Scone Race Club Sires Produce Stakes 1948

Scone Race Club Sires Produce Stakes 1948

Featured Image: The nomination form of the Sire of “Flying Queen” winner of the first “Sires’ Produce Stakes” run on “White Park Racecourse” – Scone

This much is typed running vertically on the bottom left hand corner of the nomination form.

One of the best initiatives by the nascent Scone Race Club 1947 was to implement the Scone Sires Produce Stakes at its Cup Meeting on Wednesday 19th May 1948. This became a prestige race for a number of years before falling into abeyance by the mid-1960s. Winning this race always featured prominently in catalogues for the sale of yearlings if they were related to the victor via their dams.

The race was modelled on similar races held at metropolitan tracks in the different States; the objectives including the promotion of Sires and also supplementary sponsorship contributing to the purse for the race by charging nomination fees for each sire. Progeny of stallions not nominated were ineligible to start. The owner of the Sire of the winner of the race received a prize of £25.

Golden Sovereign (Imp) was nominated by Herbert Thompson of Tarwyn Park Stud – Widden NSW

White Park Awakens to Racing 1947

White Park Awakens to Racing 1947

Featured Image: Promotional Poster for the inaugural Scone Race Club Cup Meeting at White Park on Wednesday 7th May 1947

Harley Walden has written extensively on the genesis of the then newly constituted Scone Race Club and its initial foray at the brand new racetrack. The Club had at long last established a permanent home. White Park was to remain the spiritual home of the club for the next c. 47 years.  Harley called his histoire ‘The Spirit Within’. I was privileged to contribute in a small way with my submission; ‘Dreams; the Exodus, the Genesis and the Birth of a New Race Track’. The latter refers to the current location at Satur where it is likely to remain for the foreseeable future; certainly well into the 21st century.

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Racing at ‘Alabama’

Racing at ‘Alabama’

Featured Image: Program for Scone Jockey Club Race Meeting at “Alabama” Racecourse on Saturday 28th April 1945

The 2018 Scone Race Club Annual Cup Carnival is in full swing as I write with two days of highly competitive racing and almost $2 million available in prizemoney. Gai Waterhouse has just won the Cup; again!

Reflection relates how much ‘progress’ has been made in just over 70 years. I am the lucky current custodian of the hand written minutes of the Scone Jockey Club from 07/12/1944 to Tuesday 2nd July 1963 (Scone Race Club). The minutes are in two beautifully bound hard back foolscap-sized legers. The flowing hand writing is both exquisite and neat. These books are a precious commodity which came to me via Jack Johnston, his daughter Lesley and Harley Walden. No-one in authority appeared to want them? I will make sure they find a permanent and secure home; probably the Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society.

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The Rolls Royce Racing Chauffeur

The Rolls Royce Racing Chauffeur

Featured Image: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow redolent of the type owned by Harry Hayes; and driven to and from the Newcastle races by young Bill Presland

Bill Presland can recount a great tale; especially during escalation in fuel consumption at ‘The Willow Tree Hotel’ any time after about 4:30pm? Mine host Ian Campbell guarantees supply.

As a very young man Bill will retell how he regularly drove three of the Upper Hunter’s most prominent and eminent citizens to-and-from Newcastle (Broadmeadow) Races every second Saturday. Harry Hayes, Lionel Israel and Sir Alistair McMullin were firm friends and avid punters. All were very well informed. Bill made the mistake of declaring he had just obtained his open drivers’ licence. Harry seized the opportunity. He made Bill an offer he couldn’t refuse. Bill would collect and deliver the threesome each from their homes for the pilgrimage to Broadmeadow on alternate week-ends. This was long before the breathalyser and RBT. However the celebrated triptych was/were wise enough to fully assess the risks.

Harry also dangled a major carrot. Bill would drive Harry’s premier car; a luxury green Rolls Royce Phantom. The second option was a gold-coloured Mercedes 6.8 litre ‘mini tank’. Harry’s fellow Committee Member on the Newcastle Jockey Club Roy Bennett owned the car dealership ‘Bennett’s of Islington’. Maybe Roy saw Harry coming? Young Bill Presland was the second fish to be hooked; and landed.

Bill had to fill in the time while the trifecta fully explored their luck and judgement at the track. He said Sir Alistair treated him best on course and often entertained him to afternoon tea in the Member’s Reserve. Bill was always guarded in anything he said; very loyal to his erstwhile patrons. He did reveal the most heart-warming event was when Sir Alister and his only daughter Catherine (Cate) greeted each other on delivery home to St Aubin’s at the end of the day. If the travelling trio had had a good day Bill could expect a modest increase in his ‘sling’. Most addicted punters don’t give much away; literally or metaphorically. In any case it’s a cracking good yarn; unlikely to ever be repeated? None of the genres or characters even exist today.

Guy McLean

Guy McLean

Guy McLean show at White Park raises over $3,000 for the Dolly’s Dream Foundation

Featured Image: Guy McLean at White Park on Saturday 5th May 2018


Acknowledge: ‘The Scone Advocate’ and Caitlin Reid

IT didn’t matter if you were from the bush or the city, if you were at White Park on Saturday afternoon your eyes were fixated on the incredible horsemanship displayed by Guy McLean.

The two hour performance – a mixture of bush poetry, horsemanship and crowd interaction – proved to be a crowd pleaser with a gathering of an estimated 1,500 people for the afternoon.

The first hour saw Guy’s training technique and passion shine as he rode a young, unbroken stockhorse for the first time, donated by the Cutler family at Scone for the evening.

However a touching tribute added extra meaning to the event, as Guy recited his handwritten poem for Amy “Dolly” Everett – a victim of bullying who ended her life at just 14 years of age.

“This young girl was being attacked,” an emotional Guy said to the crowd.

“Why do we give them so much power, why do we let negativity eat us up so much?

“If I could have said one thing to Dolly Everett, if I could write a poem for Dolly to have read a month, a year before she felt that way it would have been this.”

Opening their pockets with gold coin donations upon entrance to White Park, over $3,000 has been raised for the Dolly’s Dream Foundation with the final figure to be announced.

Dolly’s Dream was established by her family and friends in her memory to help raise awareness of bullying within communities across Australia.

The event was part of the ten-day Scone Horse Festival with committee president David Gatwood not ruling out a return visit for Guy.

“He is very keen to be invited back,” he said.

“The talk at this stage is that it’s a possibility that when the covered arena at White Park is finished Guy McLean will come back and open it.”

Acres Liberty Beau: Inaugural Scone Horse of the Year 2018

Acres Liberty Beau: Inaugural Scone Horse of the Year 2018

Featured Image:

Acres Liberty Beau ridden by Allan Young scores 92 to win the first round of the Open Horse at the ABCRA National Finals 2014 at Tamworth. (Acknowledge Scone Advocate/Rural Press)

May 5, 2018

THE inaugural Scone Horse Festival Horse of the Year was awarded to Acres Liberty Beau, owned by Allan Young.

The 19 year old Australian Quarter Horse cross Australian Stockhorse Stallion has been prolific in camp drafting, winning 91 to date.

Owned by Allan Young, campaigned by Jorjia Edwards and Tamika Edwards in the juvenile Campdraft, Fayth and Mikayla Edwards in the 8-13 Cut-outs and Allan Young in the Open and Open for Open Campdraft to qualify for National Finals over the years and Hunter Zone Awards

Beau has been Champion all Round and Open Horse for the Hunter Zone for the past ten years and won the ABDRA Open Horse and All Round Horse and is continuing to compete.

Acre Liberty Beau’s sire is Acres Destiny and dam Jessies Liberty Belle.

Acres Liberty Beau has also sired progeny to win Hunter Zone titles.

Acres Liberty Beau scores 92 to win the first round of the Open Horse at the ABCRA National Finals 2014.

Dartbrook horse trainer Allan Young scooped the pool at the Australian Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo (ABCRA) National Finals Campdraft held in Tamworth last week.

Riding his highly regarded Quarter Horse buckskin stallion Acre’s Liberty Beau, Young took out the Open Horse event in fine style backing it up with another win in the Maiden event on a second horse.

“Acre’s Liberty Beau is just a fantastic horse.

“I’ve been competing on him for over 10 years, and he’s still got it.

With a 92 in the first round, 90 in the second and 88 in the third Young rode clear of Nigel Kable on Ivory by nine points, and Wayne Smith on Reaction by 21 points in the aggregate scores.

“This is the third or fourth time he has won at the nationals, the last time was two years ago and he was an absolute gem for my niece who also rode him in the juniors,” he said.

While Young said he tended to call his horse ‘Bozo’ around the yard, niece Jorjia Edwards of Aberdeen prefers ‘Boo Boo’.

“Jorjia did a really great job riding him,” he said.

“She got an 85 in the junior rider 8 and Under 13 draft and came second in the second go round,” he said.

Young went on to ride Murray Grady’s horse Tulips from Merriwa to first place in the Mitavite Maiden Open draft with an aggregate score of 246.

“Tulips is only a six-year-old mare, she was very consistent and scored in all three rounds, so it was a great win for her,” he said.

Tash Holden

St Aubin’s Without Dispersal Sale 1984

St Aubin’s Without Dispersal Sale 1984

The sale of furniture and antiques from the former home of Norman and Judith Smith on Saturday 1st December 1984 was a seminal moment in the long history of ‘succession’ in the totemic properties around Scone and District. The 1313 hectare (3244 acres) Stud Farm had been sold the previous week for $3 million to a Bahrein-based Australian investor.

The property’s unusual name was coined in 1936 when it was subdivided among the Smith Family. One section became “without” the original St Aubin’s Homestead. Both Norman and Judith Smith were moving on to a sojourn in the UK and subsequently Ireland to be near their elder daughters Elizabeth and Anna. Mrs Judith Smith later returned to the Upper Hunter where she was cared for by her youngest daughter Harriet (McKillop).

The eclectic collection of glassware, furniture, antiques and national treasures attracted worldwide attention. The aggregate was a most satisfying c. $500,000:00. The top lot was the final Number 276; a fine and rare Australian Longcase Regulator c.1825, J. Robertson, Government Clockmaker, 57 Castlereagh Street, Sydney which made $40,000:00. It was originally commissioned by Governor Brisbane in 1821.

As I write it appears there will also be a dispersal of goods and chattels at St Aubin’s Homestead?

The contents of St Aubins House Sale 2018

Sunday 8th July 2018 @ St Luke’s Hall, Liverpool Street, Scone

SH151 – The Contents of St Aubins House, Scone

Auction Details

Sunday 08 July 2018 at 12:00pmSt Luke’s Hall, Cnr Hill and Liverpool St, Scone

On View

On-Site | St Aubins House
2471 New England Highway, Scone
Friday 6 July 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 7 July 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 8 July 9:00am – 11:00am

See also:

St Aubin’s Auction on Sunday

St Aubin’s: History of a Home

Surprises at St Aubin’s Sale


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Courage Under Fire

Courage Under Fire

(aka Leadership)

Featured Image: Courage Under Fire (1995– 29 July 2017) was a New Zealand-bred champion Standardbred race horse notable for being undefeated in his first 24 race starts. A diminutive horse, he was known as Mighty Mouse.

Acknowledgements to Mr. Stuart Guihot – aged 11 at the time

I did say I’d pontificate on leadership? By the time you see this you will have passed judgment on your latest representatives in the corridors of power at 106 Liverpool Street? I will be in Africa with the other ‘wildlife’! Late last year I was placed under the microscope! A young gentleman aspiring to a leadership role in forthcoming Year 6 at his primary school asked me for an interview on the subject. ‘Aspirational leadership’ sounds a bit like John Winston Howard – but I think we’ll leave it there! I was staggered but recovered sufficiently and just in time to purview the issue. It was just before a major national election when in his words ‘eligible people vote for a leader of their community and our country’. The young man sought guidance on what might be some of the qualities that the people will be looking for in the leader that they choose? I tried ‘not to be chicken and play possum’ and we discussed the premise. We arrived at the following case scenario.

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Traditional Numinous @ Dark Point

Traditional Numinous @ Dark Point

Featured Image: Dark Point Aboriginal Place, Mungo Track, Hawks Nest, NSW

The plangent cry of the Black Cockatoos harshly expunged the soothing mellow morning calm. Their stentorian call contrasted sharply with the gentle lyrical patois of the fading tribal elder of the local Worimi people. The Kaattang or Kathung argot was unique to the area the ‘whitefellas’ called ‘Little Gibber’ or ‘Dark Point’. Here since the sweeping creation by the Rainbow Serpent the Worimi had gathered their shells, honed their tools and manufactured their weapons. Ritual burials occurred near this awesome place where the low angle of the early morning and late evening sun casts lengthening shadows over the windswept surface patterns of the sand, animal tracks and the towering dunes themselves (1).

The elder said: ‘My father [also called Joseph – Tuekakas ‘converted’ by Christians and re-named] was the first to see through the schemes of the white men. He said they will teach you to have schools and churches. We do not want schools and churches. There they teach you to quarrel about God like the Protestants and Catholics do. We quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth but we do not argue about God. We do not want to learn that. He said, “My son…. [w]hen I am gone…..[y]ou are the leader of these people. Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home…. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father’s body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother”.

I pressed my father’s hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life…. A man who would not love his father’s grave is worse than any wild animal (2).

Elder Joseph.


  1. Christian Patteson: ‘A Visitors Guide to Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens’
  2. Alvin M. Josephy, JR.: ‘The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest’

Dark Point

We renamed Dark Point as ‘Pirate Point’ for the benefit of my children and grandchildren on one of our many forays at Hawks Nest. It certainly has a very special resonance although now successfully ‘invaded’ by the SUV 4-Wheel Drive Beach ‘White Tribe’ who camp there and ‘consume’.

Dark Point Aboriginal Place, in southern Myall Lakes National Park, is a culturally significant site for the Worimi people with scenic coastal views across to Broughton Island.

The rocky headland of Dark Point, north of Hawks Nest and in the southern area of Myall Lakes National Park, was declared an Aboriginal Site of significance in 2002. This area has a rich cultural history and has been a gathering place for the Worimi people for over 4000 years, making it well worth a visit.

Walk along Dark Point walking track to the headland and take in the fresh coastal breezes. Observing the sweeping scenic views across to Broughton Island, you can imagine why it was a popular spot for so long.

The Worimi people would gather here in clan groups, or nuras, to feast on the abundant seafood. Traditional burial sites, as well as middens, have been found in this area.


Chief Joseph and Commander-in-Chief Donald

Chief Joseph and Commander-in-Chief Donald

Featured Image: Young Chief Joseph in 1877

I mentioned in my manic memoir I might resort to established ‘First Nation’ philosophy as my finale? In this case I can find no better examples than the last two ‘free leaders’ of the Nez Perce tribe of North American Indians in the Oregon Territory during the latter part of the 19th century. I will let them tell their own story. I also wish to compare them with today’s democratically elected Commander-in-Chief of the greatest cache of weapons of mass destruction ever assembled by one dominant nation (USA) throughout the long history of mankind. As I write President Trump is sashaying through yet another round of florid accusations of dalliance with accommodating lubricious ladies of liberal virtue and flexible morality. The issue is not that he may have transgressed but rather if payment was made and under what or who’s auspices? I conclude with a brief foray into the virtue, or otherwise, of democracy today as seen through the eyes, and pens, of some eminent voyeurs. Is President Trump the pinnacle achievement of democracy in the 21st century?

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