Friday, 11 March 2016

Simeon Lord (horse)

Family history can produce many surprises and puzzles. Recently I read that my great (x3) grandfather, Simeon Lord, had been involved with the early days of horse racing in New South Wales. This will be discussed in another blog post. However when exploring Trove recently I found reference to a racehorse named, Simeon Lord. Needless to say this had to be investigated.
[1] Telegraph (Brisbane) 2 July 1945
Simeon Lord appears to have been raced originally in Queensland in 1945 and later, in 1946, in New South Wales. There are a number of reports, often in country newspapers, listing details of race meetings including the names of horses involved and / or the results. The newspaper article [2] below lists E McKell as the jockey and he rode the horse in many of his races.
[2] Daily Examiner (Grafton) 1 July 1946
This newspaper also provided additional information about the racing career of Simeon Lord.
[3] Daily Examiner (Grafton) 1 July 1946
The results above in newspaper article [2] provide information about the sire and the dam of Simeon Lord. The sire was a horse named Simeon's Fort which further research revealed had been imported from Ireland. In 1928 Simeon's Fort won the AJC Doncaster Handicap and years later sired the 1942 winner of the Doncaster Handicap, Tuhitarata. The dam was a horse named Bachelor's Petal and her pedigree is also available online. Simeon Lord was listed as a four year old. The article refers to the horse as being a "Richmond River owned galloper".
[4] Sydney Morning Herald 21 April 1943
In April 1943 both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Argus announced that at a thoroughbred sale Mr W J Lloyd of Risdon Stud in Warwick had sold four horses sired by Simeon's Fort. One of the horses was by Bachelor's Petal and was sold for 100 guineas. This horse was possibly the horse later named Simeon Lord. The buyer of the horse was R Ramsay.

The newpaper article [1] above discussing the naming of the horse stated "it is in memory of an ancestor that the youngster got his name". Simeon Lord's eldest daughter, Sarah Ann Lord, married Dr David Ramsay in 1825. They had eleven children with ten living to adulthood. If  R Ramsay purchased and named the horse Simeon Lord and was related to this Ramsay family, it would explain the choice of the name.
[5] Daily Examiner (Grafton) 20 May 1946
The above race result in newspaper article [5] provides additional information as the name of the owner is given as R B Ramsay. Searching Trove and Google again I located Mr and Mrs R B Ramsay living on Cheviot Hills Station near Drake in the Richmond River region in the 1940s. R B Ramsay was secretary of the Tabulam Graziers' Association. The Australia Pastoral Directory 1954 in Ancestry has R B Ramsay on Cheviot Hills, Drake, where the property has 1311 head of cattle plus 36 sheep. Articles in Trove show that he was also a veterinary officer. In the above newspaper excerpt the jockey was listed as Alvos. Tommy Alvos rode many horses in races in this region in the 1940s and 1950s until his death from a fall from a horse at Casino in 1958.

I still needed to find out more about R B Ramsay and whether he was a descendant of Simeon as claimed in  newspaper article [1]. I knew that Belinda Cohen had carried out extensive research on Simeon Lord and Mary Hyde and their descendants, especially the Ramsay and de Mestre families, so I checked if Belinda had a Ramsay family tree on her website. I hit gold. I then looked for a member of the Ramsay family with given names beginning with the initials R B who lived in New South Wales during the twentieth century and  I located Roderick Biddulph Ramsay. A Google search for Roderick Biddulph Ramsay and Cheviot Hills, the property owned by R B Ramsay, confirmed that this was the right person. A further search in Google showed that Roderick was born in New South Wales in November 1912. In 1939 he married Dorothy Smith and they lived on the Cheviott Hills property. Roderick died in July 1996. Roderick Biddulph Ramsay was the great, great grandson of Simeon Lord and Mary Hyde.

Purchasing in 1943 a thoroughbred racehorse whose sire had a name that included the name Simeon provided Roderick Ramsay with the opportunity to name the horse after his ancestor who came to Australia in 1791 on the Third Fleet. Simeon Lord was a successful businessman (most of the time) who made the most of the opportunities he came across in the colony. Simeon Lord, the horse, appears to have raced for only two years however, as newspaper article [3] noted he had some success on the race track.  

NB: I can find no substantiation for the statement in newspaper example [1] in this post that "Forebears of the owner arrived in Australia back in 1880".  Roderick's great grandfather, Dr David Ramsay was born in Scotland and married Sarah Ann Lord in Sydney in 1825. Other family members in this line were born in New South Wales. I suspect an error was made in the date or the reference is to a member in another line of the family.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, My partner's grandfather was M.T McGrath (racehorse trainer) who saw Simeon's Fort race in England and bought the horse for one of his owners, G.L Scott. We have the racing photo of Simeon's Fort after he won the Doncaster in 1928. regards Yvonne