Ross Snowdon

Featured Image: Ross Snowdon & Stan Wicks at White Park Races

Ross is the father of champion trainer Peter Snowdon and rode the ‘card’ of 6 winners at a meeting of the Aberdeen Jockey Club on Saturday 16th September 1950.

The six winners were: ‘Deep End’ (Maiden Handicap 4 1/2 furlongs, 3 starters), ‘Merton Maid’ (Maiden Handicap 2nd Division 4 1/2 furlongs, 3 starters), ‘Guard’ (Flying Handicap 6 furlongs, 2 starters), ‘Dispute’ (Progressive Handicap, 5 furlongs 100 yards, 3 starters), ‘Nanje’ (A E Hardy Handicap, 7 furlongs, 2 starters) and ‘Perfect Melody’ (Welter Handicap, 5 furlongs 100 yards, 3 starters). Four of the winners were trained by Ross’s Master Scott Johnston: Deep End, Dispute, Merton Maid and Nanje.

Sadly Ross was involved in a severe fall at Aberdeen sometime later when riding ‘Deep End’. He was severely concussed and never fully regained his best form.

Stan Wicks trained the first ever winner at the White Park Race Track in Scone. ‘Oxford Lad’ won the Maiden Handicap on the first day of the Cup Meeting in May 1947.

Shuttle Service Worries 1995

Shuttle Service Worries 1995

Source: Harley Walden Archive

Featured Image: Collage of Australian Stud Books

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Stud_Book

Hypotheticals after 25 years:

  1. What is the situation today? How do we compare?
  2. Have we improved the breed?

1995

Concerned Breeders have raised a petition to the Keeper of the Australian Stud Book calling for a restriction on the number of mares a stallion may cover in a southern hemisphere breeding season.

Breeders who sign the petition will ask the ASB Keeper, Dr John Digby, not to register the progeny of any stallion covering more than 85 mares in one Australian season.

The originator/s of the petition have not, at this point, publicly identified themselves, or the particular targets for the restrictions which are sought to come into effect from January 1, 1996.

Dr Digby is on leave, but is due to return to his Randwick office today.

But the ASB Keeper would be aware of the groundswell of concern involving prodigious stallion covers, and particularly dual hemisphere stallions serving upwards of 90 mares in both hemispheres.

He has assessed an early reaction form a good cross-section of the industry’s stud-masters, including a number of papers he has prepared on shuttle stallions and their perceived excessive annual coverings.

Dr Digby has also sounded the industry out on paper seeking debate on the continuing necessity of the ban on artificial insemination (AI), given the mushrooming shuttle stallion operation.

In a July (1995) discussion paper, Dr Digby noted: “It is ominous that the large scale use of dual hemisphere stallions is likely to produce exactly the result which we tried very hard to avoid by banning AI”.

He may not have on his desk today signed petitions from breeders supporting the 85-plus cover restriction during the three-month Australian breeding season.

Signatories to the petition notified the Keeper of “our concern with the unfettered use of stallions” in any one calendar year.

And “until, or unless, the scientific world is able to provide you and the Australian Thoroughbred industry with confirmation that (this practice) cannot have any detrimental effect of the genetic integrity of the Australian thoroughbred population” the 85-cover restriction should be enforced.

The restriction, the petition form goes on, should remain in force until a suitably qualified scientist appointed by the Keeper certifies that there can be no detrimental effect on the breed.

The Digby papers list some of the busier stallions in the northern hemisphere regions and in Australia for the 1995 calendar year, with the shuttles noted by an asterisk:

North America 1995

Temperance Hill               137

Cure the Blues                  135

Woodman                           129

Phone Trick                        128

West By West                    119

Texas City                            118

*Dehere                              111

Septieme Ciel                    105

Louisiana Slew                   102

Olympio                               102

Williamstown                     101

 

Japan 1995

Sunday Silence                  142

Jade Robbery                    142

Toyn Bin                               138

Hector Protector              138

Smackover Creek             129

Soccer Boy                          118

Fuji Kiseki                            118

Groom Dancer                  116

Golden Pheasant             115

Afleet                                   114

Erbos                                     110

Scan                                       108

*Last Tycoon                      107

Sakura Bakushio               106

Real Shadai                         105

White Muzzle                    101

 

Great Britain-Ireland 1995

*College Chapel                               144

*Perugino                           128

*Royal Academy              118

*Fairy King                          110

*Grand Lodge                   106

Sadler’s Wells                    104

*Bluebird                            103

*Danehill                             101

Caerleon                              101

 

Australia 1995

*Danehill                             122

Zoffany                                                118

Celestial Dancer                                116

Yeats                                     113

Sports Works                     107

*Archway                            106

Canadian Silver                 103

Scenic                                   101

Industry management will have to come to grips with the concerns of the petitioners, but economic factors will determine any future growth of the shuttle brigade – given that Australian-based horses are now reversing the one-time, one way traffic.

Among them is Segenhoe Stud’s Palace Music, back from a tour of duty in Japan, and only days away from what could be the biggest weekend of his career. (A 1990 foal, beginning in 1994 Cigar won sixteen consecutive races, tying the record set by Citation in 1949. His wins included the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup. The two-time American Horse of the Year retired the richest horse in the history of world Thoroughbred racing with earnings of US$9,999,815).

 

Keith Banks – A Racing Legend

Keith Banks – A Racing Legend

By Harley Walden

Most racing legends, long after death, are promoted and perpetuated in the record books. For instance, Tom Smith, will live on by virtue of his 33 successive premierships alone. But there are other legends who do not dominate by their premiership triumphs, their Melbourne Cup victories or similar glories. Sadly, these legends will be forgotten in 100 years simply because those who knew them intimately will not be around to tell the story. To me they are the unforgettable characters; the people who bring great spice to racing reminiscence, but unforgettable only while they are vivid in the minds of those who share the life with them.

Continue reading →

Scone Bypass Community Walk

Scone Bypass Community Walk

Saturday 29 February 2020 9Am – 12PM

See: ‘Featured Image’

This will be one of the paramount occasions in the history of Scone town ship and community. As I have often written before this is the third greatest investment in transport infrastructure ever; arguably the best. The Great North Road was constructed between 1826 and 1832. The railway arrived on 17th April 1871.

The Melbourne Cup 1915 – Australia’s First Lady Owner

The Melbourne Cup 1915 – Australia’s First Lady Owner

Featured Image: Mrs E A Widdis admiring her winning  trophy

1915

Although the attendance was higher for this year’s Melbourne Cup (88,000) the racegoers were even more subdued than the crowd of 1914. News had just been received that Australian casualties had from an abortive assault at Gallipoli reached nearly 30,000. A message also came through that the famous Australian jockey, Bernard (Brownie) Carslake, had been captured by the Germans, accused of being an enemy alien and interned at an Austrian prisoner-of-war camp. The iron-willed Carslake, who had a severe problem with his weight yet won six English classics, managed to disguise himself as a fireman, escape from the camp and make his way back to England, where he served out the war as a soldier and then resumed his riding career.

Continue reading →

Scone Railway Centenary Celebrations 1971

Scone Railway Centenary Celebrations 1971

Featured Image: NSW Governor Sir Roden and Lady Cutler plus NSW MLA Colin Fisher and Adrienne Fisher at the SRC White Park Race Meeting Saturday 17th April 1971

On April 17, 1871, the Earl of Belmore, the then Governor of NSW, arrived on the first train to Scone. On Saturday 17th April 1971 the Governor of NSW Sir Roden Cutler was at Scone Railway Station to greet the arrival of the vintage steam train. The antiquated train was ‘delayed’ when stormed by the Fig Tree Gully Gang led by the notorious “Black Harry Morton” who looked remarkably like the Manager of the Scone Bowling Club? The gang held Railway Superintendent Colin Gill as hostage who would be released subject to a free pardon for the Fig Tree Mob. Much to his ‘cheerful chagrin’ the Governor eventually acquiesced and Mr Gill’s release secured.

Continue reading →

Sir Hugh Denison and ‘Sledmere’

Sir Hugh Denison and ‘Sledmere’

Featured Image: ‘Sledmere Stud’, Scone in 1938: This was arguably the apogee of Sir Hugh’s foray into thoroughbred breeding?

See also: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/denison-sir-hugh-robert-5955

See also: http://sconevetdynasty.com.au/the-poseidon-adventure-sir-hugh-denison/

Denison, Sir Hugh Robert (1865–1940)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, (MUP), 1981

by R. B. Walker

Sir Hugh Robert Denison (1865-1940), tobacco manufacturer, newspaper proprietor, and philanthropist, was born on 11 November 1865 at South Lead, near Forbes, New South Wales, eldest son of Robert Dixson (d.1891), tobacco manufacturer in Melbourne and Adelaide, and his wife Ruth, née Whingates, and grandson of Hugh Dixson. On 28 March 1907 he changed his name by deed poll to Denison to avoid confusion with his uncle (Sir) Hugh Dixson. He was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, and in 1881-83 at University College School, London. In 1884 he worked for J. W. Wright & Co. on the transcontinental railway in Western Australia, but next year returned to Adelaide to work for his father in Robert Dixson & Co.

Continue reading →

Scone Jockey Club 1918

Featured Image: Front Cover of Racebook

The Office Bearers listed quite a few local luminaries who were very prevalent in community activity during this era. Notables included J A K Shaw, H L White, M C Campbell, G M Campbell and A F ‘Advocate’ Smith. J A K Shaw lived in my house ‘Geraldton’ at this time. He was also Judge for the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) at Randwick. Sadly he passed away only two years later (1920).

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/john-abbott-kingsmill-shaw/

Scone Jockey Club

Office Bearers 1918

President:

Mr J K Shaw

Vice-Presidents:

Messrs H L White, M C Campbell, G M Campbell

Committee:

Messrs J Miller, J R Ferris, O Hardcastle, J F Morris, F C Goring, G A Cumberland

Starter:

Mr Detective O’Connor

Handicapper:

Mr T P Borthwick

Judge:

Mr G M Campbell

Stipendiary Steward:

Mr R S Turner

Assistant Stewards:

Messrs M W Campbell and J A K Shaw

Hon Treasurer:

Mr J A K Shaw

Auditor:

Mr E C Lukey

Clerk of Scales:

Mr J Miller

Clerk of Course:

Mr G Kinnaird

Hon Secretary:

Mr A F Smith