Upper Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Society 1951
Featured Image: Section of the large crowd in attendance at Tuesday’s (1951) sale of thoroughbred horses on White Park, Scone. The sale was conducted by Wm Inglis Pty Ltd (Sydney) and Pitt, Son and Keene Pty Ltd (Scone). The horse being offered is one of the Kingsfield Stud lots that went under the hammer, amongst a total of over 200 lots.
Research has revealed that a meeting convened in Scone on 31st November 1951 led to the formation of the Upper Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Society. Present at that meeting were Chairman G.A. Christmas (Oak Range), L.R. Morgan (Redbank), A.H. Young, Scott Johnston (Tyrone), R.M. and J. Bowcock (Alabama), A.W. (‘Bert’) Riddle (Kia Ora), Cliff Duncombe (Kingsfield), W.M. Bate, R.A. Basche (Aluinn), and Noel Hall (Cressfield). Apologies were received from F.W. Thompson (Widden), L.B. Israel (Segenhoe) and J.W. Johnston (Tyrone). The stated objectives of this embryonic society were to promote the thoroughbred racing industry in the Upper Hunter. Presumably, this association did not have a long lifespan as it appears to have fallen into liquidation within the decade. This may well have been attributable to the (also) recent formation of the Bloodhorse Breeders Association of Australia (NSW Division) some of whose major protagonists were common to both committees.
The Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association of Australia, Statistical Abstract 1st August 1952 to 31st July 1953 lists the New South Wales Division Committee as: L B Israel (Segenhoe, President), M V Point (Sledmere, Vice-President), R M Bowcock (Alabama, Hon. Treasurer), F W Thompson (Widden), E N Larkin (Wilberforce), N Wheeler (Kia Ora), A V Meehan. Clearly this is dominated by representatives from the Upper Hunter.
Objects and Aims Set Out: (Report of Meeting on 31st October 1951Scone Advocate)
The Chairman (George Christmas, Oak Range) as convenor of the meeting, opened proceedings by explaining the proposed set-up, with its aims and objects, by reading the following draft agenda, or guide, which he stated had been prepared for the meeting:
“As convenor of the meeting, it now gives me pleasure to extend a welcome to everybody present and to outline to you some of the thoughts which led me to the action which has culminated in having you people here this afternoon.
Since I commenced breeding two and a half years ago, and more particularly since taking up residence here in the district, I have felt the need for opportunities to get together with other breeders, whereby it would have been possible to discuss more or less informally, matters of common interest. I have also felt the need for some means of capitalising on the apparent glamour which exists in the business of breeding great racehorses, a point of great potential the business people of the district, as well as ourselves have failed to grasp and take advantage of. There are many factors pertinent to our line of business, which are embodied in the aims and objects if this proposed Society, and which will be enumerated later on, that have collectively made themselves felt, and so induced me to proceed with the calling of this meeting.
The township of Scone should represent the shop window of our industry in this district. However, this is far from being a fact. There is no need for me to labour the point, as it is patently obvious to all of you that we have been singularly lacking in any business promotion regarding this matter. I understand that not one photograph of a stallion, or of a prominent racehorse bred in the district, exits in any business house in this town, and there is positively not one notice in the town indicating that this is the leading thoroughbred breeding area in Australia. Surely this is an extraordinary state of affairs.
A condensation of what I have had to say resolves itself into two main headings:
- There exists a pressing need for the promotion and advancement of the thoroughbred breeding industry in this district.
- The need for the means by which this promotion and advancement may be achieved.
Therefore, I submit in conclusion, that we have a case for the formation of a local Thoroughbred Breeders’ Society, having for its goal some of the following aims and objects:
- Foster and achieve the promotion and advancement of thoroughbred breeding in the district.
- Provide for the establishment of a Breeders’ Club.
- Provide for the implementation of and maintenance of a worthwhile local advertising set-up
- Create, for the convenience of visitors and travellers, a central office, where information and inspection appointments can be handled.
- Foster and improve thoroughbred sales in the district
- Encouragement of racing and training facilities
- Fix a standard scale of charges for agistment, hand feeding etc.
- Discuss labour problems
- Promote stud managers and grooms’ education and refresher courses.
- Arrange entertainment, where necessary, and more particularly for the annual (Scone) May Cup meeting visitors, who are interested in the breeding and arcing of horses.
- To foster and maintain a suitable veterinary service in the district
- Improve local transport facilities
- Prepare, if necessary, and maintain a list of owners of mares, who are debtors to studs in the district, in regard to stud and agistment fees.
There followed much discussion centred mainly around affiliation with the main Federal Thoroughbred Breeders Association, why Scone, racing subsidies and geographical boundaries. Eventually consensus was reached and Office bearers elected:
President: Mr George Christmas (Oak Range)
Honorary Secretary: Mr A H Young
Honorary Treasurer: Mr Lionel Israel (Segenhoe)
Committee Members: Messrs L R Morgan (Redbank), R M Bowcock (Alabama), A W Riddle (Kia Ora) and W M Bate
The member ship fee was set at £2/2/-. Moved by the Chairman and seconded by R M Bowcock
There followed further ‘full and frank discussion’ before agreement was reached on securing 21 guarantors of £100 each for the promotion of racing at Scone.