Thoroughbred International Pty Ltd Dispersal Sale 1981

Thoroughbred International Pty Ltd Dispersal Sale 1981

Not infrequently in the thoroughbred breeding industry instant leviathan behemoths emerge. They invariably set out to dominate. Sometimes they do; usually for a short period only.

Brian Maher was such a person. He had enjoyed extraordinary success in the world of high finance and entrepreneurial commerce with his ‘bottom-of-the-harbour’ tax avoidance schemes. He made no secret of the fact. It was as if ‘nothing succeeds like excess’? Inevitably he attracted the avid interest of the Australian Government and ATO in particular. The pendulum swung against him.

In the interim Brian had invested very heavily in elite bloodstock. He and his equivalent cohort appear to love the high profile and enjoy the often transient limelight. In Brian’s case he elected to link up with John Kelso at Timor Creek Stud, Blandford, NSW. This was a smart move; to begin with. Brian had immediate access to the totemic Kelso brand-name with profound industry knowledge and John appreciated the ‘financial clout’ Brian brought along with him. It worked out well for a while but inevitably turned toxic when Brian thought he could dispense with John’s expertise.

With Brian’s demise in the High Court a full dispersal sale of his assets was unavoidable. This took place at the Gold Coast Convention and Sales Centre on Monday 27th July 1981 and Tuesday 28th July 1981. The conjoint agents were AML & F Brisbane, ABCOS Adelaide, Dalgety Victoria and William Inglis & Son Pty Ltd. 233 broodmares, two year olds, yearlings and weanlings were on offer.

Among the superb mares for sale were Golden Slipper Winners ‘Fairy Walk’ and ‘Vivarchi’ plus their progeny. Many were either from or closely related to the elite band of broodmares assembled by R F Moses at his boutique Fairways Stud, Muswellbrook. The resident covering stallions at Timor Creek at this time were Raffindale (GB), Jukebox (GB), Sharp Edge (GB) and Cheyne Walk. The latter was also bred at Fairways being by Le Cordonnier out of Fairy Walk (first foal). John Kelso was a great admirer of Reg Moses.

The highly successful sale brought to an abrupt end the rapid rise and equally precipitous fall of Brian Maher in the thoroughbred breeding industry. I think John Kelso was quietly relieved to be freed from the tentacles?