Racing Journalism’s Halcyon Days
Featured Image: courtesy of Ray Alexander
Ray writes (23/06/2020): “I am including a photo which Bill Whittaker’s son Mark (another journalist and author) placed on Facebook. He identified Bill and me, but did not know who the other two were. I was able to inform him that they were Barry Parkes (ex-Mirror, Truth and Telegraph) and Frank McGrath, who trained On Line to win a Sydney Cup for John Wren and whose father trained dual Melbourne Cup winner and one of the all-time greats, Peter Pan”.
I have known Ray Alexander for over 50 years. In recent years we met annually at a ‘long luncheon’ hosted at the Royal Easter Show. This was to celebrate ‘all things thoroughbred’ including racing administration, breeding, training, education, journalism and any other old excuse; genuine or otherwise. At various times we entertained at least four ex-AJC Chairmen and three STC Chairmen as well as two RAS of NSW former Presidents. An inaugural ‘intimate’ was one of Australia’s most successful owner/breeders. The Scone Race Club was strongly represented with many former committeemen and at least four ex-Club Presidents. A further ‘country delegate’ was long term Chairman of the North and North West Racing Association as well as President of Tamworth Jockey Club. The Keeper of the Stud Book was another ‘thoroughbred celebrity’. Queen’s Trainer Lord William Huntingdon attended one of our levees. Sadly these days are now gone. Ray Alexander writes: “They were memorable luncheons which we all enjoyed. I can appreciate that a nucleus of the group is impeded by the hand of Father Time”.
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Featured Image: The Ashton Brothers were mounted on some ‘Gibbergunyah’ ponies on the triumphant 1938 polo tour of England
See also: https://www.ashs.com.au/media/1149/horsesofsignifcance.pdf
Gibbergunyah was bred by Mr JH Doyle in 1922 at Warrandeen Station near Talwood, Queensland. He and his dam were transferred to the Doyle family property, Invermein, near Scone due to the drought.
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Horses of Long Ago: SALADIN
See also: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/136150827
Featured Image: Dun Coloured Australian Stock Horse typical of the ‘Saladin’ Breed
Sir, — I note Mr. T. M. Hooke, of Crook’s Park, Dungog, writes at length in ‘The Wingham Chronicle’ of 2nd September under the heading of ‘Horses of Long Ago.’ He refers to J. K. Mackay — father and son — both now gone. The son, who died about February, 1937, aged about 80 years, told me this about ‘Saladin.’
A man by the name of Captain Beardmore drove a creamy horse from Port Macquarie to Dungog in a dog cart. He left the pony with the Mackays, of Cangon, and went to Canada. Mr. Alison (father of the late R. W. Alison) mated a chestnut Eclipse mare with this pony; result — a creamy filly. When this creamy filly was a three-year-old, she was mated with her father, and threw a creamy colt, white tail and mane. Mr. Mackay, Snr., wanted a colt for Giro, which he then owned in partnership with Cobb, and he bought this colt, named him Saladin, and sent him to Giro. He was then transferred to Cooplacurripa, then under the management of the late Joe Penfold. From Cooplacurripa he was sold to the late Duncan McPherson about 6O years ago. Mr. McPherson told me that the first year he had him he sired Tyrone (owned by the late John Summerville), Joker Billy, the one-eyed Saladin, and the Blair Saladin, Mr. Robert Wilson (still living) went to manage Cooplacurripa in 1907, and mated mares with Billy in that year, and left there in 1937, leaving Saladin mares behind, 29 years old, without a blemish.
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Outback Scone and Early Horses
Old Timers – Their Horses and Courses
Featured Image: The Segenhoe Valley (Acknowledge ‘The Australian Bloodhorse’ by Douglas M Barrie)
It was here that the very first imported horses were brought to the Upper Hunter (see below). The very next valley to the east was later subsumed by Glenbawn Dam. This literally ‘drowned’ the Nabinabah Racetrack near Gundy.
Filed in Sports Recent by Michael Flaherty June 25, 2016
By Harley Walden
THE theme for the 2002 Scone Horse Festival was The Outback.
It would be hard for those growing up today to imagine the township of Scone or surrounding districts, with all of today’s modern conveniences and transport making the cities a matter of hours away, as ever being associated with the outback.
Some of the roughest country in New South Wales, thanks to the Barrington Tops Road linking Scone with Gloucester, can now be travelled by motor vehicle as their occupants look down on upending waves of tree tops in an area of mountain and forest covered slopes.
This was the country, I suppose we could say, that was the outback in this neck of the woods that Henry Dangar and his men explored in an era when their saddle and pack-horses where an evident part of every exploration party.
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This is a tribute to my late friend Barry Rose (see Featured Image of a ‘mature’ Barry Rose; I couldn’t procure an image of the horse!). I swore I’d steer clear of Standardbred Horses; but this one is different. ‘Don’t Retreat’ was one of the great Standardbred Racehorses. I’m not sure about his career at stud; a bit like his stud master Barry in fact? He was arguably the best of his breed to ever grace the paddocks of the Upper Hunter; ‘Don’t Retreat’ that is!
See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/barry-darcy-rose-oam/
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DREAM Conference SRES 2018
John Monash Scholars Dr Mark Schembri, Dr Nicole Bart, and Dr Joseph Suttie among speakers for 2018 DREAM Conference at Sydney Royal Easter Show
See also: https://www.smh.com.au/national/sydney-cardiologist-honoured-with-fulbright-scholarship-20200602-p54ymj.html
9 April 2018
The General Sir John Monash Foundation Alumni were a powerful representation at the Doctors for Rural Education and Medicine (DREAM) conference held at the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show on 25th March 2018. 3 of the 10 speakers at the conference were John Monash Scholars: Dr Mark Schembri (2009), Dr Nicole Bart (2010), and Dr Joseph Suttie (2007)
Dr Mark Schembri is also a veterinarian and recently Chairman of the RAS of NSW Veterinary Committee. He is currently on the Council of the RAS of NSW. He actually claimed my place! Making room for my protégé Mark was one of my better achievements at the RAS of NSW! I was also a referee for his Sir John Monash Scholarship to Harvard. Professor/Dr Joe Suttie is also a veterinarian and is a Veterinary Steward at the SRES each year. Dr Nicole Bart is a genuine polymath. They are not a bad trifecta!
The conference addressed important issues relating to health and research in the rural setting and the members were welcomed by the President of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Mr. Robert Ryan OAM. The Occasional address was given by NSW Treasurer, and Minister for Industrial Relations, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet.
DREAM is a life-changing initiative that features rural medical trainees working on improving educational outcomes for rural students to inspire them into healthcare careers and to invest in the health future of rural communities. They collaborate with the University of New South Wales, the Murrumbidgee Medical Hub, the Murrumbidgee Local Hospital District and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
More information on DREAM and their mission is available through their website.