The grey stallion ‘Skeleton’ was another quality import to NSW in the mid-quartile of the 19th century. Skeleton had at least a superficial exotic background as befitted the standard profile of many of the introduced stallions of the era.
Skeleton was a fairly typical Arabic looking thoroughbred once the property of the Marquis of Sligo. It appeared this was the breed-type and conformation the breeders were avidly seeking. Good temperament may have been a lucky dip luxury. Some of the horses appeared very ‘fiery’; at least in the images portrayed. He was described somewhat floridly as ‘The Celebrated Entire Irish Race Horse’. He ran successfully as a 2 year old in the Marquis’ colours before being purchased by Prince Esterhazy. It looks like ENTERHAZY in the script but it is presumably Prince Ezterhazy, Nikolaus III of the celebrated Hungarian aristocratic family. The latter spent some time in England.
Skeleton was imported to Raby Stud. This is/was in the Macarthur region of western Sydney. It was owned by pioneer merchant and pastoralist Alexander Riley (1778 – 1833) who in 1809 was granted 3000 acres on the corner of Bringelly and Cowpasture Roads. It may be a family member succeeded to the property. The property was initially used for sheep breeding and was also home to the first introduction of Cashmere Goats.