L B Israel
Scone Race Club President 1955 – 1961, 1964 – 1965
Acknowledgement: Harley Walden and “The Spirit Within. Scone’s Racing History”.
Lionel Israel severed his ties with the thoroughbred industry when he sold his Segenhoe Stud in 1985. After 48 years on the famous property east of Scone; his was a sixty-year association with the racing world.
Mr Israel started racing horses in Newcastle just after World War I at the age of 17. He often recalled, “My father told me I would go broke, but I just loved horses too much to give it away”.
He earned for himself a reputation for breeding quality blood stock. A tribute to the shrewd judgement he possessed was probably brought ot the fore in 1970 when Kaoru Star arrived at Segenhoe.
The owners of the horse had received many offers from America, New Zealand and from all over Australia to buy the well-bred stallion for stud duties but it was Mr Israel who outbid the opposition and retained the famed stallion for Australian breeders.
When asked to rate the best horse Segenhoe had produced in his time, Mr Israel could rattle off a list of names. Many ranked among the greats of the Australian turf but when mentioning Pride of Egypt there was always something special in the breeders’ voice.
The classy three years old of the fifties was the product of one of Israel’s best imports, Nilo. Nilo was the top-rated youngster of 1954-1955 with wins including the VRC Derby and St Leger, the AJC St Leger, STC Rosehill Guineas, the Canterbury Guineas and AJC Hobartville Stakes.
Lionel Israel’s reign in the top job of the Scone Race Club was from 1955 to 1961. He then served another term in 1964 – 1965. As a long serving committeeman in an era that saw many prominent Sydney owners, trainers and jockeys complement the local track, Mr Israel, as an owner, was always ready to nominate many of his top gallopers at the meetings.