Professor David Robert Hutchins (“Prof”) OAM BVSc, Hon DVSc, FANZCVS

Professor David Robert Hutchins (“Prof”) OAM BVSc, Hon DVSc, FANZCVS

Featured Image: Frontispiece of the Memorial Service Brochure @ Kingston Town Room (Level 4), Queen Elizabeth II Stand, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Friday 27th September 2019

“A Celebration of an Exceptional Life”: “Prof” Dave Hutchins

It was an epic on a herculean scale. The setting was perfect and the hospitality exquisite. Who would have expected any less? Dr Treve Williams was the erudite ever-sartorial eloquent Master of Ceremonies; perfectly cast for the role. Treve was very much on home turf only marginally handicapped by recent bilateral knee replacement surgery. It didn’t stop him performing his duties as perfect gentleman. Treve paid colossal tribute to the enormous contribution made by “Prof” to the Randwick Equine Centre (REC) following forced age-related retirement from his academic position(s). It set the scene. Daughter Mrs Hellen House and grandson Mr Lachlan House followed with passionately emotive encomiums to their respectively much beloved father and grandfather. Treve had to apply the ‘rearing bit’ to both Dr Meg Brownlow and Dr Eileen Rogan who waxed eloquently on their association with “Prof” as his ‘special girl interns’ at the Rural Veterinary Centre, Camden. His exceptional professional qualities and finely honed skills made an enormous impression on both and by default almost everyone else in the room. Current EVA President Dr Sam Nugent delivered a succinct account of “Prof’s” mammoth contribution to the Equine Veterinary Profession in Australia and elsewhere. I counted many Past Presidents of the AEVA/EVA. My main problem was putting names to faces in so many cases! It was both an honour and privilege to be there.

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Judge John Connors

Judge John Connors

Featured Image: Sunil Sharma, John Connors and Christopher Pryde at the ‘Learned Friends Professional Education Seminar in Suva, Fiji in 2015

I thought I had covered the field in ‘eminences haute’ having lived in ‘Geraldton’? I may have missed Number 1 in High Court Justice John Connors. Sarah and I purchased ‘Geraldton’ from John and Diane Connors in 1993. John’s professional career spiralled upwards an onwards from there. He had been a partner in Fitzgerald White Talbot Lawyers, Muswellbrook; itself having a long association with the property through Geraldine Fitzgerald of ‘Hennor’, Muswellbrook later Mrs J A K Shaw.

Perhaps I should raise my game?

Ex-Judge Gets New Appointment

https://fijisun.com.fj/2009/09/16/ex-judge-gets-new-appointment/

Fiji News 16 September 2009 12:00pm

Written by Sun Fiji Newsroom:

Former High Court Justice John Connors was yesterday appointed Commissioner for the Independent Legal Services Commission.

Justice Connors’ appointment, together with former Fiji Law Society secretary Afrana Nisha as the Commission secretary, was announced yesterday by Attorney General Aiyez Sayad-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayad-Khaiyum said the appointment was historic as lawyers in Fiji wold now be subject to scrutiny by an independent body.

He said those with complaints against members of the legal fraternity had the option of filing their grievances with the Chief Registrar or directly approaching the Commission.

Dungog Jockey Club & Race Track

Dungog Jockey Club & Race Track

Featured Image: The grandstand at the Dungog Race Club track taken from the website below.

The Wirragulla Polo Club hosted an outstanding carnival at its home ground, Jock and Jenni Mackay’s ‘Tabbil’ Creek, Dungog on the week end Saturday 14/Sunday 15 September 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/Wirragulla-Polo-Club-452091834877759/

My spouse Sarah presented the inaugural ‘Panzer Trophy’ for the champion C-Grade pony in honour of her late father Bob Mackay and his champion polo pony and sire. This was a genuine ‘home-coming’ for Sarah who was raised initially at Tabbil Creek.

http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/panzer-foundation-sire/

It tweaked my fervent interest that the same ground also hosted the Dungog Jockey Cub Races during the later 1890s and throughout the first few decades of the 1900s. ‘Mine host’ was the inaugural pioneer John Kenneth Mackay and the next generation eponymous J K Mackay who passed away in 1949. I discovered an excellent heritage resume on a NSW government website:

https://www.dungog.nsw.gov.au/sites/dungog/files/public/34.%20Grandstand%20Racetrack%20and%20Polo%20Fielda.pdf

This describes it all in some detail. I have plagiarized one of the photographs in my ‘Featured Image”; which I am wont to do.

Further references to Dungog Races are found in the trove reports:

Dungog Jockey Club 29 December 1894

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/14011279

Dungog Jockey Club 16 December 1890

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13799584

Jack Chegwyn’s XI @ Scone 1957

Jack Chegwyn’s XI @ Scone 1957

Featured Image: ‘Invincible’ Arthur Morris was one of the many elite Test players in the Chegwyn XI. ‘Demon tweaker’ local dairy farmer John Murray  bowled him ’round his legs’ on Day 2 (Sunday). How do I know? Because John told me; that’s how. Eric Hollies bowled a similar ball to Don Bradman in 1948 but couldn’t sneak one past Arthur Morris?

Towards the end of the 1956-57 cricket season Jack Chegwyn brought his country touring team to Scone.

Chegwyn was a former Randwick and NSW State player who later beca1948me Chairman of the NSWCA Country Committee and a NSW State selector. He was “cricket’s standard bearer in the bush” and for more than forty years he took his “star-studded teams” that included State and Test Players into the country to play against the locals.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Chegwyn

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Brian Russell Relocates

Brian Russell Relocates 

Featured Image:

Photographed farewelling Brian Russell at Merton Aged Care Village, back row Dawn Charlton, Lesley Moore, Alison Hordern and  Shirley Nebaur, front – Bill McKenzie, Brian Russell and Robert Lewis

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/brian-russell/

Brian Russell, 58 Pecks Road, North Richmond NSW 2754

Phone (02) 4571 3537 Email brianrussell67@bigpond.com  AUGUST 27 2019

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‘Why We Celebrate the Horse’s Birthday Today’ (Friday 1st August 2019)

‘Why We Celebrate the Horse’s Birthday Today’ (Friday 1st August 2019)

Featured Image: ‘Lonhro’ at Darley 01082019

See:

https://www.scone.com.au/celebrate-horses-birthday-today/

See also:

https://www.scone.com.au/lonhro-celebrates-21st/

https://www.scone.com.au/gallery-lexus-melbourne-cup-tour/

https://www.scone.com.au/letts-racing-legend-town-cup/

I was cajoled by my very good friend Mike Pritchard (ABC Radio) to take part in the celebration of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour of Scone & District. There was a catch. There usually is! I had to be at Darley Stud (Aberdeen) by 6:30am on Friday August 1st 2019. I was! I told Mike this was ‘falsetto soprano’ time of the year and hour of the day. It was cold: and we were outside! I don’t think he was impressed?

However all’s well that ends well. It was a special occasion. I had just completed my quite bizarre ABC radio commitments when I was approached by alluring and admirable journalist Liz Flaherty of Scone.com.au. She cajoled me into ‘accepting’ an invitation to explain the ambiguity of the horse’s birthday to a general audience. Unprepared as I was, what can a gentleman do? Liz introduced me to her trainee journalist who would capture the video clip on her ‘I-phone’ prompted by Liz. Did I mind? It was too late!

I tried to couch my answers in language devoid of arcane scientific terms and unintended feisty innuendo. I was not too pleased with the interview but to my enormous surprise it attracted colossal interest when posted later that morning on Scone.com.au. (1884 ‘hits’ at time of writing) I saw Peter ‘Crewy’ Allen at White Park just after lunch. He told me I was ‘posted’; otherwise I might not have known! You can be the judge?

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/history-of-the-australian-stud-book-parts-i-and-ii/

Arrowfield Stud Dispersal Wednesday 16th April 1924

Arrowfield Stud Dispersal Wednesday 16th April 1924

Featured Image: Front Cover (Leather Bound) and Sale Promotion for the sale in 1924

I acknowledge the great gift of my good friend Bill Moses for this treasured copy of the sale catalogue.

Introduction (by the combine selling agents H Chisholm & Co. and William Inglis & Son Ltd)

The dispersal of the famous Arrowfield Stud must rank as the most important sale of its kind that has ever taken place in the Commonwealth up to the present time, for Arrowfield, which is one of the largest studs in point of numbers we have, can also boast to shelter in its luxuriant paddocks some of the best brood mares in Australasia.

It was founded some fourteen years ago by its present owners, Messrs W & F A Moses, who prior to acquiring Arrowfield, had been successful breeding thoroughbreds at Combadello, near Moree, in a small way. The Messrs Moses, when they bought Arrowfield, had no other projects in mind than the establishment of a first-class stud, and no expense of any kind was spared either on the bloodstock or property to bring this to a successful issue. Continue reading →

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.

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‘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?

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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.

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