Friday, 20 July 2012
: Veteran Hunter Valley horseman Henry 'Boyd' Gageler was guest of honour at the Muswellbrook race meeting on July 16 when he celebrated his 90th birthday.
Muswellbrook Race Club marked the occasion by bestowing life membership on the veteran owner, trainer and breeder.
One of the biggest thrills Gageler and his wife Francie received in over half a century of breeding and racing was when Iga Ninja, a horse they bred and sold at the Sydney yearling sales, led in the straight before finishing a close seventh in the 1988 Golden Slipper.
Owned and trained by Howard Rodger, Iga Ninja contested 13 juvenile races for three Randwick wins including the Canonbury Stakes, a third in the Skyline Stakes and fourths in the Breeder' Plate and Todman Slipper Trial.
Later the sire of winners from very restricted use, Iga Ninja was bred by the Gagelers on Rosehill, a small farm they ran on the fringe of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley.
Iga Ninja was by their resident Biscay stallion Sylvester from Royal Lassie, a mare by the prolific Queensland sire Pandour.
The Gagelers bred 10 winners from Royal Lassie and seven from Iga Ninja's sister Union Girl, herself a winner of five races.
Many of the winners were raced by the Gagelers and also trained by Boyd.
The Gagelers got into breeding in the late 1950s with two sisters Silver Cape, a mare who won 25 races for them including the annual Corinthian Handicap for amateur riders at Randwick and the Cessnock, Grenfell and Merriwa Cups, and Race Tip, a Cessnock maiden winner.
They presented the first foals out of these mares at yearling sales in 1961, but took one of them, a filly got by Genetout from Silver Cape, home.
A winner of four races for them under the name of Gendilla, she produced the1965 foaled Red Gauntlet colt Stars And Stripes.
Sold as a yearling, he was a tough sprinter who won 14 races including seven in Sydney and three in America.
Boyd Gageler was born at Denman and raised on the family's dairy farm at Sandy Hollow that is now Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm stud.
He has a been involved with racing since he left school and has been attending race meetings at Muswellbrook for over 70 years where he has won many races with horses he bred, owned and trained.
There was a second birthday partiy for Sandy Hollow horse people at the Muswellbrook race meeting as popular breeder Mary Hallet celebrated her 70th birthday.
Hallett owns River Ridge, a boutique agistment proiperty that borders Patinack Farm.