Sun Junling

Australian Stock Horse Society ‘Austrade’ Mission to China in 2004.

Featured Image: The ASHS Trade Mission to China @ Nanjing Agricultural University in 2004

Ray Hynes is at the back far left in broad hat, Sun Junling (‘Jimmy’), Terry Bourke (Hat), Mike Thew (no Hat), Duncan Macintyre (Hat) all in back row. Steve Guihot (ASHS leader in suit), Bill Howey, Brian Atfield (Hat), Jill Macintyre & Craig Young.

I wrote about this in more detail elsewhere. Memorably we encountered Sun Junling aka ‘Jimmy’ at Nanjing Agricultural University. He gave an impassioned speech in English which he may have memorised by rote? The outcome was that between Mike Thew and I we successfully arranged a fully funded ‘Fellowship’ through the NSW TAFE Commission Hunter Valley Institute. It enabled Jimmy to spend about 3 months in the Hunter Valley and beyond absorbing the horse industry and the thoroughbred sector in detail. My role was to plan and implement his itinerary. Mike had arranged accommodation at Willowgate Hall in Scone. I used my equine veterinary network to full effect. It was Derek Major at Agnes Banks Equine Hospital who gave him the sobriquet ‘Jimmy’ which he really liked. We had difficulty before this with how to address him both formally and informally.

As a result of this introduction I/we managed to secure an interview for Jimmy with Ollie Tait; then General Manager for Darley Australia. Jimmy secured a place in the Darley Flying Start program set up by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the ruler of Dubai and also owns the Darley and Godolphin Thoroughbred brands around the globe. The following CV was prepared by colleague Helen Xie. Jimmy’s own was written in colourful Chinese style emphasising his grandmothers’ predictions at the time of his birth! It was a fascinating insight but not sculptured in such a way so as to impress western judges. Nonetheless he was ‘pre-ordained to follow a career involving the horse’. Suffice it to say Jimmy was accepted into the program and excelled through the curriculum. I was extremely fortunate to be invited as his ‘mentor’ to attend the graduation ceremony at Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket, England. I travelled in some luxury at the behest of Emirates Airline per favour of Ollie and the Sheikh. I doubt the latter knew of my journey? Sun Junling has subsequently been appointed as Darley’s ‘man in China’.