You’ve heard us say it before, but one of the most rewarding aspects of being at Summerhill is the regular stream of visitors who come this way, more so those with whom we share our affinity for horses and hospitality. We were honoured this week by the arrival of a couple of the most celebrated of Antipodean racehorse breeders, Brent and Cherry Taylor of the historic Trelawney Stud in New Zealand.

Before we tell you more about the farm, an intimately endearing feature of the Taylors connection with horses is the fact that Cherry’s maiden name was Goss, and it’s an even money bet that, like former Queensland Premier, Wayne Goss, we more than likely share common antecedents through our Irish ancestry, which makes them even more welcome than ever.

Seton Otway / Trelawney Stud (p)

In 1930 Seton Otway purchased a run-down Waikato dairy farm and developed it into one of the leading thoroughbred nurseries of its time. The farm remains the oldest commercially operated stud farm in New Zealand. In 2016 Otway was inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame, recognised for these achievements while at the helm of Trelawney. Under Otway’s management the farm produced seven Melbourne Cup winners: Hiraji (1947), Foxzami (1949), MacDougal (1959), Hi-Jinx (1960), Galilee (1966), Polo Prince (1964), and Silver Knight (1971). A statue was unveiled on the farm in 2010 recognising this achievement.

Tommy Smith / Dynamic Syndications (p)

Arguably the most famous horse to represent Trelawney was Tulloch. Bred, reared and sold by Trelawney, Tulloch went on to win 33 times at elite level for the legendary Tommy Smith. One of greatest influences on Otway’s success was the remarkable sire Foxbridge, himself inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. A super-sire of his era, Foxbridge headed the New Zealand Sire’s Premiership for 11 seasons, dominating the racing scene in the 1940s. His accomplishments continued as a broodmare sire where the success of his daughters at stud saw him crowned as champion broodmare sire 11 times.

Another stallion to prove very successful in New Zealand was Alcimedes. Among his first crop were VRC Derby-winner Prince Grant and Melbourne Cup winner Galilee. He was also the sire of Melbourne Cup-winner Silver Knight.

Otway held an active interest in the farm until he passed away at the age of 94. He was laid to rest between Foxbridge and Alcimedes, the two stallions that helped shape the success of the farm and together held 16 New Zealand Champion Sire titles. In 1987 the Troy Corporation purchased a 50% share in the bloodstock of Trelawney. Unfortunately the share market crash forced the Otway family to sell the farm to clear their debts, and the farm was picked up by billionaire Robert Holmes à Court. Further bad luck ensued as Holmes à Court passed soon after. In 1993 the farm was purchased by the Taylor family who are proud to be able to continue the legacy left behind.