‘Cetigne’ (29) was a Bay Horse 1912 by ‘Grafton’ (imp.) ex ‘Pretty Nell’
Plate 18 in ‘Racehorses in Australia’ (Edited by Dr W H Lang, Ken Austin and Dr Stewart McKay): From a painting of the horse by Martin Stainforth at the age of 7 years
‘Cetigne’ was the winner of £27,216 and at the time second on the list of winning Australian racehorses. He was retired to stud in 1921 to Mr T A Stirton’s ‘Dunlop Stud’ at Merriwa. This is a scenario which has almost completely evaporated one hundred years later. Merriwa used to be a very fertile and productive area for thoroughbred production with several wealthy graziers and pastoralists strongly supporting the industry. Arthur Wright is the only relict of this once vibrant locale. Members of the Stirton family are still around the area but no longer involved in raising horse.
Thomas A (Tom) Stirton (1860–1926)
from Pastoral Review, 16 December 1926
One of the most lovable and generous citizens of Australia, Mr. Thomas A. Stirton, passed away after a short illness in Sydney on the seventh of this month. One of our most prominent graziers, holding large properties in both Queensland and New South Wales, his foresight, grit and determination were the qualities of our pioneering graziers—men whom Australia can ill afford to lose, for it is to these experienced and broadminded pastoralists that the younger generation of to-day look for guidance. Mr. Stirton was one who was always ready and most willing to give his help and advice to all who sought it.
The late Mr. Stirton was born in the New England district, N.S.W., in 1860, his father being the Presbyterian minister who officiated for a number of years in Inverell, while his mother was one of the Nivisons, of Ohio Station, Walcha. On leaving school he entered the services of the Bank of N.S.W., but the sedentary life not appealing to him, he resigned from the bank, and started on his own in the stock and station agency business in Inverell. Thence he launched out into the pastoral industry, finally becoming, as already stated, one of the foremost pastoralists of eastern Australia. At the time of his death he owned Minnie Downs Station, Tambo, Q., and in partnership with Mr. J. A. Campbell owned Carandotta, Boulia, Q., and Goorianawa Station, in the Coonamble district, N.S.W., the property so long owned by the late Mr. Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh.
Tom Stirton, as he was known amongst his friends, was a keen follower and supporter of picnic racing, more especially in the north and nor’-west districts. He was also the owner and breeder of many notable racehorses, one of the most prominent being Cetigne, who included amongst his many successes on the turf the 1915 AJC Derby and the 1918 Craven Plate, in which he beat Desert Gold. The thoroughbred stud was located at Dunlop, Merriwa, N.S.W., where Biplane and Cetigne are standing the season.
The late Mr. Stirton had been a member of the Australian Jockey Club since 1907, being elected a committeeman some twelve years later. He had also been a member of Tattersall’s Club since 1909. Besides being a member of the Union Club, Sydney, and the Melbourne Club, Melbourne, he was a member and for many years the president of the Warrigal Club, Sydney.
Everyone who knew him loved him, and the writer has to thank him for many acts of personal kindness during the past 35 years. He was one of the most liberal of men, and will be missed by all for very many years to come. A good man was Tom Stirton, and now he “has coiled up his ropes.”
- Pastoral Review, 16 December 1926, p 1095 (view original)