Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900)
I have just learned (SMH 29/09/18) of the passing of my good friend Keith R Binney; late of Cremorne.
Featured Image: Front Cover of ‘Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900) and the Serpents Legacy’
Keith left a most enduring bequest. He was the author of the seminal tome ‘Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900) and The Serpents Legacy’. I have found this book to be perhaps the most fascinating, accurate and complete record in existence. I will leave it to another close friend and sadly departed colleague John Digby, erstwhile Keeper of the Australian Stud Book, to present the eulogy.
John writes in a testimonial:
Australian Stud Book: Go to www.studbook.aust.com for Stud Book records. ABN 64 358 205 057
15 October 2003
Mr Keith Binney PO Box 1216 NEUTRAL BAY NSW 2089
Thank you for granting me the privilege of reading the manuscript of your book ‘Horsemen of the First Frontier and The Serpent’s Legacy’.
I am stunned by the detailed research you have undertaken and meticulous documentation of the early Australian colonial racehorse records in your manuscript.
It puts flesh and blood on the barest bones which are recorded in the Stud Book and interestingly, for the specialists, it provides some explanations for some of the anomalies in the early records of the Australian Stud Book and the even earlier Stud Books of NSW and Victoria.
I have not read anything like it on Australian racing which covers those formative years, with the detail you have included in your manuscript. For those with an interest in the history of Australian racing, your work will be a goldmine – for those with a passion for history and racing your work will be absolutely essential.
Your description of the people, their horses and their deeds is truly a masterpiece.
Keeper of the Stud Book
Brian Russell writes a tribute (02/11018) as follows:
Horse history a monument to Keith Binney
One of the most comprehensive books on Australian horse history, one published in 2003 under the title of Horsemen of the First Frontier (1788 – 1900), was a culmination for its author, Keith R. Binney, of lifelong devotee of breeding and racing who died at 85 in the care of his wife of 63 years at their home at Neutral Bay on September 21.
Horsemen of the First Frontier in its 540 pages is an economic and social history of New South Wales, tracing the origin and development of the horse in Australia from the time of the first fleet arrival in 1788 through to 1900. There are chapters on the early studs, horsemen and horses and to my mind is the greatest review of Australian thoroughbred history published, a monument to Binney’s intelligence and work ethic.
The then Keeper of the Stud Book, John Digby, in a letter to Keith Binney after reading an advance copy of Horsemen of the First Frontier, wrote:” I am stunned by the detailed research you have undertaken and the meticulous documentation of the early Australian colonial racehorse records in your manuscript.”
‘Horsemen of the First Frontier’ was a crowning achievement for Keith Binney, a chartered accountant, property developer and author as well as a breeder and owner.
One of his biggest thrills as a breeder was the production of Lahar, a grey Kenmare (Fr) mare whose efforts included a win in the Rosehill Christmas Cup, a second in the Doomben Cup and thirds in the Melbourne Cup (0.7 lens) and Sydney Cup and a fourth in the Brisbane Cup.
Binney bred Lahar using a bought in Pompeii Court (USA) mare, Volcanic (NZ), who won five races for them, including two Listed events, and finished third in the Queensland Oaks.