H R ‘Harry’ Hayes
Scone Race Club President 1961 – 1964, 1967 – 1972
Acknowledgement: Harley Walden and “The Spirit Within. Scone’s Racing History”.
“I think he was one of the unsung heroes in Upper Hunter racing”
“He was a very generous man for anything he believed in and he was always a great contributor to horse racing”.
These are the words spoken by John Kelso (himself a former president of Scone Race Club) when describing the late Harry Hayes who passed away in February 1991, but not before he had left an indelible impression on the community as a whole. A highly successful business man, Harry Hayes at one stage owned the Scone Abattoir and various butcher’s shops in the Upper Hunter as well as his “Leighton Park” property at Segenhoe. His brood mare band bred him such good horses as Skellatar, Zozima, Yankee Clipper, Friendly Feeling and Friendly Joy.
Harry Hayes’ great love for racing stemmed from his years as a kid riding track work at the old Rosebery and Moorefield racecourses in Sydney.
He was a Committeeman of the Newcastle Jockey Club, stepping down in 1980 after 26 years of service. Only Roy Mahoney surpassed this total. Harry also represented the Upper Hunter on the Newcastle, Central Coast and Upper Hunter Racing Association.
Harry Hayes served two periods on Scone Shire Council for a total of 17 years and was Chairman of the Upper Hunter County Council for 13 years.
HR as he was often called, was a man of action and involvement, whether it be at the local saleyards, at his abattoir or helping at the Scone Racecourse.
A man with a sense of humour only matched by willingness “to have a go”, this brought to the fore many times at the famous on-course barbecues on the eve of the Scone Cup, as the man standing over the hotplate attending to steaks.
As John Kelso said, “He was an unsung hero”, but the memories linger on.