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


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.


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.


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:


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


Dungog Jockey Club 16 December 1890


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 became 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 also:




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 →



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

Stop Press: The Everest 2019

Fully franking the enormous contribution made by the Cobcroft family to Australian Racing and Breeding was the brilliant success of ‘Yes Yes Yes’ in the 3rd. running of ‘The Everest’ at Royal Randwick on Saturday 19th October 2019. In a white hot field of sprinters the 3yo winner recorded a track record time of 1 minute 7.23 seconds.

Tony Arrold writes in ‘The Australian’ (21/10/19) that ‘Yes Yes Yes’ is the third living foal of Sin Sin Sin, whose moment of glory was the 2008 Wellington Boot (1000 metres) in country NSW before thudding to earth to finish last of 12 next time out in the Group II Magic Night Stakes in Sydney.

Subsequently a winner over 1000m at Albury and Gundagai, Sin Sin Sin is a member of a prolific winning speed family developed by the prominent NSW Cobcroft family through the likes of Group I Randwick Galaxy winner Salaam, stakes winning Hot As Hell and Hell It’s Hot, the dam of In Her Time, a Galaxy winner in the third running of The Everest.

Johnny fought hard to make sure the great grand-dams Vistaed and Vista Anna were returned to the General Stud Book all those years ago. It all seems eminently worth it now although Johnny is no longer around to savour the moment(s).

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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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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

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