Segenhoe Stud Dispersal 1918

Segenhoe Stud Dispersal 1918

Featured Image: Catalogue for the ‘Unreserved Dispersal Sale of the Segenhoe Stud’ on Thursday, January 3rd 1918, the Property of Mr. Wm. Brown

I duly acknowledge the rich archive of old catalogues assiduously collected and lovingly preserved by my late friend Harley Walden. I ‘inherited’ the treasure trove. It’s a bit like Aladdin’s cave if you’re a thoroughbred racing and breeding aficionado as Harley was.

I wrote earlier about the ‘rebarbative’ John Brown. See: . I also ‘borrowed information from two other sources namely;


There’s nearly always a ‘story-behind –the-story’ whenever there’s a complete dispersal sale of any magnitude in any commodity? It usually signals the end of an era, the end of a dream; or both. It can also herald a new beginning for either. Occasionally it’s used as an astute marketing ploy; vendors knowing that the ‘unreserved dispersal’ label attracts keen buyer interest.  Not all dispersal sales are actually that and ‘buy-backs’ are not uncommon. Internecine family squabbles appear to have dominated the relationships between acerbic siblings of the leviathan coal and shipping magnates, the Brown Brothers of Newcastle?

John Brown established Wills Gully (a property formerly bought originally by their father near Singleton) as his own stud; and William spent large sums in the purchase of bloodstock for his Segenhoe Stud, which he acquired in January 1913.  It was William Brown who was responsible for bringing Multiform to Australia, and in 1911 replaced him with Tressady.  Like his brother John, William also imported a number of mares from England, including the remarkable Chand Bee Bee in the early 1890’s and raced her.  She proved a most wonderful and versatile matron when eventually retired to stud producing for William Brown the winners Chantress (Newmarket Handicap), Bee Bee (Maribyrnong Plate), Baw Bee (Breeders Plate and Summer Cup), and Piastre (Melbourne Cup).

The sale catalogue lists 29 yearlings, 57 brood mares, 13 race horses, 5 two-year old fillies and three stallions; Duke of Melton (imp.), Piastre and Tressady (imp.). A black pony stallion was Lot 108. He was described as ‘a splendid teaser’; his unfortunate lot in life. It was an impressive array of proven thoroughbred talent. The star lots were undoubtedly the descendants of the great mare Chand Bee Bee. Piastre was described as ‘one of the greatest horses that ever graced the Australian Turf’. His was certainly and eclectic list of great racetrack achievement culminating with victory in the Melbourne Cup of 1912; owned by William Brown, trained by R O’Connor and ridden by A Shanahan.