Victoria has a proud breeding history, so what better way to acknowledge those who have been integral to the success of the Victorian breeding industry than by featuring them on a regular basis.
Each month a new Victorian Hero will be featured on this website. To ensure you don’t miss each installment
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INTRODUCTION - OUR HEROES
The Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry is a rich tapestry that continues to unfold.
Spinning on the axis of a 24 hour news cycle, we are now delivered up to the minute information by television, radio, internet, mobile phone or PDA. ‘Undisclosed form’ has been consigned to history’s dustbin.
But it’s equally important to remember that Hurtle Fisher wasn’t carrying a mobile phone when the Admella sank in 1859. Surviving the shipwreck, he almost died of exposure before help arrived. Hurtle would later establish the first major stud farm in Victoria.
George Smith couldn’t log online to research bloodlines at Stockwell Stud, arguably Victoria’s most famous nursery and now the site for His Excellency Nasser Abdullah Hussain Lootah’s Emirates Park.
Bloodstock agent, Frank Ford, who created the road into Asia that his followers now drive, had to recall every name, every pedigree without checking his PDA.
And TV was still a year away when they booed Better Boy back to scale after winning the Hotham Handicap in 1955. We only heard about it through newspaper reports or on radio, or by being there.
Well, we can’t take your there literally, but hopefully in the coming weeks, months and years, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria can help you re-live some memories or open the door to some of the many celebrations, tragedies and intrigues that formed this tapestry.
JULY HERO - Hurtle Fisher the ‘Father’ of Victorian Breeding - By Greg Tobin
Hurtle Fisher is a name which has largely been discarded to history’s dustbin. It’s a shame really when you consider that Hurtle is the ‘father’ of Victorian thoroughbred breeding. He certainly had an interesting life …
Australian Champion Stallions that stood/stand in Victoria
1902-1903 Pilgrim's Progress (GB) (Isonomy - Pilgrimage). Stood in Victoria.
1915-1916 Wallace (Carbine - Melodious). St Albans Stud, Geelong. Victoria.
1918-1919 The Welkin (GB) (Flying Fox - Woodbury). Melton Stud, Victoria.
1919-1920 Comedy King (GB) (Persimmon - Tragedy Queen). Noorilim Stud, Murchison, Victoria.
1920-1921 The Welkin (GB) (Flying Fox - Woodbury). Melton Stud, Victoria.
1921-1922 The Welkin (GB) (Flying Fox - Woodbury). Melton Stud, Victoria.
1922-1923 Comedy King (GB) Noorilim Stud, Murchison, Victoria.
1948-1949 Helios (GB) (Hyperion - Flying Gal) Warlaby Stud, Oaklands Junction, Victoria.
1965-1966 Better Boy (IRE) (My Babu - Better So). Range View Stud, Vic.
1970-1971 Better Boy (IRE) (My Babu - Better So). Range View Stud, Vic.
1971-1972 Better Boy (IRE) (My Babu - Better So). Range View Stud, Vic.
1975-1976 Showdown (GB) (Infatuation - Zanzara) Stockwell Stud, Digger's Rest, Vic.
1976-1977 Better Boy (IRE) (My Babu - Better So). Range View Stud, Vic.
1977-1978 Showdown (GB) (Infatuation - Zanzara) Stockwell Stud, Digger's Rest, Vic.
1978-1979 Century (Better Boy - Royal Suite) Mornmoot Stud, Whittlesea, Vic.
2001-2001 Flying Spur (Danehill - Rolls) Chatswood Stud, Seymour, Vic
2010-2011 Written Tycoon (Iglesia - Party Miss) Eliza Park, Kerrie, Vic
To see the full list of Stallions click the download pdf button below [PDF 60KB]
HISTORY OF THOROUGHBRED – THE SHIRE OF MELTON IN VICTORIA
The Shire of Melton has a rich history in the equine industry. It has been home to thoroughbred breeding since the 1850s, with reputable industry identities and studs developed in the region over 150 years, producing many successful racehorses.
1819 - Father of Melton’s Equine Industry and founding father of the Victorian racing industry William Cross Yuille was born. Yuille established the first pastoral and horse property in Melton in 1846 and won the Melbourne Cup riding his own racehorse in 1865, four years after the Cup’s inception.
1852 - Yuille, who had taken up the Rockbank Run in 1846, sold to Sir William John Clarke. Clarke bred thoroughbreds and his filly Petrea won the Victorian Oaks in 1879.
1859 - ‘Birdswing’ owned by WC Yuille became Melton’s first winner of the Victorian Turf Club Oaks. Melton horses have won the Oaks on many occasions. At one stage Emirates Park Stud, then known as Stockwell Stud, had bred seven winners of the Oaks.
1865 - ‘Toryboy’ owned by WC Yuille, became Melton’s first horse to win the Melbourne Cup.
1877 - WC Yuille established the first Australian Stud book.
1918 - Before the turn of the Century Mr EED (Ernest) Clarke created the Melton Park Stud, which became the famous home of the celebrated sire ‘The Welkin’, Australian champion sire 1918-19, 1920-21, 1921-22.
1921 - Melton racehorse ‘The Gloaming’ won 19 races in a row and was honoured with one of Australia’s top races, ‘The Gloaming Stakes’, named after him.
1927 - ‘Trivalve’, owned by Melton land owner Mr EED Clarke, won the Melbourne Cup.
1957 - Stockwell Stud became one of the largest breeders of thoroughbreds in Australia.
1966 - Melton Stud bought UK’s Champion Mile Racehorse, ‘Showdown’, who went on to become a leading Australian champion sire.
1971 - ‘Tauto’ sired by Dreelburn Stud’s famous ‘Good Brandy’, won the WS Cox Plate.
1987 - To celebrate the local thoroughbred industry, the Shire ran the Melton Cup from 1987 to 1989. The first inaugural winner was ‘Gallipoli Prince’
1988 - ‘Our Poetic Prince’, 1988 Cox Plate champion, stood at Emirates Park and was retired to Cornwell Park, now the Independent Stallion Station, in 1989.
1989 - The first “Melton Plate” held at Moonee Valley, reaffirming the Shire’s dominance in the harness industry. The first inaugural winner was local trotter ‘Victorys Phil’ owned by local identity Danny Mullan.
1989 - ‘Cole Diesel’, sired by Melton sire ‘Brigand’ at Tamarin Stud, won the Caulfield Cup.
God's Own Country
Just under an hours drive from Melbourne's CBD you will find the stunning Eliza Park Stud. Home to no less than 11 stallions in 2008, Eliza Park has produced some of Victoria's best stallions in recent years including General Nediym and Bel Esprit, with the latter serving an Australian record for mares served in a season in 2007. The Lee Fleming owned operation has invested significantly in stallions over the past 5 years and this years sees the likes of Shinzig and Magnus join G1 star God's Own. Located in Kerrie, Eliza Park is just a short drive from the famous Hanging Rock racecourse as well as some of Australia's finest wineries.
In 2008 Bel Esprit joined a select group of Champion Victorian Stallions after securing the Victorian Sires Premiership with only two crops racing. This feat aligns this great stallion with the likes of Century who took all before him in the 1978-79 season when he was crowned Australia's Champion Stallion, a remarkable achievement.
This region has also seen the likes of Testa Rossa stand seasons with Yallambee Stud in Romsey, located 5 minutes from Kerrie, also known as being one of Australia's best yearling nurseries.
North East Victoria
The North East of Victoria is home to some of Australia’s finest thoroughbred properties and has been home to some of this countries finest thoroughbred stock. The region has produced Melbourne Cup winners, Champion Stallions, Leading Breeders and is renowned for raising, preparing and selling some of Australia’s best racehorses.
The area is steeped in a rich history that dates back to the turn of last century when an imported stallion Comedy King won the 1910 Melbourne Cup. Comedy King was retired to Nooralim Stud in Nagambie.
One of Australia’s most famous Melbourne Cup winners Rain Lover was by the Nagambie stallion Latin Lover, who stood at The Nook Stud owned by the Nitchke Family. The Nook was also known for the champion thoroughbreds Orgoglio and High Peak.
In recent times the stallion farms in the region have more than covered themselves in glory, with the likes of Chatswood Stud in Seymour having stood 2 Golden Slipper winners in Danzero and Flying Spur and Blue Gum Farm standing Champion Stallions, Noalcoholic, Rubiton and Encosta de Lago.
Just a short trip up the Hume to Euroa you will find the home of Champion Mare Let’s Elope, owned by Dennis Marks' Seven Creeks Estate. She set the racing world alight with her wins in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Champion Stallion Rory’s Jester is buried on the grounds of Swettenham Stud after a decade of service to the breeding industry. Rory’s Jester was one of the main reasons Collingrove Stud (now Swettenham Stud) set up in Victoria as the chestnut stallion’s ability to throw star 2yo’s was ideal for the Super VOBIS incentive scheme, unique to Victoria.
The region is now in a terrific position to create new history, with more farms, stallions and investment than ever before, an exciting era dawns on this famous region.