Why Scone 2024?

Why Scone 2024?

See also: https://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/scone-nsw

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scone,_New_South_Wales

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/scone-revitalisation-project/

I wrote the first draft of this in 2004. At that time, I quoted the National Farmers Federation’s definition of an ‘ideal’ country town as:

‘Vibrant local volunteer community concerned with health care, aged care, education, employment, adequate policing, public transport and committed to arranging events such as shows, gymkhanas and tennis tournaments’ [NFF 21/07/04]

Featured Image: Scone Horse Festival Parade

‘Points of difference’ – some generic – some specific – some repetitive:

  • Family ties and reunions
  • Objective perception by visitors
  • Area of great natural beauty
  • Attractive location/destination
  • Active service, sporting and cultural clubs [Bridge, ADFAS etc.]
  • Exceptional sporting facilities
  • ‘Affordability’
  • Proximity to major centres – Sydney, Newcastle, Coast, New England
  • Public transport access to above – Cityrail, Buses, Planes
  • Proximity to areas of ‘exceptional’ natural beauty: Barrington Tops, Glenbawn etc.
  • Perceived area profile and reputation – ‘Horse Capital of Australia’
  • Graziers/farmers preferred retirement option
  • Downsizing farm
  • ‘Country change’ flow out and flow on [C/f and contrast ‘Sea change’]
  • Pristine pollution-free healthy environment, climate and lifestyle – ‘healthy clean green perception’
  • ‘Like minded’ community cohort and attractions
  • Access to health care facilities and services:
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Nurses
  • Hospital
  • Aged Care Facility
  • Home Care
  • Physiotherapists/Occupational Therapists etc.

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Greater & Lesser Gutsbys

Greater & Lesser Gutsbys

See: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/chris-winters-barbers-shop-and-maternity-ward/

Chris Winter and I shared a few anecdotes.

We invented a rating for the ‘Great Gutsby’, the ‘Greater Gutsby’ and the ‘Greatest Gutsby’. F Scott Fitzgerald wrote brilliantly about the Great Gatsby (Jay Gatsby) in New York, but we didn’t have any of those, so we countered with our local variety of which there were plenty. We both arrived at the same decision(s) for clear winners in each category.

Only recently I met our mutually selected ‘Greatest Gutsby’ outside the Scone Post Office. Where else in Scone! He was still a ‘Gutsby’, but not now the ‘greatest’. His midriff reduction strategies have been working. Perhaps its ‘Man Shake’? The Man Shake | Weight Loss Shakes For Men and More It could be to do with the fact he’s no longer working in a pub?

It set me thinking. I believe there’s a ‘Lesser Bustard’ (Bird) in Australia? Like many species, the original Greater Bustards were driven to extinction for being too ponderous, fat, and slow. There could be some lessons there. As soon as ‘Whitefellas’ introduced guns, many species succumbed. I contacted Chris and suggested we should introduce a new category of Lesser (Great) Gutsbys. There are plenty of obesity candidates out there including a few of our elected (political) brethren. The leader of the United Australia Party who likes you to vote ‘no’ and claims all the credit springs to mind. It might remind us of our corpulent cadre and that we can do better. Guilty as charged.

See: obesity – Bing images

Sellwood at St Aubins

Sellwood at St Aubins

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/nifty-neville-sellwood-scone-st-aubins-racetrack-1939/

See also:  https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/hats-were-gone-with-the-wind/

Scone Hospital Racing Club (Registered A.J.C. and N.W.D.R.A.) Office-Bearers-1939 President: Mr. W.J. Smith, Vice-Presidents: Sir Hugh Denison, Mr. A.E. Cooper, Mr. P. Miller, Mr. W.T. Badgery, Mr. W.H. Mackay. Committee: Messrs. F.L. Bragg, A.W. Riddle, J.L. Raymond, L.W. Davies, S. Johnston, J.F. Morris, F.J. Whyte. Judge: Mr. A.W. Riddle. Hon. Surgeons: Drs. W.O. Pye, E.S. Stuckey and O. Barton. Stipendiary Steward: Mr. R.G. Lackey. Detective and Starter: Mr. F. Lane. Handicapper: Mr. H.V. Kelaher. Clerk of Course: Mr. S. Clark. Clerk of Scales: Mr. G.A. Cumberland. Official Timekeeper: Mr. H.V. Cooper. Hon. Consulting Veterinary Surgeon: Mr. W.K. Goodsir. Hon. Treasurers: Messrs. G.N. Lochhead and C.A. Gracie. Hon. Secretary: Mr. Stan. G. Keene. Hon. Ass. Secretary: Mr .J.A. Simpson.

Max Presnell SMH (‘in conversation’) has confirmed that future great international jockey Neville Sellwood rode at the meeting without landing a winner; finishing third in Race 2 (‘Hasten’), second in Race 5 (‘The Ped’) and unplaced in Race 7 (‘Miss Sal’). His mounts were owned by Mr A E Cooper of ‘Alabama’ who also hosted race meetings post-WWII. The trainer of all three was S Thomas who also won with Mr A E Cooper’s ‘Dangar Mark’ winning two races on the day.


  1. Maiden Handicap 4 3/4 Furlongs. £10, £3, £2. 1/1 Danger Mark, Mr. A.E. Cooper’s ch g, 6yrs. Trainer: S. Thomas. by Heroic-Willow Queen, 8.13 (K. Hasler) 1 6/1 Chippani, Mr. F.P. Crittenden’s ch f, 3yrs. Trainer: G.F. Gorrie. by Illiad-Gobble, 8.0 (W.Webb) 10/1 White Park, Miss M. Johnston’s b h, 5yrs. Trainer: S. Johnston. by Parkville – Lady Butler, 8.0 (C. Morcello). Other starters: Coradgery, 8.9 (L. Duncombe); Blue Idol 8.0 (V. Daniels); Maeranie, 8.0 (A. McHugh); Toosoon, 8.0 (R. Smart); Don Loola, 8.0 (J. Donaldson); Larwood, 8.0 (E. Mills); Gee Golly, 7.7 (N. Bradbury). Time: 59sec.
  2. Northern Traveler’s’ Flying Handicap 6 Furlongs. £40, £7, £3. 4/1 Golden Glass, Mr. S.R. Johnston’s ch g, 6yrs. Trainer: S. Johnston. by Luigi-Venetian Glass, 7.0 (L. Duncombe 1 6/1 Babili, Mr. J. Scully’s br h, aged. Trainer: W,Craigie. by Promised Land-Babylon, 9.0 (E.Mills) 2 2/1 Bonnie Don, Mr. A. McLean’s br g, 5yrs. Trainer: H. McLean. by Dunnottar – College Belle, 8.9 (A. McHugh) 3 Other starters: Joan Darling, 9.1 (J. McDonald), Spear Gold, 8.7 (P. Lawrence). Time: 1.15.
  3. Nurses’ Handicap 4-3/4 Furlongs. £10, £3, £2. 5/2 Bill Gauntlet, Mrs. E.M. Stewart’s b g, aged. Trainer: E. Stewart. by Red Gauntlet-Lindrum mare, 8.5 (C. Morcello) 1 5/2 Bowlalong, Mr.C.Duff’s br g, 4yrs. Trainer: C. Williams. by Baralong-Grand Lady, 7.13 (N. Robinson) 2 3/1 Hasten, Mr. A.E. Cooper’s b f, 3yrs. Trainer: S. Thomas. by Baralong-Fleetfoot, 7.7 (N. Sellwood) 3 Other starters: Futurist, 8.9 (—Young); Caisson, 8.7 (N. Bradbury); Fifty Grand, 8.5 (E. Mills); Prapser, 7.7 (A. McHue). Time: 59sec.
  4. The Corinthian Handicap 6 Furlongs. £20, £3, £2. 3/1 Danger Mark, Mr. A.E. Cooper’s ch g, 6yrs. Trainer: S. Thomas. by HeroicWillow Queen, 9.10, inc. 7lb pen. and 3lb over (Mr L. Melvil 1 1/1 Lady Vamp, Mr. J.K. Lynch’s b m, aged. Trainer: W. Paul. by Nassau- Vamp, 10.1(Mr. J. Lynch) 2 7/2 Lady Kerabee, Mrs. R. Gilder’s br m, aged. Trainer: I. Ward. by Rivoli- Flower, 10.10 (Mr. F. Bell)3 Other starters: Gramme, 9.0 (Mr. R. Weber); Affluence, 9.0 (Mr. A. Holman). Time: 1-16½.
  5. Scott Memorial Scone Hospital Handicap 1mile 15yards. £60, £10, £5. 4/5 Housemaster, Mr. G.R. White’s ch g, 6yrs. Trainer: J. Hobson. by Chief Ruler- Fillette, 61 8.7 (K. Shelley 1 2/1 The Ped, Mr. A.E. Cooper’s ch g, 5yrs. Trainer: S. Thomas. by Grand Joy- Fleetfoot, 8.2 (N. Sellwood) 2 10/1 Nargong, Mr. S. McDonough’s ch m, aged. Trainer: J. Cavanagh. by Blue Flame- Calcite, 7.0 (L. Duncombe) 3 Other starters: Mannaland, 7.9 (C. Morcello); Sir Rawson, 7.3(L. Booby); Had, 7.2 (N. Robinson). Time: 1.41½.
  6. Welter Handicap First Division 6 Furlongs. £10, £2, £1/3/4. 2/1 Bonnie Don, Mr. A. McLean’s br g, 5yrs. Trainer: H. McLean. by DunnottarCollege Belle, 10.7 (E. Mills) 1 3/1 Valdrain, Mr. R.A. Hawker’s ch g, aged. Trainer: J. Cavanagh. by King ValNeandria, 9.3 (C. Morcello) 2 6/1 Lady Kerabee, Mrs. R. Gilder’s br m, aged. Trainer: I. Ward. by Rivoli- Flower, 9.10 (W. Donaldson) 3 Other starters: Scarlet Line, 9.7 (-Shelly); Molly’s Frill, 8.11(R. Collins); Improve, 8.0 (J. Shaw). Time: 1.16½.
  7. Welter Handicap Second Division £10, £2, £1/3/4. 6/4 Broadway Rose, Mr. T.J. Nugent’s b m, 5yrs. by Grosvenor- Gay Vixen, 8.0 (L. Duncombe) Trainer: T. Nugent1 10/1 Lady Vamp, Mr. J.K. Lynch’s b m, aged. Trainer: W. Paul. by Nassau- Vamp, 9.1 (L. Kennedy) 2 3/1 Goorka, Mr. Phil Reynold’s b g, aged. Trainer: P. Reynolds. by Ghurka-Wild Night, 9.10 (E. Reynolds3 Other starters: Our Voyage, 8.8 (A. Clifford); Miss Sal, 8.3 (N. Sellwood). Time: 1.15.

Nifty Neville Sellwood @ Scone (St Aubins) Racetrack 1939

Featured Image: Scone Hospital Racing Club 1939:  Did the 16-year-old apprentice ride at St Aubins Racetrack SCONE in 1939?

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Scones-Racing-History-2nd-Edition-.pdf pp 68 -70

See also:  https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/hats-were-gone-with-the-wind/

This meeting marked the rebirth of racing in Scone after a dormant period of a few years. Local agent Stan Keene ignited debate only about three months before the meeting took place. W J Smith of St Aubins generously agreed to host the meeting at his private track.

The winners on the day were:

  1. Maiden Handicap 4 ¾ Furlongs; Mr A E Cooper’s ch g 6yrs ‘Dangar Mark’
  2. Northern Travellers’ Flying Handicap 6 furlongs; Mr S R Johnston’s ch g 6yrs ‘Golden Glass’
  3. Nurse’s Handicap 4 ¾ Furlongs Mrs E M Stewart’s b g aged ‘Bill Gauntlet’
  4. The Corinthian Handicap 6 Furlongs Mr A E Cooper’s ch g 6yrs ‘Dangar Mark’
  5. Scott Memorial Scone Hospital Handicap 1 mile 15 yards; Mr G R White’s ‘Housemaster’
  6. Welter Handicap First Division 6 Furlongs; Mr A McLean’s br g 5yrs ‘Bonnie Don’
  7. Welter Handicap Second Division 6 Furlongs; Mr T J Nugent’s b m 5yrs ‘Broadway Rose’

Neville Sellwood?

Is it possible that the future great international jockey Neville Sellwood rode at the meeting without landing a winner; finishing third in Race 2 (‘Hasten’), second in Race 5 (‘The Ped’) and unplaced in Race 7 (‘Miss Sal’). His mounts were owned by Mr A E Cooper of ‘Alabama’ who also hosted race meetings post-WWII. He was listed as N Sellwood and I have been unable to confirm (or deny) this is one and the same person? The trainer of all three was S Thomas who also won with Mr A E Cooper’s ‘Dangar Mark’ winning two races on the day.

Neville Sellwood would have been a 16 year old apprentice on 26 August 1939. He rode his first winner ‘Ourimbah’ at Doomben, Brisbane on 11 March 1939 when apprenticed to Jim Shean.

See: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sellwood-neville-francis-11656

The committee organising the Scone Hospital Racing Club’s opening meeting was both ‘heavyweight’ and influential. It was loaded with leviathan thoroughbred racing and breeding men of the day including President Mr W J ‘Knockout’ Smith (St Aubins Stud), Sir Hugh Denison (Sledmere), Mr A E Cooper (Alabama), Mr P Miller (Kia Ora), Mr W H Mackay (Tinagroo), Messrs F L Bragg (Rossgole), A W Riddle (Kia Ora), J L Raymond (Sledmere) and L W Davies (Yarrandi). Any one of them could have enticed the very promising Brisbane apprentice to ride at Scone. The most obvious candidate is Mr A E Cooper of ‘Alabama’ for whom ‘N Sellwood’ rode three starters. How likely is it that there were two ‘N Sellwoods’ around at this time? I prefer to believe that the emerging superstar graced the meeting with his presence. In 1939 no-one would have been any the wiser?

Equine Walk of Fame

Equine Walk of Fame

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/installation-of-the-equine-walk-of-fame-plaques/

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/horse-heritage-precinct-scone/

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/scone-nursery-of-champions/

Very soon we will see 113 bronze plaques embedded in the pathways of Kelly Street, Scone. These are the culmination of several years planning, cajoling and prodding. The categories of famous horses are summarised thus:

Featured Image: ‘I Am Invincible’ Plaque (draft) Scale = 380mm vertical x 280mm horizontal

Scone Equine Walk of Fame Horse Summary:

Category Number of Plaques Sub-total(s) Distribution


Thoroughbred Racehorses 38 Liverpool to St Aubins, West
Champion Thoroughbred Sires 29 Kingdon to Liverpool, West
Australian Stock Horses 20 Liverpool to St Aubins, East
Performance/Other Horses 21 Kingdon to Liverpool, East
(Light Horse) (4) War Memorial
(Polo) (11) Kingdon to Liverpool, East
(Olympian/Equestrian) (6) Kingdon to Liverpool, East
SHF Horse of the Year 5 St Aubins Square
Total(s) 113 (21)  

Although this project has been many years in the making the following have contributed most significantly to eventual delivery in its current format. These include most importantly Jill Macintyre** and Peter Haydon***. Others were Julianne Christopher (HTBA), Steve Guihot (ASHS) and latterly Andrew Cooper** (ASHS), Alan Fletcher, David Gatwood, Belinda Oltenue and Tracey Warner (all UHSC). Chloe Leake (***) and Allan Greer (both UHSC) have been outstanding in driving the concept to fruition.

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Verna Metcalfe Honoured by HTBA

Verna Metcalfe Honoured by HTBA

Media Release – Monday May 16, 2016

See also: Verna Metcalfe honoured by Hunter racing industry | The Land | NSW

See also: Alma Vale Thoroughbreds and Kitchwin Hills Join Forces | Breednet

Featured Image: Courtesy of ‘The Land’ newspaper and Virginia Harvey

This year’s (2016) Murray Bain Service Award recipient is a highly respected and valued member of the Hunter’s thoroughbred breeding industry who has worked expertly and tirelessly in all aspects of thoroughbred foaling, broodmare management, sales preparation and general horse care – Ms Verna Metcalfe.

Ms Verna Metcalfe is a veteran of our industry who’s finely honed skills and “hands-on” experience in thoroughbred care and welfare is both highly respected and sought after.

Over the past 30 years, Ms Metcalfe has demonstrated a commitment and passion for the care and welfare of mares and foals, foal fostering and many other aspects of stud work.

Whether it was at the Manado Stud farm at Sandy Hollow, the Newhaven Park Stud where she worked with the Kelly family, the Widden Stud farm, the Woodlands’ Stud farm, under the tutelage of the late Peter Flynn or her work with John Vincent, Ms Metcalfe has demonstrated a unique affinity for the foaling and after care of broodmares and a passion for reproductive work on mares who find it difficult to conceive.

It was at the Woodlands Stud where Verna first became involved with what is now commonly known as foal fostering. This was then a new initiative. Ms Metcalfe’s skills in this area, coupled with her record of foaling down more than 350 mares each year, are second to none and set a shining example of professionalism in our industry.

Together with her husband David, Verna Metcalfe established and designed Lurline Lodge (now Amarina Farm) and for the past eight years has managed Middlebrook Valley Lodge earning an enviable reputation exceptional care and attention to foals and yearlings.

The HTBA is very pleased to honour Ms Verna Metcalfe for her “hands on” dedication, passion and professionalism and award her the 2016 HTBA Murray Bain Service Award.

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