Quick Knock Classic
Featured Image: Betty Shepherd riding ‘Quick Knock’ during track work on the old race track at White Park, Scone in the early 1960s
Most good judges rate this as one of the greatest action shots of a horse fully extended at fast gallop. Remember the photo was taken over 60 years ago when photographic (camera) technology was several generations behind the instant gratification we enjoy so much today. All four feet are captured off the ground ‘in the instant’ with Betty crouched in perfect position over the withers. Note the absence (c. 1960) of protective skull cap; and the ‘presence’ of stylish footware!
A framed copy of this photo forms the centrepiece of the main bar in the tastefully renovated Thoroughbred Hotel at Scone; thank you Peter Allen & Kriston Harris. I’ve lost count of the myriad aficionados and ‘amateurs’ who’ve commented on this masterpiece of fast action technology. Sadly Betty, Peter Allen and ‘Quick Knock’ have left us; but they all leave their legacy for posterity.
There’s an interesting tale about the acquisition of ‘Quick Knock’ by Betty’s late husband Archie? Archie was an entrepreneurial local ‘odds maker and taker’ with an innovative telephone service-of-the-day. He could also ‘arrange things’? A certain lot at the Scone Thoroughbred Sale in the Puen Puen draft had attracted his attention. The gullible ingénue auctioneer was ‘persuaded’ to bring the gavel down fast when Archie held the advantage early in the bidding contest. What’s a few £££’s (those were the days) between busy people? Hence the given name ‘Quick Knock’ for the new purchase!