Friday, December 12, 2008

HORSE RACING-From "Barefoot in the Bush" to the "City"

My beautifl Hurley Town, winning The Easter Cup at Eagle Farm, Brisbane. I use the term "my" falsely as was not mine at the time, trained her for Clients.

I have been trying to sort out my junk and came across some of my past and have revisted....

I was born in Normanton on Melbourne Cup day on the banks of the Norman River in the old hospital with a tetanus outbreak at the hospital, and won the local cup sweep when only hours destiny was sealed.

Grew up wild and wooly in the bush with a sense of freedom which I even to this day find difficult to conform...did not have formal schooling but was schooled by correspondence, not School of the Air but by post. I had the process down to a two weeks work in two days and then roam the bush free......Read books at night with the aid of hurricane lights and carbide flame, did not have the benefit of electricity and the dining room floor was antbed, swept and tampted down each day. The toilet was a huge pit in the ground with a little house built over the pit.

My memories are that of freedom as mother and father largely ignored their children being preoccupied elsewhere, dad droving and mum the cook, which suited me as could roam as far and wide as I chose.

When came to the teenage years through circumstances was fostered in the city, which was a shock to the system but will not go into that at this point. After education at various institutions all over the state, working in the cities, with many adventures, returned to the bush in my late teens and started up again where I left off as a girl. Worked for the American company of Tipperary Land Corporation which owned Tipperary Station in the NT, Lakefield, Laura, Bizant, Silver Plains Stations in the Peninsula. Lakefield is now a National Park and Tipperary continues to be immersed in controversy. I had ridden horses all my life and was a saviour to me in the cities, hung around racing stables cleaning to have the lend of the lead ponies on a Sunday and an occassional walk of a quiet magnificent thoroughbred for afternoon exercise.

On the cattle stations I naturally gravitated to the racehorses and the training of the picnic horses. Picnic race horses in the bush were horses chosen from the stock camps and raced annually. The horses were placed in a paddock six weeks before the races so that they were started on an equal footing. I had the benefit of racehorse stables in the city and the professional approach so trained the horses for three months before the paddocking. To cut a long story short the first horse I trained took all before him at Laura and Cooktown races and the excitement was palative. I was on a roll.

Went to the Amateurs at Cairns won the fashions on the field and represented Queensland in Melbourne .

What a thrill and living in the bush met visiting people from all over the world whom would not ordinarily come in contact with and as a result of this was escorted around the carnival by the premier racecallers of Australia, Bert Bryant, Vince Curry and Cliff Carey
What a week.......Bert Bryant began his broadcast with he had a bush girl beside him and said "would hate to mow where she lived on two million acres!! He was a funny and witty and always saw the ridiculous in everything and I had a face ache from laughing throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival. After the Cup met the jockeys and connections at the Southern Cross. to the shops


Blogger Artoholic said...

What a life! What an auspicous start to such a life as well!

I'm a "fire horse" person in the Chinese Calender - surely you must be one as well.

How dreary the suburbs must be to you Elizabeth. You have the bush in your veins.

December 15, 2008 at 11:38 PM  

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