On the 20th of October this year, TBV member and Korumburra based breeder Keith Inglis sadly passed away aged 92 years.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years Phyll and three children Ross (current chairman of the Australian Jockeys Association), Kaye and Jan.
Keith was born in Cobden in 1924 and christened Thomas Keith (after his father). He was one of five children. The family moved to Korumburra when Keith was in his late teens.
At the age of 18, he went to Werribee to be trained as a milk tester. After receiving his qualification, he returned to Korumburra and began work with South Gippsland Milk Industries. He remained employed as a milk tester for 35 years until 1977.
He met his wife Phyll when she was 15 years of age and he was 20. They married five years later in 1949 and had three children.
Keith was an active member of the local community joining the local volunteer fire brigade and becoming a scout leader.
Phyll and Keith moved to the property they named ‘Silkstone Lodge’ in 1972. Initially they milked cows and then branched into beef. However, at the same time, they purchased two thoroughbred broodmares: Softly Reign (Master Rane) and Dark Hansie (Hansie). Both produced winners with Softy Reign breeding a dual stakes winner in West Mayo (No Mercy).
In the 1980s, Phyll and Keith went solely into the breeding and agistment of racehorses. Although the breeding of racehorses is a risky business, they managed to breed many winners.
Keith also gained a reputation for rehabilitating injured racehorses. He learnt a lot from family friend Dr Colin Bassett, a veterinarian.
Keith read, listened and watch in order to become proficient in handling horses, dealing with injuries and ultimately foaling down mares.
His favourites horses were Softly Reign, Blue Rail, her daughter Gay Gem and her grand-daughter Tara’s Range. The latter was recently served by Melbourne Cup winner and now Swettenham Stud sire Americain.
In more recent times, Keith become particularly fond of Silkstone Special (Silky) and a retired Arab horse named Hugh.
One of Keith’s favourite sayings if something astonishing or unusual occurred was “well, I’ll be buggered!” He couldn’t stop saying it when Collingwood won a flag in 1990!
“Although diminutive in stature, my father had a presence about him, born of inner strength. If he was by your side, you felt confident of a positive outcome,” Keith’s son Ross said.
Neville ‘Nifty’ Wilson got to know Keith through Ross and their mutual involvement in the Jockey’s Association.
In the space of a dozen years, Nifty and trainer Geoff Daffy have bought and raced quite a number of horses bred by Keith and Phyll including tough country cups horse Me Hungi (Lago Delight).
On December 4th at Terang, the they trained Rondalago (Lago Delight), bred by Keith and Phyll, to victory at Terang.
“He was just a lovely man. Both Keith and Phyll are lovely wonderful people and they just love their horses.
“I’ve only been to there place a few times but, gee, they look after you when you are there.”