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?

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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.

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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).

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Scone Jockey Club

Office Bearers 1918


Mr J K Shaw


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


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


Mr Detective O’Connor


Mr T P Borthwick


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


Mr E C Lukey

Clerk of Scales:

Mr J Miller

Clerk of Course:

Mr G Kinnaird

Hon Secretary:

Mr A F Smith

The Rannock Legacy

The Rannock Legacy

Gratefully acknowledge and duly recognise the author Jeanette Gower, Box 989 STRATHALBYN SA 5255

Refer also: Australian Stock Horse, May/June 2019, pp 64 – 67

Featured Image: ‘Rannock’ by Peter Gower

Part 1

The story of Rannock is that of a horse which has been under the radar for a long time. This is partly because of his South Australian location, away from mainstream ASH breeding, but also because so many of the resulting descendants have been unregistered. Yet the Rannock influence has been incredible, considering the lack of opportunity. It is also the story of the families involved, families who knew the lines well and wanted to keep them into perpetuity. Perhaps not unsurprisingly then, the line is gaining new attention, due to its long-standing record of producing smart, good looking and reliable,  traditional stock horses which are a true HSH outcross to most ASH lines today.

RANNOCK was bred by RJ (Bob) Mackay, “Tinagroo” Scone, NSW, breeder of the famous foundation sire Panzer, to whom Rannock is inbred. Foaled a little over 50 years ago in 1967, Rannock was by Dundee (by Panzer) x Tinagroo Mersa (by Panzer) a half brother/half sister cross. All the immediate ancestors were high class polo ponies in their own right. Panzer’s dam, Nellie was a polo pony, foal recorded in the ASB studbook in 1933 but never raced due to the outbreak of WWII. She too was inbred to the Sydney Cup winning mare Diffidence which was purchased as a 17 year old by JK and WH Mackay for 900 guineas in 1913, a princely sum!

The Mackays bred Thoroughbreds to race, and like a lot of owners of the day, used them on the property after retirement. Mersa’s dam Ranmena was a successful racehorse, which also went on to become a good polo pony.

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From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love

Acknowledge: Newcastle & Hunter Valley Racing Association Publication ‘From the Track’

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Fore Note (WPH): I think this story rivals ‘A Town Like Alice’? Are there any emerging Neville Shutes out there?

Jamie Barnes may be a familiar face around Hunter & Central Coast race courses but his amazing heritage would be a surprise to most.

The Broadmeadow-based vet is the son of a champion Australian rower and a world famous Russian Ballerina, whose remarkable love story is an amazing tale in itself.

His mother, Anna Barnes nee Volkova, is now 93* and living in a retirement village in Sydney. His father, Jim Barnes, passed away several years ago.

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