In the blood
In the blood
Annette Shiell and Narelle Symes
AUSTRALIAN RACING MUSEUM
The blood horse or thoroughbred is a horse especially bred and trained for racing whose ancestry can be traced back with out interruption to forebears recorded in the General Stud Book. Every thoroughbred in the world today traces its male line back to one of three foundation sires: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian or Godolphin Arabian, who were bred in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The bloodlines of the horse are the backbone of thoroughbred racing. Horses are always referred to in the context of their lineage, particularly their sires and dams, and family is all important.
Whilst the forebears of the humans involved with racing today may not be listed in a General Stud Book, and the line is sometimes more tenuous, their 'ancestry' is no less impressive and enduring. A study of families involved in racing reveals that racing is very much in the blood. Punter, trainer, owner, jockey, breeder or bookmaker - irrespective of profession or level of involvement, racing, in one form or another, can often be found flowing from generation to generation. Family histories are enriched with colourful tales of great uncles who trained the outside chance, cousins who almost rode the champ, and big wins and tall tales.
This photographic essay captures the spirit of this phenomenon and showcases the lives of four families with racing in their blood: Hoysted, Chimside, Hutchinson and Inglis.
Affectionately known amongst the family as the 'Horsey Hoysteds', the Australian branch of the Hoysteds have enjoyed a long association with racing. The arrival in Victoria in 1859 of Frederick William and Susannah and their nine children signalled the start of a training dynasty. One hundred and forty years later, the family can boast 28 trainers through six generations.
Settling in regional Benalla, Frederick William established himself as a successful trainer throughout the colony. His sons John, William, Frederick, Henry and Robert assisted him and also developed their own interests in racing. John was a jockey who later became a trainer; William worked on the land and rode in amateur races; Frederick was a groom; Henry was a jockey who took up training; and Robert was a jockey who became a trainer.
The descendants of these sons were deeply involved with racing. As trainers, jockeys, owners, breeders, saddlery proprietors, bookmakers and club administrators the Hoysteds became synonymous with Australian racing. It is however a third generation Hoysted, Frederick William, second son of Henry (Harry) Hoysted, who cemented the family's position as the pre-eminent racing family.
'Father', as he was affectionately known in racing circles, was a champion trainer. He had unprecedented success with hurdles, steeplechases and all types of flat races. When he retired in 1966, at the age of 83, renowned jockey Bill Williamson is reported to have said, 'Racing in Australia without Fred Hoysted is like a racehorse without a rider.'
Frederick William and his wife Ellen had five sons, and the Hoysted family dominance of racing has continued with the remarkable contribution made to it by Norman (Bon) and Robert (Bob). Outstanding trainers, the two brothers made racing history for the Hoysted family in 1974 when one of Bon's horses took the Grand National Steeple, the week after one of Bob's had won the Grand National Hurdle. The Hoysted's most famous horse was the champion thoroughbred Manikato. Horse of the Year in 1979, Manikato had 29 wins and thirteen placings from 47 starts. Bon and Bob had four daughters between them, and racing is continuing to run through the Hoysted blood. Bon's daughter Pat is the first woman in the family to obtain a trainer's licence. Bob's daughter Merilyn has just completed a thesis examining the representation of women, in public archives and galleries, who were involved in interwar horseracing in NSW and Victoria.
With her appointment to the Victoria Racing Club in July 1991, Mrs Sally Chirnside made Australian racing history when she became the first woman to be elected to the committee of a principal racing club. A Chirnside by marriage, Sally's appointment brought the Chirnside's involvement with racing full circle and re-established the family's prominence in the sport of kings.
Emigrants from Scotland, brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside established themselves in the 1840s as Victorian pastoralists. Keen horsemen, the brothers were amateur riders and horse breeders, enjoyed the hunt and played polo. Thomas helped to found the Geelong Race Club and in 1847 imported a thoroughbred stallion Delapre in the hope of improving the quality of racing. On the success of Delapre's progeny, the Chirnsides began breeding and racing horses, becoming actively involved in the establishment of Victoria's principal race clubs.
.In 1864 Thomas played a leading role in the formation of the Victoria Racing Club and joined the committee in 1876. In that same year, Andrew and his son Andrew Spence (A S) were involved in establishing the Victoria Amateur Turf Club (VATC) . A S was elected to the Foundation Committee, and his father and older brother were amongst the original 28 members. The inaugural meeting of the VATC was held in Ballarat in April 1876, the year that A S rode to victory on Sailor. Three years later, the Chirnsides took the inaugural Caulfield Cup with their horse Newminster.
The family's contribution to racing is recognised with the Chirnside Stakes and the once famous colours, blue with a black cap, are still seen on the course. But it was not until 1991 that history turned full circle and new blood in the form of Sally Chirnside stepped up to take the reins again .
Once in the Blood
World renowned for his skill on the racetrack, Ron Hutchinson has started a tradition. It seems that, once in the blood, racing is hard to erase. The racing tradition in the Hutchinson family has evolved from driving talent rather than family expectations. Neither of Ron's parents was at all interested in racing, but an uncle had a hairdressing salon opposite the stables at Flemington and would regale the family with colourful stories about the racing world. From this tenuous beginning grew the ambition to become a jockey.
Apprenticed to trainer Claude Goodfellow until he was 21, Ron had a natural talent for riding and was leading apprentice for many of those years. In the mid-I950s he shared track success with the likes of leading jockeys Jack Purtell and Bill Williamson. In 1959 Ron received his first offer to ride overseas. He rode in Ireland for Paddy Prendgast, winning the Irish 2000 Guineas on Marshall. In 1961 the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk invited Ron to ride for them in England, where he won more than 1000 races, including the St Leger and the Ascot Gold Cup. After many successful years in the saddle, Ron decided to retire. On a cross-Atlantic flight he called into Singapore and visited the racecourse. After winning nine races in four days he was invited to stay a season, and four years later Ron retired again!
Throughout the excitement, successes and hardships of Ron's career, his wife Norma and four children Raymond, Susan, Sally and Peter were never far away. In this environment it is not surprising that racing got into their blood, and both Raymond and Peter ended up with careers in the industry.
Raymond became involved through the influence of renowned jockey Scobie Breasley. Raymond used to exercise horses at Scobie's stables in Epsom, England, when the Hutchinsons lived there. Scobie suggested that he become an amateur rider. Raymond took his advice and was Leading Amateur in England for four years where he became known as the 'Professional Amateur'.
After completing architecture at Epsom College, Raymond travelled to Australia for twelve months, where he worked in various stables. Realising how much horses meant to him, Raymond returned to study, graduating in Veterinary Science from the University of London.
Younger son Peter did not take to racing immediately and as a child was not very involved with the stables. His first racing experiences were on the backs of donkeys. Deciding to take riding seriously, Peter became apprenticed to Colin Hayes and, like his father, took to it immediately. He was premier jockey in Adelaide in 1989-90 and 91 before moving to Melbourne. One of his greatest rides was the 1993 Caulfield Cup win on Fraar.
No grandchildren are showing signs of entering the racing industry but, like the family before them, they may be just biding their time.
Always in the Blood
When William Inglis founded a life stock auctioneering business with Joseph Butler in 1867 he was establishing a family tradition that would still be going strong five generations later.
William's father Thomas arrived in the fledgling colony of New South Wales in 1829. He and his young wife Catherine moved to land outside Sydney and survived the harsh years of colonial farming .William grew upon the farm, and at eighteen headed off to experience the outside world. He spent some years whaling at sea, and travelled through Victoria in search of gold. In 1858 he returned home to begin auctioning local produce in Sydney. His skills improved and business looked good, so he joined forces with Joseph to form what would become known as 'William Inglis & Son'.
The business continued to expand, culminating with the establishment of the Inglis Horse Bazaar in Pitt Street, Sydney, an impressive three-storey centre built specifically for horse and horse-vehicle trade. Meanwhile, William's brother Robert maintained cattle auctions at Camperdown. William was an outstanding auctioneer and a prominent Sydney identity, and his death in 1896 brought accolades for his integrity, shrewdness and geniality -qualities which would flow freely though Inglis blood in the years to come.
William's second son John became managing director of William Inglis &Son after his father's death. Steering the business after the difficult years of the I890s depression, he expanded horse sales and included many country towns on the auction circuit. During the depression William had taken over the cattle business, but by the tum of the century John's brother Bill was turning the tide in cattle prices. Both his son and grandson would later follow in his path.
By 19I3 the Pitt Street business was outgrowing its premises, and the problems associated with holding a horse bazaar in the centre of Sydney were becoming obvious. The move to a new and impressive Horse Selling Centre at Camperdown began, at a cost of over 80,000 pounds.
Unfortunately John was not to enjoy the fruits of his labour. He died in 1914 from
cancer. His six children all became shareholders but it was Arthur Reginald Inglis who was determined to continue the family business. Known as Reg, he was managing director for 43 years while he drove William Inglis & Son toward a new era in thoroughbred sales. Livestock sales fluctuated through the war years; the advent of the motor vehicle seriously affected horse sales; and then in 1930 the depression hit and sales plummeted. Business acumen, quality auctions and a strong family name helped the family survive these difficult times.
When Reg passed away in1957 his son John took over the hammer. John had been groomed by his father to work in the business and together with his brother Dick, they steered the business to new heights. The family business is continuing to grow as the new generation Inglis sons, Reg, Jamie and Arthur carry the family name toward an even brighter future. As Arthur says, 'It was a natural progression to work for the firm'.