Upper Hunter Land Use Planning

Upper Hunter Land Use Planning

A fresh initiative has been set up designed to ‘firm up’ and lobby the NSW Governments’ commitment to its Land Use Planning Strategies.  It’s called ‘Upper Hunter National Treasure’ and can be found at the site address:  www.upperhunternationaltreasure.com.au

The website requests that the Senate support a 2020/21 National Heritage nomination and establish a Committee to report on the national importance of the Upper’s Hunter’s connecting equine, viticulture and agricultural critical cluster and townships.

https://www.upperhunternationaltreasure.com.au/news/upper-hunter-is-reflective-of-a-significant-phase-in-colonial-history

Its purpose is to preserve the critical equine, viticulture and agricultural clusters from the NSW Government’s plans for coal, mineral and coal seam gas exploration and high density wind, solar and bio-farms within the region. A petition has been organised which at your absolute discretion you are at liberty to support; or not.

Upper Hunter Region Equine Profile:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b01642_c0eaf4dd87ac49d580da1107bea8836a.pdf

Upper Hunter Region Agricultural Profile:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b01642_ec25ec97f8cf428da1eaf28b61560e68.pdf

HUNTER ESTATES A Comparative Heritage Study of pre 1850s Homestead Complexes in the Hunter Region:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b01642_c9728135442d45e189a412a2803ecea8.pdf

About The Wonnarua:

http://www.wonnarua.org.au/images/about%20the%20wonnarua%202.pdf

The Fabulous Foysters

The Fabulous Foysters

Featured Image:  Mark & John Foyster Dispersal Sale 1992. It was a ‘modest catalogue’ of 83 lots.

The ‘Fabulous Foysters’ burst upon the Australian Racing Industry like an old fashioned gold rush of the 19th century. Perhaps a stock market ‘Poseidon Adventure’ boom might be more apposite? Bill Casey called it ‘taking racing by storm’. In their case it was a rutile fortune and not gold. Three of the brothers, the sons of ‘old Jack’, developed thoroughbred studs: Lloyd with ‘Gooree’ at Mudgee, John ‘Guntawang’ at nearby Gulgong and later Mark at ‘Balfour’, Jerrys Plains (formerly ‘Carrington’). The final dispersal sale of the interests of Mark & John at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sales Complex on Wednesday 15 January 1992 brought down the final curtain on the quixotic Foyster saga. It lasted for a bare 25 years?

Journalist Malcolm Brown hit the nail on the head with his hagiographic obituary to Lloyd Foyster which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 16th January 2012: Breeder with a taste for risk’

Continue reading →

Thoroughbred International Pty Ltd Dispersal Sale 1981

Thoroughbred International Pty Ltd Dispersal Sale 1981

Not infrequently in the thoroughbred breeding industry instant leviathan behemoths emerge. They invariably set out to dominate. Sometimes they do; usually for a short period only.

Brian Maher was such a person. He had enjoyed extraordinary success in the world of high finance and entrepreneurial commerce with his ‘bottom-of-the-harbour’ tax avoidance schemes. He made no secret of the fact. It was as if ‘nothing succeeds like excess’? Inevitably he attracted the avid interest of the Australian Government and ATO in particular. The pendulum swung against him.

In the interim Brian had invested very heavily in elite bloodstock. He and his equivalent cohort appear to love the high profile and enjoy the often transient limelight. In Brian’s case he elected to link up with John Kelso at Timor Creek Stud, Blandford, NSW. This was a smart move; to begin with. Brian had immediate access to the totemic Kelso brand-name with profound industry knowledge and John appreciated the ‘financial clout’ Brian brought along with him. It worked out well for a while but inevitably turned toxic when Brian thought he could dispense with John’s expertise.

With Brian’s demise in the High Court a full dispersal sale of his assets was unavoidable. This took place at the Gold Coast Convention and Sales Centre on Monday 27th July 1981 and Tuesday 28th July 1981. The conjoint agents were AML & F Brisbane, ABCOS Adelaide, Dalgety Victoria and William Inglis & Son Pty Ltd. 233 broodmares, two year olds, yearlings and weanlings were on offer.

Among the superb mares for sale were Golden Slipper Winners ‘Fairy Walk’ and ‘Vivarchi’ plus their progeny. Many were either from or closely related to the elite band of broodmares assembled by R F Moses at his boutique Fairways Stud, Muswellbrook. The resident covering stallions at Timor Creek at this time were Raffindale (GB), Jukebox (GB), Sharp Edge (GB) and Cheyne Walk. The latter was also bred at Fairways being by Le Cordonnier out of Fairy Walk (first foal). John Kelso was a great admirer of Reg Moses.

The highly successful sale brought to an abrupt end the rapid rise and equally precipitous fall of Brian Maher in the thoroughbred breeding industry. I think John Kelso was quietly relieved to be freed from the tentacles?

Banjo, Polo and Scone

Banjo, Polo and Scone

Featured Image: The first known photograph of the Scone Polo Club players; acknowledge ‘History of the Scone Polo Club 1891 to 1981’ by W A Bishop

Grantlee Kieza writes in his excellent biography ‘Banjo’ about Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s early love affair with the sport of Polo. Citing ‘Polo’ the Sydney Mail and New South Advertiser, 16 January 1892, p. 152 Kieza describes the visit by the Sydney Polo Club to Scone;

“In January 1892 Banjo and his club-mates caught the train to Scone, three hundred kilometres north of Sydney, to play polo against the landed gentry in that picturesque part of the colony. Banjo played well and in the final quarter ‘got the ball out of a hustle, and took it up the field to within  a foot of the goal, when the Scone full-back (No 4) just managed to tip it to the side and save the goal’”.

The locals eventually won, but it was a spirited match that lasted two hours, and the players all worked up an appetite for a convivial dinner at Scone’s Golden Fleece Hotel. The Members of the Committee of the Scone Club in 1891 were J A K Shaw, W B Pulling, A G White, H J Leary and W H Duckham. The Honorary Secretary was F A Parbury on whose Satur Property matches were played. Playing Members of the Scone Polo Club were J A K Shaw, W E White, A G White, V M White, A Ebsworth, F A Parbury, Dr Harry Scott, H J Leary, J J Dodd, W H Duckham, A Davies, W B Pulling and H Wiseman.

It’s just possible that this and other similar rural jousts inspired the spark for Banjo’s immortal ‘Geebung Polo Club’? Admittedly many other clubs and districts claim the right to the original entitlement. However, as author Grantlee Kieza rightly points out many of Banjo’s icons such as ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ and the ‘Man from Snowy River’ are ‘composites’?

It’s eminently possible, even probable, that Banjo Paterson cemented enduring friendships with a number of Scone’s intelligentsia including Solicitor J A K Shaw, Dr H J H Scott and Headmaster of Scone Grammar School W B Pulling. Banjo was known to make several regular visits to the town and district.

The following ‘Geebung Polo Club’ was printed in ‘The Antipodean’ the year after Banjo visited Scone to play Polo against the locals in 1892. ‘Banjo’ also played against the Muswellbrook Club at a venue in Sydney later in 1892.

Continue reading →

Newhaven Park Stud Dispersal 1996

Newhaven Park Stud Dispersal 1996

1.00pm Sunday 31 March 1996 @ William Inglis & Sons ‘Newmarket’, Young Street, Randwick

It all begins with a dream; yet another hoary old cliché. Sometimes dreams are realised. John Kelly Senior had returned from WWII and taken up the reins at the Kelly Family’s totemic property Newhaven Park at Boorowa. It was he who established the Newhaven Park Thoroughbred Stud in the 1940s. Owned by the family since the 1920s the prime farmland of 3200 acres was run as a sheep (wool) and cattle property. It might be claimed John Kelly started out with a significant advantage over his competitors. This was proven pristine breeding country for all classes of livestock including thoroughbred horses.

Continue reading →