ICONIC Tamworth based Stock and Station Agent and Thoroughbred industry lover, Terry Burke may have passed away last month at age 82, but he is clearly recalled as an enthusiastic and passionate livestock auctioneer, who also walked the winners' stalls at numerous racecourses.
The latter is where Mr Burke's and my path would cross particularly when enjoying a day at the races at his local racecourse of Tamworth, and at Racing NSW Country (RNSWC) and Provincial Racing Excellence Awards in Sydney.
In 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel - venue for its glittering evening, RNSWC presented Mr Burke with the prestigious Simon Nivison Special Achievement Award which recognises outstanding industry contribution.
A longstanding President and Life Member of the Tamworth Jockey Club, he was also president and a board member of the North & North Western Districts Racing Association.
Along with wife Kate, Mr Burke raced a number of racehorses and enjoyed success with gallopers including wonderful mare Lady Manina, and outstanding jumper High Forty, winner of the 2015 New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase in Riccarton Park.
Mr Burke was a great supporter and member of the NSW Stock & Station Agents Association - later known as ALPA (Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association), and in 1998 Tamworth Selling Agents Association presented Mr Burke with a mounted gavel in recognition of 40 years of service to local agents.
Via an ALPA report, I learnt the Tamworth born Mr Burke was a son of Pat Burke, one of the most renowned and prolific sheep dealers of high quality western bred wool which were yarded and sold at the Annual Special Sales in Tamworth to a vast New England market.
Terry Burke gained valuable experience during his early years standing alongside his father at numerous livestock auctions.
In 1971 (Terry) Burke & (Jack) Smyth was initiated, a Tamworth stock and station agency business which became an integral name in livestock, rural property and real estate and a beginning point of many successful agents.
In the same decade, Mr Burke's love for the racing industry saw the establishment of the Tamworth Thoroughbred Sales aided by his great friend Maurice Blanch.
At the time numerous livestock properties had a stallion and/or raced and bred a horse, and which the pair wanted to promote and lift the identity of its local breeding industry via its Thoroughbred sales.
While it was later operated by John Cunliffe, the sale was another venue that our paths crossed, and was a sale Mr Burke believed to give participants a realistic and affordable chance of buying a racehorse and racing it locally.
WHILE his first winner was Little Tiger Snake back in early 2013, little known stallion Chat Up Line sired his most important winner when Takissacod won a $130,000 race in Melbourne when taking a Saturday 1400 metres event at Caulfield recently.
Trained by Donna Scott at Albury, Takissacod - also twice Sydney placed, has won seven races and had eight placings and $222,460 in prizemoney.
Bred by Noel Penfold at Euberta near Wagga Wagga, Takissacod is one of only 66 foals by its former district located Chat Up Line, which in recent seasons had been installed at Denis Todd's former Baradine property "Wheatfields".
Bred by Swettenham Stud, Victoria, the unraced Chat Up Line (a half-brother to dual Melbourne stakes winner and sire of winners Kaphero) is by Irish bred Falbrav an amazing horse which won eight Group 1 races in eight different countries.
By Northern Dancer's Fairy King (also sire of Encosta de Lago), Falbrav stood three southern hemisphere seasons at Arrowfield Stud, Scone, from 2004 and sired the memorable Australian bred galloper Fravashi (won three Group races in three eastern States).
Denis said that he has raced horses for over half a century.
"It has taken me nearly 60 years to get 50 winners - mostly my home-bred horses, at different tracks," Denis said.
To date Chat Up Line has sired 10 winners, with Denis breeding and racing six of these and have all won at least one race.
Denis' current successful Chat Up Line galloper is the Brett Robb trained Combogolong.
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