Ryder, George Edward (1905–1989)
By Wayne Peake
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012
Foreword (by the author WPH)
Featured Image: Bob Hawke, Neville Voigt, Tommy Smith and STC Chairman George Ryder at Rosehill Races
An erudite lady friend of mine with a deeply profound knowledge of the industry has written:
Thank you also for the article about GER. I’ m amazed that a man from such humble beginnings and such a paucity of education could rise to become a Captain of Industry. Australia certainly is the land of opportunity where labor omnia vincit! Love J…y.
I think it would be fair to claim that all four men assembled in the Featured Image were ‘from humble origins’? The Prime Minister, Champion Trainer and Chairman of the Sydney Turf Club might slightly shade outstanding jockey Neville Voigt from Quirindi; but not by much? As an immigrant I think it speaks volumes that all four are able to stand together equally on the podium in celebration of a seminal event?
Tommy Smith stated categorically that George Ryder was the best man for racing in his time. Who am I to argue? He was a great friend of Scone and the Scone Race Club although ‘controversial’ at times! He was the most stimulating company and a brilliant raconteur. I’m proud to have known him. The following biography by Wayne Peake captures the man superbly. There are some ‘not for publication stories’ which could richly enhance the encomium! It’s my opinion that George Ryder competes with Stanley Wootton for the title of most influential thoroughbred racing entrepreneur in NSW during the second half of the 20th century. Some might argue his influence was detrimental to the ‘breed’? Among his mantras were ‘put speed to speed and prey they stay’; ‘there are no looking races’ and ‘we need horses that fly around saucers’. He might have been thinking of the STC’s Canterbury Racecourse when promulgating the latter? I heard him say it when he was searching for a son of Dr Fager (USA) to stand at Kia Ora.
See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/arabs-cup-meeting/