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YEAR: 1932

PERCY BROWN

An unpretentious death notice in Christchurch newspapers last week would not have raised much comment among the general public. But to trotting enthusiasts the death of Percy Brown was of some significance. Percy Brown was responsible for the breeding of two great champions in the mid-thirties, Harold Logan and Roi l'Or.

According to trotting enthusiast and breeder Kevin Brown, whose grandfather was a cousin of the deceased, Percy at one stage had two mares Ivy Cole and Gold Queen. Ivy Cole was in foal to Logan Pointer and Queen Cole had a foal at foot by Rey de Oro, both very successful sires imported by Free Holmes.

Percy swapped Ivy Cole for a hay rake and the resultant foal turned out to be Harold Logan, a household name in his day. Percy retained Gold Queen and her foal and Roi l'Or later became Harold Logan's arch rival. They staged one memorable contest during the 1932 NZ Cup carnival. Harold Logan, after winning his second NZ Cup effortlessly off 60 yards, went out odds on favourite to win the Free-For-All. However, Roy l'Or, third in the Cup, had other ideas and downed Harold Logan by a neck in a race record time which stood for ten years.

Roi l'Or won 19 races for Percy Brown, including the 1934 Auckland Cup in world record time when driven by Free Holmes in the twilight of his career. It is interesting to note that both the mares were by King Cole, a horse by the freak Ribbonwood, who at one stage held the NZ mile record.

While Percy Brown was in his 102nd year, longevity is not uncommon in the Brown family, well known Canterbury farmers. Kevin's grandfather himself lived to be 93. At one stage when his brothers and sisters - seven in all - were alive their combined ages totalled 616.

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 6May80

 

YEAR: 1924

HAROLD LOGAN - Bargain Buy

Harold Logan 1924 100, 36 wins (including match races) 11,500.

Harold Logan was probably the most popular pacer to race in New Zealand but while he provided only triumph for his later owners, an earlier one experienced only a sadness that led to tragedy.

Harold Logan was bred by Jack Coffey, then in the Springfield hotel, his dam Ivy Cole, a good looking but slow performer, and another mare were sold cheaply to Percy Brown of Waimate, a drover. Coffey was shifting to a hotel with less ground but it still turned out the bargain of the ages for Brown.

The other mare's foal turned out to be the near champion, Roi L'or, for Brown but he passed Harold Logan on to Fred Legge a Livingstone(Otago) trainer and shearer - virtually as a gift.

In his first racing season Harold Logan won a maiden by several lengths, ridden by his owner at a Waimate Hunt meeting but could not find that form again. He didn't win at all in his second season(he was then six!) and in his third, after one sale fell through on a vet test, he was sold to Miss Effie Hinds of Christchurch.

After professional treatment for various problems and some straightening out of

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed May 2016

 

YEAR: 1924

HAROLD LOGAN - Bargain Buy

Harold Logan 1924 100, 36 wins (including match races) 11,500.

Harold Logan was probably the most popular pacer to race in New Zealand but while he provided only triumph for his later owners, an earlier one experienced only a sadness that led to tragedy.

Harold Logan was bred by Jack Coffey, then in the Springfield hotel, his dam Ivy Cole, a good looking but slow performer, and another mare were sold cheaply to Percy Brown of Waimate, a drover. Coffey was shifting to a hotel with less ground but it still turned out the bargain of the ages for Brown.

The other mare's foal turned out to be the near champion, Roi L'or, for Brown but he passed Harold Logan on to Fred Legge a Livingstone(Otago) trainer and shearer - virtually as a gift.

In his first racing season Harold Logan won a maiden by several lengths, ridden by his owner at a Waimate Hunt meeting but could not find that form again. He didn't win at all in his second season(he was then six!) and in his third, after one sale fell through on a vet test, he was sold to Miss Effie Hinds of Christchurch.

After professional treatment for various problems and some straightening out of his attitude by old-school trainer, Dick Humphreys,(he trained where Jack Smolenski, Jim Dalgety etc would follow), Harold Logan then won 8 of his next 10 starts and became a hero horse.

Besides winning two New Zealand Cups and driving Addington crowds into frenzies of enthusiasms with some amazing performances he had a personality few horses could match. He won the NZ Free-For-All as a fourteen-year-old and was lucky to have a hair in his tail when he finally made it back to his stall. The crowd just went berserk.

But Fred Legge watched his charge's progress in despair from his little hut near Duntroon. After racing an unplaced horse at Forbury one day in 1930, unable to pay even his travel bills and broken hearted over Harold Logan, he went to bed, put two extra pillows behind his head and shot himself.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in Harnessed May 2016



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