Scone Race Club President 1965 – 1967, 1972 – 1978
Acknowledgement: Harley Walden and “The Spirit Within. Scone’s Racing History”.
John Kelso came down from Queensland in the mid-1950s and established the Timor Creek Stud east of the town of Murrurundi in the upper reaches of the Hunter Valley.
The name Kelso has for many years been well entrenched in the horse racing and breeding circles. John’s father Jack Kelso was a well-known racing steward who served on the panel of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club for six seasons in the 1960s. John’s grandfather William Kelso bred, owned and trained the winner of the 1928 Melbourne Cup winner ‘Statesman’.
John Kelso ran Timor Creek Stud for quarter of a century standing the stallions Nearchus, Raymali and Vibrant.
He was stud master at the famous Blandford Park Stud, Murrurundi (now Aquis/Emirates Park) when a top line-up of stallions including Sharp Edge, Juke Box, Twig Moss, Lord Dudley, Raffindale and Cheyne Walk were domiciled there in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
However it was through his tireless work on several committees that John Kelso’s name figured so prominently over the years.
A former Shire President of the Murrurundi Shire Council, he was a member of the Scone Race Club for over 20 years, eleven of those as President. He was also President of the Australian Horse Council and NSW Horse Council, President of the NSW Blood Horse Breeders Association for 8 years and another eight years as Vice-President. John was also President of the Australian Thoroughbred Breeders Association representing them at a major International meeting in the UK.
In 1995 John Kelso was nominated and voted Scone Horse Festival VIP.
After more than fifty years hands-on work with horses John Kelso decided to try his hand as a Bloodstock Agent, a venture that was short lived with his sudden passing in 1999.
The death of one of nature’s gentlemen left a void in the ranks of the thoroughbred world, a void that saw his peers from the Hunter Valley Blood Horse Breeders honouring him with a posthumous award for his contribution to breeding and the racing industry.