Ortensia

Ortensia

I was greatly enjoying the company of Alister Fraser and Paul Frampton at Scone Races on Monday 22nd July 2019. Alister was a busy committeeman of the club (one of very few) and Paul had just won Race 1 with rank outsider ‘Tann Hills’. Paul, originally from England, regaled us with his fascinating story of attending the very recent Royal Ascot Meeting as a privileged guest in a private box in the Royal Enclosure. Alister almost trumped his tale with a description of his own foray a few years earlier when his mare ‘Ortensia’ competed at Royal Ascot. She did not win on that occasion but Alister had witnessed ‘Frankel’ succeed on Day 1 and ‘Black Caviare’ frank her own fame on the final day. I was suddenly reminded that the success of ‘Ortensia’ was a Scone legend in its own right. Alister’s elder brother George had stamped his laurels as the official breeder of ‘Shocking’ who succeeded in the 2009 running of the Melbourne Cup.

Continue reading →

‘Caranna’ and the Cobcrofts

‘Caranna’ and the Cobcrofts

Featured Image: Denise and John Cobcroft at a Sydney ball in 1974

Picture: Rick Stevens     Caroline Overington       The Australian   12:00AM November 1, 2017

 

I’ve labelled this as being about really good race horse ‘Carannna’ but he’s actually only the lynchpin. It’s all about his owners; the Cobcroft Family of ‘Willowtree’. If you want to know about Caranna the racehorse and stallion visit Ian Ibbett’s great website:

http://kingsoftheturf.com/1955-the-hush-about-caranna/

The story of ‘Caranna’s win in the 1955 AJC Derby is a great one. The Cobcroft Brothers Gavin and Arthur were the very fabric of the then ruling rural realm of extremely successful farmers and graziers. They were also the embodiment of the post-WWII veterans who returned to a ‘land of plenty’ in the massive wool boom of the same era. They were hedonistic as well as halcyon days. They all deserved their rich rewards. Fellow genre grazier and North African veteran J K Thompson of ‘Ballantyne’, Cassillis ran second in the race with ‘Gay Rannick’. The winners’ enclosure would have resounded wildly and loudly to the bards from the bush. I’ll wager there were some massive side-bets and negotiable bragging rights?

Continue reading →

Dan Lewis: Early Education at Scone

Dan Lewis: Early Education at Scone

Old Time Racing and Sport: And Those Who Contributed To It

Acknowledge: This article appeared in the Scone Advocate around the 1950s and was written by A. F. S.; possibly one of the Smith family who had control of the newspaper at that time.

Featured Image: Leading Trainer Dan Lewis (NZ) at Randwick; Young Dan Lewis and his brother Hyman honed their early skills at Scone’s pigeon shoots

See also: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1946-dan-lewis-concerto-hit-the-right-note/

1946 – Dan Lewis & Concerto Hit the Right Note!

By Ian Ibbett

On April 11, 2018

In 1940’s

At the beginning of spring in 1946 the man generally acknowledged as the finest trainer of stayers in Sydney, had never won a Derby either at Randwick or Flemington.  The figure in question was the 71-year-old Dan Lewis.  A Derby victory might have been missing from his curriculum vitae, but he already had four Sydney Cups to his name.  A true gentleman of few words, and those few spoken in a soft and courteous manner, Dan Lewis had cut a distinctive figure on Sydney racecourses over many years with his trademark bowler hat, bow tie and pipe.  He was to remain reticent throughout a training career crowded with success in which his best two years were still to come, although he never did manage to top the Sydney trainers’ premiership.  Born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1875 the son of Henry Lewis, a publican, Dan came from a large and well-educated middle-class family that numbered among his brothers both a doctor and a solicitor.  The young Dan was the only son ever attracted to horse racing.

Continue reading →

Sir Samuel Hordern

Sir Samuel Hordern

Featured Image: Sir Samuel Hordern judging cattle at the Royal Easter Show

The Hordern family name in Australia is justifiably famous. There has been a long association with the Upper Hunter commencing with Sir Samuel’s acquisition of the Petwyn Vale Stud at Wingen near Scone in the early 1900s. This was a time when Sir Samuel was greatly enthused with thoroughbred racing and breeding. He became chairman of the Australian Jockey Club as well as President of the RAS of NSW. His grandson Sam (Junior) later established his Quarter Horse Stud at nearby Dry Creek Parkville and also ‘Halloween’ at Thompson’s Creek, Dartbrook.

It was of great interest to me that in the late 1800s and early 1900s Sir Samuel Hordern developed a very close association with the Day family of Newmarket, Suffolk, England. This was the family which produced outstanding trainers. Family member Fred Day was one of the most eminent equine veterinarians to ever practice at the headquarters of English training and racing. Since the mid-1960s my original practice at Scone, now Scone Equine Group, introduced and maintained an exchange ‘shuttle’ service of equine veterinarians and veterinary nurses between the two practices.

As usual Ian Ibbett has captured the whole story in his inimitable treatises as herewith:

See also: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1901-samuel-hordern-the-wilton-park-stud/

See also: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1919-sam-hordern-and-artilleryman/

See also: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hordern-sir-samuel-506

Continue reading →

The Blood of Sappho

The Blood of Sappho

Featured Image: George Lee (1834-1912) Breeder of Nellie

See also: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1879-the-blood-of-sappho/

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/colonial-foundation-mares/

See also: http://www.tbheritage.com/HistoricDams/ColonMares/C1.html

Douglas M Barrie, The Australian Bloodhorse (Angus and Robertson, Sydney: 1956)

My late ultra-conservative father-in-law Bob Mackay waxed lyrical and passionately about the tap root brood mare Sappho. This was unusual for him. However he was immensely proud that his great Polo Sire ‘Panzer’ traced back to her on the distaff side. He also praised in passing ‘Etra Weenie’ and ‘Diffidence’; her descendent daughters. He was right. This is the story of ‘Sappho’ who has a close connection to the Hunter valley through the Scott Brothers of ‘Glendon’ Singleton and also George and William Lee of Bathurst/Bylong.

Continue reading →

The Poseidon Adventure & Sir Hugh Denison

The Poseidon Adventure & Sir Hugh Denison

See: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1906-the-poseidon-adventure/

Featured Image: Hugh Dixson (Later Sir Hugh Denison)

Ian Ibbett does it best! I’m merely the conduit to the original source. The story of Hugh Dixson, ‘Mr U R Robertson’ and Hugh Denison (later Sir Hugh Denison) and ‘Poseidon’ is a fascinating one. It brings together so many elements of early thoroughbred racing and breeding in the Hunter Valley including the Dangar family of ‘Neotsfield’, Singleton. The ‘Poseidon’ adventure is a tangled web of speculative intrigue to say the least!

Sir Hugh Denison later owned the Sledmere Stud at Scone in partnership with Mr H G Raymond before the latter relocated to St Albans, Geelong. However I’m ‘jumping the gun’; and not for the first time! Ian Ibbett relates the exquisite detail in his inimitable prose.

See: https://kingsoftheturf.com/1906-the-poseidon-adventure/

Scone wins 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup

Scone wins 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup

Featured Image: Scone No 1 and captain David Paradice accepts the Cartier Queen’s Cup from HM Queen Elizabeth II; photo courtesy of Dr Wej Paradice

https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/6220777/scone-polo-wins-coveted-queens-cup-on-debut/?cs=1659&fbclid=IwAR0Km8QOY1_ugmApU513dPV9M3E0jeMlIhC3u_FvqtTyIVeS5PxvuMPRQwM#slide=1

Scone born-and-bred David Paradice richly deserves this trophy. He has invested significantly in the area and has also been a munificent public benefactor. His win has given enormous pleasure and satisfaction to parents Dr John and Mrs Bobbie Paradice plus all siblings and their partners. It is significant that David is sporting the No 1 Polo Jumper which is actually a position on the team. David might claim it has other resonance?

Continue reading →

Scone Grammar School c. 1892

Featured Image ‘Pupils at Scone Grammar School c 1892’; Courtesy of:

‘The Inn, The Dentists and The School’ (Federation Publication No. 2; Published by Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society 1998) by Mace Bain, Roger Humphreys BDS and Gillian Blandford Hayes

I have mentioned many times the vitally important contribution made by professionally trained protagonists who bring their erudition and ‘worldliness’ to emerging colonial communities. Teachers were among the most important early cadres.

Continue reading →

History of the Australian Stud Book: Parts I and II

History of the Australian Stud Book: Parts I and II 

By Michael Ford, Keeper of the Australian Stud Book June 2006 ©Australian Stud Book, 2006

http://www.tbheritage.com/Breeders/AUS/ASB.html

Featured Image: Keepers of the Australian Stud Book (The Australian Bloodhorse; Douglas M Barrie)

Acknowledgment: I gratefully acknowledge the superb summary produced by Michael Ford as contained in the website above. I have taken the liberty of reproducing much of this here purely for easier reading by those who may be compromised?

This information remains the property of the Joint Proprietors of the Australian Stud Book, being the Australian Jockey Club and the Victoria Racing Club. It must not be used for any purpose without their written permission. (Racing NSW/Australia has now taken over ownership).

The Australian Stud Book has a pedigree as long as some of the horses contained in it. For the first seventy years it was mostly ‘kept’ by one family and over the last fifty five years it has only had four ‘keepers’. It ranks second to the American Stud Book with its 30,000 broodmares, 18,000 foals and nearly 20,000 breeders but could rank first for services to breeders. The early history of the Australian Stud Book is the history of the men who established and nurtured it, and they lived interesting lives. From the early principle of “express purpose of preserving an official record of the breeding industry in Australia and of assisting to improve the standard of the blood horse in the country” to “ensuring the integrity of thoroughbred breeding in Australia,” there has been much change to the way the Australian Stud Book operates.
Continue reading →