Baramul Stud Dispersal: Shipping Transport to the USA 1970

Baramul Stud Dispersal: Shipping Transport to the USA 1970

Featured Image: Horses in stalls on deck as arranged on the ‘Parrakoola’ (Photo courtesy of John Gilder)

In July 1970 I was extremely fortunate to accompany the last major shipment of horses to traverse the wild Pacific to west coast USA as attendant veterinarian. The MS ‘Parrakoola’ was a modern Swedish-registered container vessel circumnavigating the vast ocean in pursuit of trade. This was my first and only exposure to life on the ocean waves and the vicissitudes of a merchant seaman! What an experience in life skills and people as well as animal management training! My co-strappers were Malcolm Ayoub who has recently achieved national notoriety as the guru for Jim Cassidy. Malcolm was a colourful racing identity encompassing in spades all the skills and attributes the sobriquet implies! Jack Flood, my boss, was a magnificent horseman of the old school and a firm and loyal friend of his equally impeccable employer and gentleman John Inglis. Like John he became my much respected mentor, advocate and confidant until his ultimate demise some years ago. With three of us to care for 84 horses for a month the job was ahead! Malcolm was occasionally AWOL with some psychological baggage.

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Hoof Prints: Leaving a Legacy

Hoof Prints: Leaving a Legacy

Featured Image: Horse Hoof Prints in the sand; acknowledgment ‘depositphotos’

The image is a very poignant because it’s both momentarily transitory; and intangible. The next high tide will eliminate it/them forever leaving a blank canvas. In the infinity of time how ‘permanent’ are any of our imprints? In this context read as follows.

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Harry R Hayes

Harry R Hayes: ‘Breakfast at Harry’s’

Featured Image: Harry Hayes (‘HRH’) (As I write this I’m delighted that Harry Hayes’ great grandson Chester Hall has just won a Bishop Essay Prize for his treatise on ‘HRH’. This little bit helped).

Harry was legendary! He enjoyed the good life but only because he invested in it what he hoped to receive with interest in return. He made adequate preparation by working 25 hours per day then take some time to celebrate the effort. Racing and breeding were his enduring passions after his primary interests of cattle raising, grazing and the meat industry. He was rightfully honoured by the State for his highly significant contribution to community and sporting affairs.

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Horse Away!

Horse Away!

Featured Image courtesy of ‘Bing Images’

Caption: ‘Ginger’ makes a break

It had been a hard day’s night for Tom from Merriwa and his trusty steed Ginger! The annual Scone Rodeo traditionally on the “hot” last weekend in October was a challenging event not to be missed. It had to be celebrated in true bucolic style by as much competitive and social interactivity as was humanly possible and then some! Tom and Ginger were tenacious combatants of the old school and had successfully completed another furious round of camp drafting and pick up. It was very thirsty work of course and it was essential to immediately replenish depleted fluid reserves with gusto! Ginger liked pure water and had his fill. Tom preferred a less pure brew but being a Sunday in the bad old days his poison was much harder to procure. There is always a solution for the assiduously perspicacious bon vivant!

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The Tuesday Boozers Club

The Tuesday Boozers Club

Featured Image: ‘The Little White Bull’ Reg Watts on ‘Norma’, Sydney Royal 1938; Photo courtesy of Chris Winter

The Tuesday Boozers Club (TBC) at the Belmore Hotel was an iconic totem of a bygone era celebrated by a unique cadre of bucolic individuals. The Belmore Hotel Scone was the spiritual home of the TBC! For eons of time the weekly Fat Stock Cattle Sale has been held at the various Scone Sale Yard locations every Tuesday of the year barring major public holiday clashes. This became the pilgrimage destination for many outlying farmers and graziers seeking business transactions allied to social interaction with their agents and associates. For some this included well lubricated sessions of discourse in the select bar of the Belmore Hotel with mine hosts Jim and Audrey Cotton at the helm. There were variable sessions of condolence, congratulation, consideration and commiseration. Wives, girlfriends and de factos were expected to visit and meet with relatives and friends or engage in other social, civic and sporting pursuits for the duration of the sale and its aftermath. They could collect their bread-winner at the appointed hour for the return journey.

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Dr Henry ‘Tup’ Scott’s Cricket Bag on display

Dr Henry ‘Tup’ Scott’s cricket kit bag on display at the Scone Visitor Information Centre

Acknowledge: The Scone Advocate

Featured Image: Dr Henry Scott’s cricket kit bag is now on display for the community to see at the Scone Visitor Information Centre

Caitlin Reid

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Scone tops the list of favourite tracks

The Sportsman Weekend            13 Dec 2019        @NeilEvansmail NEIL EVANS


TWO more Saturdays before Santa weighs in and let’s reflect on the tracks that can make you most money.

Of course punters, big and small, all have their favourites and the wonderful game can never be an exact science but having scrutinised and absorbed every track in NSW, here is where I love to go.

Weighing up the primary factors – patterns, reliability, durability, recovery and most importantly fewer across-the board hard luck stories – here are my top five punting tracks in NSW:

  1. Scone, 2. Wagga, 3. Dubbo, 4. Canterbury, 5. Rosehill.

As you can see, the most common denominator is the long straight with Canterbury the only course with a shorter run home making the list, primarily because of its outstanding ability to play reasonably fair from good to heavy.

Scone’s biggest advantage is that lovely gradual sweeping turn from the 700m which means riders can exercise all important ‘cover’ for longer and horses remain more composed and tractable because the turn is far less abrupt.

The course, in my opinion, brings runners to their peak more often and it’s no surprise today’s special Christmas meeting drew a staggering 122 acceptors for the eight races.

Both Wagga and Dubbo have terrific long runs in but the turn is a little sharper and horses are more likely to lug off track. That said, particularly in Dubbo’s case, it does open up more accessible gaps for those buried away back on the inside.

Pattern reliability is the overwhelming factor. You could argue there are other metro, provincial and country layouts not too dissimilar but on many of those, the pattern can often be different from one meeting to next, even sometimes on the same rating.

Scone seemingly rewards superior horses and riders more often. This year’s outstanding Cup Dark Jewel Classic Carnival was testament to that.

On pure form depth and quality, with so many immediately going on to win blacktype races in Sydney and Brisbane, I still rate those two days in early May as the highest quality country-based racing at any time in Australia’s history.

As for the Big Smoke, yes Canterbury’s size means there are hard luck stories but the surface across the board is almost without peer.

Rosehill to me is superior to Randwick because of all round reliability – it can boast more days when the winners have come from front, middle and back.

Melody Belle (NZ) & Manto

Melody Belle (NZ) & Manto (GB)

Acknowledge: Brian Russell & ‘Australian Thoroughbred 2019’

Featured Image: ‘Trenton’ by ‘Musket’ (See below)

Melody Belle is the winner of 10 Group I Races (9 in NZ) including the 2019 running of the Empire Rose Stakes (1600 metres). She was also runner up in the L K S Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington to Magic Wand one week later.

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