry

I understand that up to the present time no book has been published combining pictures of stallions with their pedigrees, height, colour and performances, recorded in a concise and convenient form.

Breeders know the labour entailed in referring to back numbers of the Racing Calendar for those particulars, and if only for this reason the proposed volume of “Stallions Illustrated” will be welcomed by all who are interested in the thoroughbred horse.

Possibly the cause of this defect in the history of the Turf may be attributed to the fact that it is only during the last 20 or 30 years that Animal Photography has become so perfect and useful in conveying an accurate representation of the animal. It appears there will be close upon 150 horses portrayed, and information will be given with regard to their pedigrees and performances on the Race Course, so that it seems a foregone conclusion that this production must be appreciated when it comes to the public.

Very appropriately included in the first number we find the names of Galopin, Persimmon, Ormonde, St Simon, Bend Or, and Ayrshire, and, although these horses are no longer living, they have made a mark in Turf history by remarkable performances, and their record at the Stud has been in most instances a success.

There will also be found in the book notices of horses, located in the United Kingdom, and many an Owner will be spared a journey to see the Sire he intends to use by having these portraits before him.

Mr Clarence Hailey, who has given his whole life career to Horse photography, is responsible for this work, and I believe that many who are interested in the subject will agree that he has given us exactly what we want.

COVENTRY.         25th July, 1910.

Part I contains the photograph of the twelve (12) stallions uploaded in succession. There is also an extended pedigree diagram (6 generations back) for each plus racetrack performances at 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old seasons where relevant. Count Schomberg raced until he was eight (8) but most retired as 3 or 4 year olds. ‘Isinglass’ was the stand our performer winning an impressive total of £57,455 in 11 career wins with one defeat; second in the Lancashire Plate at Manchester in 1893. Ormonde remained unbeaten in all his 16 starts. Historically St Simon proved to be the greatest of sires. The Stud where the living stallions are standing is provided along with the stud fee (Guineas)  and inevitably ‘one Guinea the Groom’.

This was the very beginning of photography as an art form. The earliest depictions are include here.

Glamour Horse Sport Injuries

With all the justifiable euphoria about Winx and others such as Haydon Angel Jewel it might be timely to quietly reflect on the behind-the-scenes aspects of glamour horse sports?

Featured Image: Jockeys Jodie Riley and Alison Threadwell were injured at Scone races in 2010

Without wishing to be a maudlin pariah I can recount many incidents which have seriously affected me over the past 50 years. The low point of my stewardship of the Scone Race Club came early in my Presidency beginning in 1978. Apprentice Jockey Craig Ayton came to grief at White Park in a summer meeting in 1979. Craig was apprenticed to Alan Bailey at Wyong. A coronial inquest delivered a verdict of death by accidental work-place ‘situational’ misadventure without apportioning blame to any third party. However it’s a very bitter pill. One never forgets. I’ve always speculated if Alan Bailey’s subsequent relocation to the Gold Coast might have been a ‘geographical’ appeasement?

Many friends from the ‘good old days’ perished in arguably the most dangerous of horse sports: Campdrafting. Skull fractures seem to be an occupational hazard. Many notable Upper Hunter families are still marked by residual grief. My late close friend Harley Walden brought all this together in his own unique style. He mentions Greg Cribb and Keith Banks in his minutely researched article which appeared in the Scone Advocate on 7th February 2013. I have written elsewhere about Greg’s father Eric ‘Shorty’ Cribb as well as his brother-in-law Peter Snowdon. It was a conversation with Keith Banks recently that prompted me to write this and also liberally quote Harley. Keith told me that despite many vicissitudes he rode in most major races and on most principle race tracks throughout Eastern Australia; including two Melbourne Cups. He was a very gifted natural lightweight.

Continue reading →

Hunter Valley Horses Royal Ceremony in Thailand

Thailand grinds to a halt for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s five-day funeral in Bangkok

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-26/thailand-stops-for-cremation-of-revered-king-bhumibol/9085174

Liam Cochrane reports from the Bangkok about the incredible funeral for the late King Bhumibol of Thailand. The elaborate five day ceremony at the golden royal crematorium is labelled as ‘heaven on earth’ for the devout Royalist Thai Nation most of whom have never seen such a spectacle. King Bhumipol ruled for 70 years before passing away on 13th October 2016.

Australian horses used in ceremony

There is an Australian link to this royal event.

Most of the horses used by the ceremonial King’s guard are either Australian or the offspring of Australian horses.

They will form an honour guard on the final day, as the King’s ashes are moved to their final resting place.

“Just a few weeks ago, the Royal Thai Army bought 55 new Australian horses to take part in this event,” Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand Paul Robilliard said:

“We’re very proud and pleased that Australian horses are going to be part of that honour guard.”

Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove will represent Australia at the event.

In fact the vast majority of the ceremonial horses were sourced through a passionate local agent in Murrurundi.

Haydon Angel Jewel

Haydon Angel Jewel

Featured Image: Haydon Angel Jewel (Mi Gatita) [Haydon Emerald-Haydon Drawn] continues her global travels going back to America in 2016. Adolfo Cambiaso is playing her here to win a third US Gold Cup.

This is about a famous Hunter Valley horse; not a person. Bred in the Upper Hunter Valley by Peter and Ali Haydon ‘Haydon Angel Jewel’ (Haydon Tourmaline ex Haydon Drawn) has been acknowledged as the ‘World’s Best Polo Pony’.  Played by the ‘world’s best Polo Player’ Adolfo Cambiaso ‘Haydon Angel Jewel’ has been retired to his stud farm and he will be breeding from her in Argentina. He was described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the greatest sportsman you’ve never heard of’ on December 8th 2014 following yet another stellar victory by his team La Dolfina. The imperious sportsman repeated the dose in his 16th victory in the Argentina Polo Open in December 2016; 12 Open victories in succession. Adolfo Cambiaso has a more than fleeting connection with the Hunter Valley having played for Kerry Packer’s Ellerston White/Ellerstina Teams during his early career.

Haydon Angel Jewel has recently been inducted into the International Polo Hall of Fame. A special video on the Haydon Family’s excellent website depicts the amazing historical journey by the mare to win every major Polo Tournament in the world. I’ve just received the Weekend Australian supplement ‘Beersheba: Legend of the Light Horse’. It’s intriguing to speculate that both ‘Midnight’ (Major Guy Haydon Beersheba 1918) and ‘Haydon Angel Jewel’ (Adolfo Cambiaso, ‘La Dolfina’, Argentina 2018) are from the same seed stock at Blandford NSW.

See: http://www.haydonhorsestud.com.au/

I have it on good authority the Scone Horse Festival Committee will institute a new category in 2018 equivalent to the Horse Week ‘Human’ VIP. The champion horse (all breeds) will be celebrated for the first time at the Scone Horse Festival in May 2018: Hunter Valley Horse of the Year. It’s a first-up dilemma of staggering proportions. Is Haydon Angel Jewel superior in her category to WINX in hers’? I’m just musing.



I’m claiming another title for Scone: Current Contemporary Coffee Capital of Country (CCCC of C).

I just counted at least fifteen (15) outlets for coffee sales in the township. Does that make us the latte lot as well? Not all of them are up market cafes. One is an innovative mobile service providing on-site delivery to business houses and professional practices. Two are combined with pubs.  There have been accusations in the past of the ‘Chardonnay Sipping Set’. I think I’ve seen a lot more evidence of conspicuous consumption of the predominantly plebeian pale amber fluid manufactured from crops rather than grapes. There possibly prevails a subliminal resistance in the urban township to downtrodden fruit?

It seems at last that coffee establishments outnumber those with licences for the sale and supply of alcohol. Come to think of it it’s just about a dead heat when you add up the Bottle Shops as well. These are usually independent franchises and two aligned with the major supermarkets. They used to be part of the pub scene but this has almost been eliminated. Even the licensed clubs appear to have been banished as suppliers of ‘carry out’. The price competition and sale of specials seem to have won the battle if not the war for the major supply chains.

I’ve written elsewhere about our camarilla of senior country males who meet on a designated regular basis. Wednesday WASPS, Midweek Brotherhood and Wednesday Wombats have all been floated as appropriate sobriquets. A similar scene exists with the cadres of dowager-equivalent female gender. The Susan Street Sorority (‘The Sisterhood’) has a regulation date on a Saturday morning. The distaff coterie of the Wednesday Brotherhood have also struck a resilient blow; but at a different location and identical time frame.

A few short years ago there was a makeover in Denman; gourmet French cafes in the main drag. Local farmer Ted Hewitt laconically remarked: “The good ol’ boys are drinking latte in Ogilvie Street”! If it can happen in Denman NSW it can happen anywhere! Long live the good ship CCCC of C and all who sip in her! What about the scones?

The following tribute was submitted by Rick Wright who also wrote ‘What About Winx’:

SCG (Scone Coffee Group)

We meet every week at the end of the street and sip at our coffee and tea,

There isn’t a sub for this fine coffee club and the conversation is free,

The girls know us well with that fine coffee smell/ enough to bring tears to the eyes

And I shouldn’t mention we’ll soon be on pensions but we are all brilliant and wise.

We talk about horses and cows stuck in bogs, koalas, goannas and favourite dogs.

Wannabees, Wallabies, all the best studs, jackaroos, jillaroos, thoroughbred blood

Why bees aren’t swarming, the globe that is warming,

Reasons for seasons with drought fire and flood.

The vets and the doctors and businessmen too don’t talk of religion and money’s taboo.

Cattle ticks, politics, Commonwealth games, most of us just can’t remember some names

Charming old farmers who chat up the staff between telling jokes for a bit of a laugh

Capers in papers all round the world; crickets and wickets and scandals unfurled.

Gunnas and doers, plodders and dags, stopping for shopping with no plastic bags.

We’re now at the age and up to the stage when some could be soon underground,

But I’m telling you, it’s a God awful view so keep yourself hopping around.

Take all your chances to love and do dances, no luxury like shedding tears

It’s now Christmas time so stay out of crime and do have a prosperous year.   RBW

What About Winx Update

‘What About Winx’ Update

This is ‘hot from the press’ of Scone local Jamie Payne. The featured image is the brand of Galloping Media which doesn’t come out on a ‘blog’. I also refer to my earlier blog on ‘What About Winx’ and good mate Rick Wright which I think may have caused this to happen? Is that being presumptive and/or arrogant?

From: Jamie Payne <jamie@gallopingmedia.com>

Subject: “What About Winx” – By Rick Wright

Date: 27 October 2017 at 6:34:15 am AEDT

Good morning all,

A poet from the Hunter Valley near Scone has penned a poem “What About Winx” and on the eve of “TeamWinx” historic 3rd Cox Plate race we thought we would put it together with some vision to show the world.

Here is the link;


I hope you enjoy.

All the very best for tomorrow.

Many thanks,


Jamie Payne / Director
jamie@gallopingmedia.com / +61 0428 452 400

Galloping Group Pty Ltd

Morning Rick,

Hope you are getting some of this nice rain!

We’ve put the piece together & pushed it live this morning on the eve of the Cox Plate.

We had a VO artist from QLD record it & I think he’s done a great job.

Click the link below;


See below email that went to the owners this morning.

Thank you once again for the use of the poem & if there is any request from any of the media – I will forward them your number.

We’ll be in touch.

Many thanks,


W A Bishop

W A ‘Bill’ Bishop

Audrey Entwisle wrote another seminal historical tome entitled ‘Scone Shire: A Centenary History of Local Government’ (1988). I asked who in her opinion was the best Councillor administrator? She had no hesitation in naming W A ‘Bill’ Bishop.

Since 1957 there had taken place rancorous adumbrations of amalgamations. They always are. In three short years the Scone Shire achieved the coveted A R Bluett Award in 1960 against competition from the whole state. Audrey writes:  ‘This was in no small part due to the able leadership of W A Bishop of Wootton, Shire President, whose personality and authority smoothed the ruffled feathers of dis-affection and produced a hard working team of Councillors and Council Staff working with the full co-operation of the various organisations in the Shire’. The Council at this time were in addition to the President (Mayor); Vice President R J Allen; Councillors J J Bell; L B Carter; H R Hayes; E Jefferson; R N Johnson; W R M Kennedy; H P McLoughlin; J P Mannell and F A Wheatley. A S Maiden was Shire Clerk; E H McEvoy Shire Engineer and R M Jones the Health Inspector.

The list of achievements was impressive. Included were the Scone and District War Memorial Aerodrome; Scone and District Swimming Baths; miles of bitumen sealed roads; Garden Plots in Kelly Street; Planting of 610 trees; Aberdeen Recreation Ground improvements; new garbage depot; public health clean up campaigns for polio and diphtheria; vaccinations for tetanus; library services and Bush Fire Brigades. All of this was achieved well within budget with positive cash flows and leaving a considerable surplus. I believe part of W A Bishop’s strategy was establish his base at the Australian Club in Macquarie Street and hound NSW Government Ministers across the road in Parliament House until he had an answer. Bill Bishop was not one to accept no as an acceptable option.

The presentation of the A R Bluett Award was made on 3rd October 1961 by the Chairman of the A R Bluett Memorial Trust, Councillor C McCarron. It was received by the Shire President W A Bishop after a civic luncheon at the Golden Fleece Hotel. Earlier in the morning the Minister for Local Government (and later NSW Premier) P D Hills and his party had been taken on a tour of inspection of recent local works of interest, including the winner of the Champion Garden in the Floral Festival Garden Competition local icon Bill Weatherhed.

Bill Bishop subsequently wrote and published books himself including ‘A Hundred Years of Country Life ‘ and ‘A History of the Scone Polo Club 1891 to 1981’.