Grace McBeath wins inaugural BASET Endeavour Award

Grace McBeath wins inaugural BASET Endeavour Award

See: Grace McBeath wins inaugural BASET Endeavour Award (

Acknowledgements: Bernard Kenney and ‘Just Horse Racing’

Featured Image: Grace McBeath

It’s June, and inaugural BASET Thoroughbred Endeavour Award has been made to Grace McBeath, a talented young equestrian from New South Wales, Australia.

“I am really thankful for this amazing opportunity, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge internationally,’ said Grace. “This is a huge change for a girl from the Aussie bush!”

The Britain-Australia Society Education Trust, BASET, launched the BASET Thoroughbred Endeavour Award with Godolphin, British Racing School and Thoroughbred Industry Careers.

In supporting young people from Britain and Australia on careers in equine and racing industries, it’s to further develop their career and gain new skills and experience in international practices.

The award provides for an exchange between Australia and UK Thoroughbred industry students to work for 6 months in an iconic stable during peak racing seasons in the UK and Australia.

This award will also provide a 6 month with Sir Mark Prescott at Heath House Stables and Andrew Balding at Kingsclere Park House, two best-equipped private training stables in Britain.

Later this year, a second BASET Thoroughbred Endeavour Award will have a young person from Great Britain to be placed in Australia, arranged by Thoroughbred Industry Careers.

The BASET Thoroughbred Endeavour Awards is part of the UK-charity’s Endeavour Career Skills Awards Programme which supports people from Britain and Australia entering vocational careers.

It funds internships, apprenticeships and courses that provide real-world industry experience and facilitate an exchange of knowledge and expertise between Britain and Australia.

John May, Chair of BASET Trustees stated “We are thrilled to have partnered with The British Racing School and Thoroughbred Industry Careers to create this incredible opportunity for our award winners, it’s helping them to gain international experience working in racing. “

“We hope this exciting initiative will mark the start of a long-term collaboration between our organisations to support deserving young people from Britain and Australia and strengthen the bilateral bond between the two countries.”

“I would like to thank all the hard work done by Jim Paltridge on behalf of BASET and Diana Cooper of Godolphin, along with Andrew Brathwaite of BRS and Lindy Maurice from TIC in making this award happen.”

In following, Diana Cooper, the Strategic Advisor Charities for Godolphin who facilitated the creation of the new industry award stated, “We thank the BASET for choosing to include Thoroughbred Racing in their growing list of Endeavour awards.”

“That help to young Australians and Britain’s by encouraging cultural interaction and industry participation between the two countries and strengthens bonds within the industry.”

“Developing opportunities for young people in the industry is the ethos of Together for Racing International (TfRI) which Godolphin is proud to support.”

In Australia, Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC) is a not-for-profit industry organisation founded by Lindy Maurice and to promote careers in the Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Industry.

By introducing grassroots programs, it’s facilitating best practice education, training and mentoring pathways for those entering the industry and assists in developing retention and welfare strategies aimed at creating fulfilling and rewarding long term careers.


GAG (“GOT A GONG”) aka Hub-Capper Supreme

I share common ground with the late great iconic (overworked Cliché) Irish poet and comedic Brendan Behan: “I’m a drinker with a writing problem”.

It appears longevity is both a pre- and co-requisite of this accolade. You need to be 80+!

AVA Fellow | Dr William Howey OAM

EVA is delighted to announce that Dr. William Howey OAM was honoured with the prestigious AVA Fellow Award at the recent AVA Conference in Adelaide. This award recognizes his remarkable service to the Australian Veterinary Association spanning over 50 years.

Featured Image: Presentation of AVA Fellowship Award made by AVA President Dr Bronwyn Orr

Dr. Howey, also known as Bill Howey OAM, completed his veterinary education at the esteemed Royal Dick School at the University of Edinburgh in 1965. He embarked on his journey of service, dedication, and contributions to veterinary science when he relocated to Australia in 1967. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, he was bestowed with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

In addition to the OAM, Dr. Howey has received numerous accolades for his exceptional work. He was honoured with the Hunter Valley Thoroughbred Breeders Association President’s Award for his significant contribution to the industry. In 1995, he was recognized as the Hunter McLoughlin Citizen of the Year. The Scone Shire Council has also acknowledged his service, along with numerous other commendations.

Dr. Howey is a prolific author, having written several published books in the field of equine veterinary science. His works include “History of Veterinary Practice in Scone,” “A History of Thoroughbred Breeding in the Upper Hunter Valley,” and a notable contribution to the RIRDC Equine Research & Development titled “Education & Training in the Horse Industry in Australia.”

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. William Howey OAM for this well-deserved honour and express our gratitude for his significant contributions to the field of veterinary science.


Pauline Carrigan OAM

Pauline Carrigan OAM

On Monday12th June 2023 Pauline Carrigan was awarded with the Officer of the Order of Australia for Services to Youth.

Featured Image: Acknowledge ‘The Hunter Valley News’, Wednesday June 14, 2023.

In my earnest opinion this is one of the most apposite of accolades it’s possible to anoint, as in consecration. Pauline has been outstanding in her pursuit of excellence in the field of education of youth in the face of family tragedy and adversity.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic. His works include plays, poetry, literature, and aesthetic criticism, as well as treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. He could well have had Pauline in mind when he wrote:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it”.

See: Scone’s Pauline Carrigan, the founder of Where There’s a Will mental health organisation, receives OAM for services to youth | Hunter Valley News | Upper Hunter, NSW


Pauline Carrigan would describe herself as a farmer’s wife and married to Hilton, they have lived their married life on a cattle property where they raised their family.

Pauline is the founder, driver, and visionary of ‘Where There’s a Will’.   Her momentum, perseverance, and commitment to create a flourishing Upper Hunter community where our youth can thrive are unparalleled.  Her exclusive team continually takes inspiration from her. They have succeeded stratospherically.

Pauline’s top character strengths are gratitude, honesty, perseverance, love and creativity.   These strengths have changed since the beginning of Pauline’s journey, when she founded Where There’s a Will.   Pauline explains, “I came to realise how thankful I was that everyone shared this vision and were willing to work with me. Honesty is something that has grown as I see the importance of sharing why we need to follow the vision of Where There’s a Will.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, “said Nelson Mandela. This is one of Pauline’s favourite quotes.  Her belief is that Positive Education will change our Upper Hunter community and she will make it her quest to make that happen.

On local ABC Radio Muswellbrook Tuesday 13 June 2023, Cecelia Connell interviewed Pauline about her award. After first citing the accolade as ‘inappropriate’ Pauline spoke with passion, flair, dignity, eloquence, erudition, and commitment to her cause. Audrey Entwisle wrote in her hagiography to the late Dr Walter Esmond Pye that he was the ‘Man of the 20th Century’ in Scone for his dedication to the cause of Aged Care culminating in The Upper Hunter Village Association, later Strathearn and latterly HammondCare. It is my considered opinion that Pauline Carrigan’s success in launching ‘Where There’s A Will’ for the care of youth ranks alongside that of Dr Walter Pye.



Jim Pike was inducted into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame on 30th May 2023.

See: Inductees of the Newcastle Hunter HOF – Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame

Featured Image: ‘The incomparable combination Jim Pike on Phar Lap’. Jim Pike The Master: His Life and Times 1892 – 1969 by Alan Chittick

Born at The Junction in 1892 into a non-racing family Pike was small and wayward, and loved being around horses, often playing truant from school to catch and ride the horses and pit ponies that were then plentiful throughout the district’s fields and paddocks.

At 12 he joined trainer Ernie Connors’ stables and had his first race ride soon afterwards. He rode his first winner – Victoria Cross – at Maitland but not before being banned from race riding because he was both too young and too small.

By February 1908 he had ridden around 40 winners.

Best known for his nation-cheering association with the peerless Phar Lap during the height of the Great Depression, Pike first rode the champion when winning the 1929 AJC Derby in record time and went on to record 27 wins from 30 races on the champion.

On Saturday, November 1, the pair took out the Melbourne Stakes (10f); on Tuesday, November 4, they won the Melbourne Cup (2 miles).

A gentle rider who hated to use the whip, Pike was a wonderful judge of pace, and it was said he could secure a “tremendous effort from a horse through his masterly control and rare balance”.

My very good friend the late Alan Chittick BVSc has compiled a gifted encomium to Jim Pike entitled “Jim Pike – The Master. His Life and Times 1892 – 1969”. ISBN 0-646-41321-X.

Alan writes:

“Jim Pike was a jockey with a unique talent, and a natural affinity with horses, who rode in the years between 1906 and 1936. However, by the time he was 21, he had grown too big to follow his chosen profession and drifted for a few years before returning to race-riding, and managed to continue until he was 43, but only achieved this by the most prolonged and desperate measures to reduce his weight”.

 “Pike reached his peak as a rider in the late 1920’s, an era in which his name, as the rider of Phar Lap, was a household word together with other notable Australians such as Don Bradman and Kingsford Smith”.

“Poor health, as a result of the stringent measures to which he had subjected his body in order to continue riding, and financial troubles due to his poor judgement in money matters, marred his later years”.

“Nevertheless, apart from his outstanding riding ability, his reputation for loyalty, honesty, and integrity in an industry which has from time to time had suspicions cast upon it, is both enduring and legendary”.

Neville Begg OAM

Neville Begg OAM

On Australia Day Friday 26th January 2024 “Mr Neville Charles Begg OAM of Woollahra NSW was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to horse racing as a trainer.”

Neville Begg is both a legend and one of nature’s true gentlemen. The two accolades are not always successfully combined. On Tuesday 30th May 2023 Neville Begg was inducted into the Trainer Category of the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame.

See: Inductees of the Newcastle Hunter HOF – Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame

Featured Image: Neville Begg and fellow inductee Clarrie Connors at Broadmeadow racecourse on the day of their induction into the ‘Hall of Fame’.




Racing was well and truly in the blood; Grandfather Jack Reynolds was a trainer who prepared the great Newcastle mare Tibbie, and his two uncles were both successful jockeys, Eric and Percy Reynolds.

Racing was talked about at the dinner table and at school, around the streets and on the track in the pre-dawn light. It was all around for Begg to absorb. He always rode horses and aged 11 or 12 he started riding work for legendary Broadmeadow trainer Ray Cashman.

Begg spent one Christmas holidays working in prominent trainer Maurice McCarten’s Randwick stables. He had a handful of rides as an apprentice before problems with weight put paid to that dream but stayed with McCarten for 22 years before setting up his own stables at Randwick in 1967.

Success came quickly to the man contemporaries called the hardest working trainer in Australia. In all, Begg is credited with winning 139 stakes races including 39 Group 1 events, many partnered by champion jockey Ron Quinton.

The best of Begg’s outstanding winners was the grey champion, 1984 Australian Horse of the Year Emancipation, her 19 wins included six at Group 1.

In 1990 at the age of 60, Begg left Randwick for a successful training stint in Hong Kong, passing the baton at Baramul Lodge to his Group 1-winning son Grahame. He returned to Australia to retire from training in 1996.

I first met Neville Begg at Mr A O Ellison’s ‘Baramul Stud’ in the Widden Valley in the late 1960s. It was an ‘Open Day’ at the Stud. We were meeting in the drawing room of the homestead. Mr & Mrs Bill Longworth were there inspecting their magnificent racing and broodmare ‘Wenona Girl’. She had produced the sensational 2yo ‘Special Girl’ and had a filly foal at foot who became ‘Day Girl’. Both were by Baramul resident sire ‘Todman’, legendary son of champion ‘Star Kingdom’ who had passed away at ‘Baramul’ in April 1967. They were halcyon days; especially for an ingenue recently arrived UK emigrant veterinarian!

Racing was in Neville Begg’s blood. Born in Newcastle in 1931 many of Neville’s immediate family were steeped in the sport. Two of his maternal uncles, Eric and Percy Reynolds, were successful jockeys. Broadmeadow trainer Ray Cashman was the ‘gun’ leading successful raids to the Sydney racetracks. Betting coups were de rigueur. Young Neville earned his spurs with Ray before relocating to Maurice McCarten’s Randwick Stables in 1945 with the aim of becoming a jockey. The latter ambition succumbed to weight and ability issues but the association lasted 22 years with Neville becoming stable foreman to ‘the meticulous, quietly spoken and highly regarded McCarten’. He was the perfect tutor for the similarly attributed young trainee.

‘Todman’, trained by McCarten and educated by Begg, won the inaugural Golden Slipper Stakes in 1957. Ten years later Neville Begg set up his own stables at Randwick. During the 1970s and 1980s Neville was runner up to the immaculate T J Smith in the trainer’s premiership on no less than nine occasions. ‘Divide and Rule’ was his first Group I winner in the 1968 AJC Derby. In all Begg trained 39 Group I winners.

Neville Begg developed a very strong bond with jockey Ron Quinton who had succeeded Neville Selwood at Maurice McCarten’s stables. Among Neville’s great winners were many fillies and mares. ‘Emancipation’ (19 wins), ‘November Rain’ and ‘Heat of the Moment’ were in the champion class. ‘Dalmacia’ and ‘Dark Eclipse’ (1980 Golden Slipper) were other grand notables. In July 1970 I escorted the beautiful ‘Todman’ filly ‘Eternal Truth’ to America on the good ship ‘Parrakoola’ as part of the consignment of Baramul mares and foals expoerted to the USA.

In 1990, aged 60, Neville Begg spent six years training in Hong Kong leaving his ‘Baramul Lodge’ complex in the capable hands of his son Graham Begg. Returning to Australia in 1996, Neville became a successful owner and Group I-winning breeder.

Roy Mahoney OAM

Roy Mahoney OAM

Featured Image: Roy Mahoney as I remembered him. There are many varied ‘shaded areas’. This was redolent of Roy!

Roy Mahoney was inducted into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame on Tuesday 30th May 2023 as an Associate together with John Messara of Arrowfield Stud.

See: Inductees of the Newcastle Hunter HOF – Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame 

Chairman Roy Mahoney was the ultimate political animal. He had a sixth-sense awareness and compelling prescience of knowledge. I think he thought of issues before the ‘elected’ had even considered their deliberations.

When I first joined the Scone Race Club Committee circa 1970 (replacing Lionel Israel of Segenhoe) Roy was Chairman of the Newcastle Jockey Club (NJC) and the Newcastle, Hunter & Central Coast Racing Association which was the overarching gubernatorial body. Roy played his ‘hand of cards’ very well indeed cultivating relationships advantageous to his aspirations. Harry Hayes was a handy Lieutenant at Scone and his deputy at the NJC. Roy provided staff and equipment from his Newcastle Pub to operate the public bar at Scone’s White Park Racetrack. The quality of service never varied and was totally reliable as well as profitable for both the proponent Roy and the SRC!

Roy cultivated his cadre of friends and associates from a broad-based political spectrum. Newcastle City Mayor Joy Cummings was a good start. Local NSW State Labor Member Ken Booth MP representing Kurri Kurri provided easy access to the Premier Neville Wran. From here Roy was appointed to the nascent NSW TAB Board. Recognising the importance of betting turnover as pivotal to the financial success of race clubs Roy successfully negotiated the provision of on and off course TAB as well as the ‘best covered bookmakers betting ring including Randwick’ at Broadmeadow! There is no doubt that Roy Mahoney elevated racing at Broadmeadow to a new standard of excellence during his long jurisdiction at the Club.

The Australian Jockey Club (AJC) honoured Roy as the first recipient of the Sir James Carr award for services to country racing. He was Life Member of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA). On Australia Day in 1985 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to horse racing and the liquor industry. Naturally gregarious, Roy Mahoney was ‘held in great respect’ throughout the State with friends in all walks of life be they ‘politicians and punters, jockeys and judges, battlers and bureaucrats.’ I was a fortunate beneficiary of his guidance and largesse.

I only saw him ‘rattled’ on two occasions. AWU supremo Ernie Ecob was leading the charge on behalf of all ’employees’ in the racing industry for better pay and conditions. He might have had a case. Roy ‘deflected’ the danger to his hegemony by pitching (‘substituting’) trainer Pat Farrell’s brother Frank into the mix. It confused the issue and all ‘evidence’ was deemed inadmissible. Round I to Roy. The second occasion was when ‘colourful racing identity’, SP, punter and owner George Freeman was refused admission to the member’s enclosure at Broadmeadow. I think this one ended in a close tie and honourable draw? Neither proponent ‘lost face’!