YEAR: 1944


Sandydale, 2.01, is one of the fastest-performed three-year-old pacers to come from America to the Dominion. He campaigned against some of the best ever produced, such as Edna Brewer 2.00, and the "Greyhound" of the pacing world, Little Pat, 1.58, who closed the 1941 season's racing with ten world's championships to his credit, and leading pacing gelding in the two-minute list. On over 100 separate occasions he has been a mile in 2.05 or better, a feat which has never previously been approached in light-harness history.

Sandydale's exportation was regretted by American breeders. His actual speed was never tested and he went his record 2.01 in winning the Championship Stallion Stake at three years. He was afterwards purchased for stud purposes for New Zealand.

By the world-renowned sire Abbedale, 2.01, from Ioleen McKinney, his pedigree, on both sides, is a combination of the most prominent pacing families in the world today. The best evidence of this is the record prices realised for Abbedale male line yearlings offered at the annual yearling sales, which is distinct proof that they are the most popular pacing family now before the public.

The success of Abbedale's sons as progenitors of sensational speed is really phenomenal. Since being first represented on the sires' list their two and three-year-olds have been most successful. Sandydale is the sire of several winners, including Navigate, Heliopolis, Sandiways, Blackdale and Sandstone.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 13 September 1944


YEAR: 1957

Sandydale with Johnny Johnson in the early 1950s

The imported stallion Sandydale, who recently met with an accident and had to be destroyed was imported to the Dominion by Mr H A Jarden in 1937 and was almost immediately passed on to Mr G Youngson.

Bred at Village Farm, Langhorne, in the United States, Sandydale was a black horse by Abbedale from Ioleen McKinney and before coming to NZ he won a number of races including the Champion Stallion Stakes and he took a record of 2.01 3/4 free-legged.

After his first season in Southland, Sandydale stood for about seven weeks in Canterbury in 1938 where he was mated with almost 30 mares. Included amongst his consorts were Slapfast, Tondeleyo, Arethusa, Tairene, Fantine and Midshipmaid. After several seasons in Southland in the ownership of Mr Youngson, Sandydale was transferred to Mr John Johnston at Oamaru in 1946 where he has done continuous service since.

Sire of almost 150 individual winners, Sandydale's greatest claims to fame as a sire are through the deeds of Captain Sandy as a racehorse and Sandfast as the dam of champion Johnny Globe. Captain Sandy was a brilliant racehorse and when considered a back number in NZ he was sold to Australia where he carried on to further successes, including the Grand Final of the Inter-Dominion Championships at Perth for the second time. Prior to that he had won two Auckland Cups and the Grand Final of the Championship series at Melbourne when still owned and trained by J Bain at Oamaru. Captain Sandy was an 'iron' horse and altogether he won 15 races and 43,712 in stakes which is the greatest total credited to a standardbred in Australia and NZ.

Apart from Captain Sandy, Navigate, Good Review (winner of the Dunedin Cup), Te Maru and General Sandy (winner of the NZ Pacing Championship at Addington last November), also graduated to Cup class. Other good winners sired by Sandydale include Heliopolis, Black Douglas, Victory Dale, Dillondale, Mistydale, Gay Dene, Rola Veyor and Invicta.

As well as siring the dam of Johnny Globe, Sandydale also sired the dams of Surfman, Lady Cook, Sandyshore and Highland Glen.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 19Jun57


YEAR: 1980


Mr George Lindsay Youngson, who died in Gore last month at the age of 91, made an invaluable contribution to standardbred breeding in Southland and NZ with imported sires like Dillon Hall, Hal Tryax, Sandydale and others. Mr Youngson's death severs one of the last links for present day trotting men with the pioneer breeders of yesteryear, who did so much to lay the concrete foundations on which Southland's world-wide reputation as a standardbred nursery has been developed and capitalised on.

Mr Youngson was 22 when he came to NZ with his brother John, from Aberdeen, Scotland, where he was bought up. For several years he worked as a farm hand and ploughman in the Riversdale district of Northern Southland. In 1914, his brother John imported four Clydesdale stallions and the brothers, then based at Wendon, near Riversdale, travelled them around neighbouring faming communities as breeding stallions. Some years ago Mr Youngson stated that the work was particularly onerous and, more so, dangerous, taking into account the strength and sometimes vicious traits the powerful Clydesdale stallions could reveal. He mated many of the mares at district stockyards and hotels where broodmare owners and farmers often gathered.

In 1920, when he was 32, Mr Youngson bought the standardbred stallion Harold Direct from the Cody brothers of Riversdale, and travelled him about for stud purposes at a fee of only five quineas. Mr Youngson's next stud venture in 1928 was the fine Australian pacer Happy Voyage, when he was still domiciled in the Wendon district. Soon after, Mr Youngson met the late Sir John McKenzie's private trainer, Robert Plaxio, an American horseman, who did much to influence him to considering importing American sires. Plaxio, in fact, suggested Adioo Guy, whom he imported in 1929. At 19, Adioo Guy was four years older than Mr Youngson believed he was. Adioo Guy's departure for NZ was delayed a season. In that last season in America, Adioo Guy sired Adioo Volo, dam later of the immortal Adios. Adioo Guy, who died after four years with Mr Youngson, had a respectable percentage of success from the opportunities he received.

In the late 1920s Mr Youngson visited England to buy another Clydesdale stallion and, seeing the progeny of the American standardbred sire Wellington Direct soon after imported that horse. Frank Dewey, another American horse, followed in 1930. Mr Youngson's next importation was the Abbedale horse Sandydale, sire of General Sandy and Captain Sandy, and maternal sire of Johnny Globe. That successful stallion was soon passed on to noted Oamaru breeder Mr Johnny Johnson.

Dillon Hall was imported to NZ by Mr Youngson during World War 2. The son of The Laurel Hall and the great racemare Margaret Dillon was the first 2:00 pacer imported to NZ and topped the NZ sires' list in the 1948-49 season with the winners of 124 races and 275 placegetters. Dillon Hall carried on to top the NZ broodmare sires' list five times, which has recently been acclaimed as a remarkable feat for a sire who was only around for 15 years. Robin Dundee, Parlez Vous, Lunar Chance and Bay Foyle were only four top pacers out of mares by Dillon Hall, who also figures prominently in the pedigrees of Black Watch, Tobias, Lord Module and countless others.

Logan Derby, the sire of Johnny Globe, was Mr Youngson's next stud venture but better was to follow in the Tryax horse Hal Tryax, a horse he didn't really want but finally agreed to import relatively cheaply. Hal Tryax's career as a sire has been acclaimed as one of the most colourful and tragic in NZ breeding history. The first 2:00 3-year-old pacer imported to this country, Hal Tryax topped the NZ sires' list in the 1963-64 season with only three crops of racing age. His progeny included the first standardbred millionaire in the world, Cardigan Bay, champion racemare Robin Dundee and other top performers of the calibre of Tactile, Holy Hal, Blue Prince, Jurist, King Hal and so on. Although his daughters were relatively few in number, they made an outstanding contribution as matrons. One of the best performers from a daughter of Hal Tryax has been the champion Young Quinn. Tragically, Hal Tryax soon after became infertile and after topping the sires' list in the 1963-64 season he was pensioned off to The Chaslands, where he is still in retirement at the age of 33.

The noted broodmare Rustic Maid, whom Mr Youngson bought from the Canterbury horseman, the late Mr Bill Morland, was one of the most successful matrons in Southland breeding history, leaving Chamfer (1950 NZ Cup and later champion Australian sire), Free Fight (NZ Derby), Highland Scott (nine wins), Congruent (good sire in Aust), Slavonic (NZ Sapling Stakes) and others. One of her daughters, Scottish Lady, won the NZ Derby, and, in turn, left two Great Northern Derby winners, Scottish Brigade and Gentry, both later successful sires.

In earlier years Mr Youngson was involved in the importation and development of small grass seeds.

As long as there is trotting in Southland, George Youngson's influence, together with that of the stallions he imported and stood, will always be of marked significance. The light harness industry owes much to pioneer breeders of his foresight, enthusiasm and successful involvement.

Credit: Don Wright writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 9Apr80


YEAR: 1977


An unraced or lightly raced mare from a good producing family is the best prospect to leave a top racehorse, in the opinion of Mr John Johnston who has been breeding standarbreds in the Oamaru district for 50 years.

Cardinal King, who made a clean sweep of the Inter-Dominion series, ace sprinter Master Dean, and a score of winners sold at the National Yearling Sales, all bred by Mr Johnston support his claim.

Mr Johnston (73), now living with his sister at Pukeuri is currently maintaining his interest in trotting through Rustic Widow, a Bachelor Hanover-Rustic Lady mare whom he has leased to the 16-person Berts Syndicate.

Mr Johnston's father, Joseph, bred Clydesdales in England and NZ, and at one stage had 20 stallions. His grandfather, John, and great-grandfather, Wilson, bred Clydesdales and thoroughbreds in England.

Information, the dam of Cardinal King, had a throat affliction that caused her to choke when at speed. Lent to Mr Johnston by Bob Ludemann of Kauru Hill, she left Cardinal King to a mating with First Lord, one of several stallions Mr Johnston has stood at stud. Sold as a yearling for 150gns to the Wederell brothers, Stewart of Dunedin, and Fred, of Timaru, Cardinal King won 10 races, including the 1967 Olliver Handicap, before he was sold for $40,000 to patrons of Stanley Dancer's New York stable. Cardinal King immediately made an unequalled clean sweep of the International Series - International, Good Time and National Championship Paces - at Yonkers raceway in 1968.

Cardinal King's grandam, Waikaura, and third dam, Misty Morn, were like his dam, unraced. Waikaura, who produced the first two-time Inter-Dominion winner and dual Auckland Cup winner, Captain Sandy, was bought originally by Bob Ludemann as a hack. He gave up the idea when he found she had to be broken in each time she was left for a few days. Misty Morn was a twin of poor constitution and also used as a hack. Mr Johnston had a close association with Captain Sandy. He stood his sire, Sandydale, and he stayed overnight with the vicious Waikaura when Captain Sandy was born to ensure she allowed her foal to suckle.

In 1953 Mr Johnston recommended Captain Sandy to Adelaide trainer Dinny Nolan, who was looking for Inter-Dominion material. Captain Sandy, then 10, had been returned to his breeder, Mr Ludemann, after winning the Inter-Dominion in Melbourne two years earlier when held on lease by Jock Bain, the Oamaru trainer. Nolan bought the gelding for 525gns and won the 1953 Grand Final in Perth at the expense of the favourite, Ribands.

Master Dean is out of Gay Sheila, a Logan Derby mare who did not reach the race track, like her dam, Madam Gay. Mr Johnston bought her after she had left two foals, Flaunt and Smart Play, for Don Nyhan, of Templeton. She had been sent to stud as a 3-year-old. Rauka Lad (Easter Cup and Gore Invitation Stakes)has been another big winner from this family in the past decade.

Master Dean, winner of the NZ Free-For-All, Olliver Handicap, Miracle Mile, Benson & Hedges Flying Mile and Clarendon Free-For-All last season, has a best winning record of 1:57.5 and finished second in 1:57.3. He has seven wins from 10 starts over a mile in NZ. The Honest Master entire, who was foaled on February 3, was several months behind other yearlings when offered at the 1973 national sales. He was passed in at $1,100, and Mr Noel Bolase, of Christchurch, then obtained a lease option for $100. After further discussion when Master Dean was being broken in, Mr Borlase bought him for $400 with two $200 contingencies from his first two wins. Master Dean has won 16 races and $65,245. Mr Johnston sold Gay Sheila, the dam of Master Dean, to Mr Noel Dunston, of New South Wales, in 1975. She slipped the foal she was carrying by Lord Dale, and is in foal to Deep Adios, sire of Paleface Adios.

Mr Johnston sold Village Logan, the dam of three 2:00 pacers, for 170gns at the 1957 national sales. Village Logan (Logan Derby-Blue Banner) who had her racing restricted after she foundered, opened her account at the age of 10 when she won twice trotting at the Manawatu meeting. Her 2:00 progeny are Emory Wheel, Bell Logan and Logan Son. Her first foal, William Gunn sired a winner last season, Gunn Tartan. Village Logan is one of 26 individual winners Mr Johnston has sold through the national sales.

Another pacer he bred was Expensive, who won four races for Laurie Smillie, of Pleasant Point, during the 1946-47 season. Expensive was later bought by Noel Simpson and won a United Handicap at Auckland at odds of 70 to 1 after being off the winning list for three years.

The first stallion Mr Johnston stood was the Victorian-bred Four Chimes in the mid-1920s. Four Chimes sired the 1916 NZ Cup winner, Cathedral Chimes, who in turn stood at Mr Johnston's property. Cathedral Chimes got Ahuriri, the NZ Cup winner of 1925 and 1926, and Kohara, who was successful in the next year. Four Chimes figures as the grandsire of triple NZ Cup winner False Step.

Sandydale, the American importation, was bought by Mr Johnston in the 1940s from Mr George Youngson, of Gore. The son of Abbedale has had a significant influence on breeding. Besides Captain Sandy and the dam of Cardinal King, Sandydale sired the dam of Johnny Globe (unraced Sandfast), the great pacer and sire who left another champion in Lordship. Sandydale is the maternal grandsire of Stanley Rio, Horse of the Year last season,when he became the first horse to win the Inter-Dominion Grand Final and the NZ Cup in one season.


NZ Trotting Caledar 1985

John Johnston, who successfully bred standardbreds in the Oamaru district for 60 years, died recently at the age of 82.

Mr Johnston retired from breeding horses 12 months ago when he sold the broodmare Rustic Widow. He bred the big winners Cardinal King and Master Dean and stood several stallions including Sandydale.

Cardinal King made a clean sweep of the three race International Series at Yonkers Raceway, New York, in 1968. He was sold by Mr Johnston for 150 guineas as a yearling. Cardinal King was by First Lord, whom Mr Johnston stood. Master Dean won 16 races, including the 1976 NZ Free-For-All, after he had been sold by Johnston as a yearling for $400 and $200 contingencies from each of his first two wins.

Mr Johnston had a close association with Captain Sandy, the two-time Inter-Dominion champion. He stood his sire, Sandydale and stayed overnight with Captain Sandy's dam, Waikura, a vicious mare, to ensure her foal could suckle. Mr Johnston recommended Captain Sandy to Dinny Nolan in 1953 when the Adelaide trainer was on the lookout for Inter-Dominion material. Captain Sandy, then ten, had won the Inter-Dominion Final in Melbourne in 1950 for Oamaru trainer, Jock Bain who had him leased. He had subsequently been returned to his Kauru Hill breeder, Bob Ludemann. Nolan bought Captain Sandy for 525 guineas and won the 1953 Final in Perth.

Mr Johnston, who lived with his sister at Pukeuri in recent years, previously had stables at Waikaura. He began assisting his father, Joseph, who bred Clydesdale horses in England and NZ. His grand-father, John, and great-grand-father, Wilson, bred Clydesdales and thoughbreds in England.

The first stallion Mr Johnston stood was the Victorian-bred Four Chimes in the 1910s. Four Chimes sired the 1916 NZ Cup winner Cathedral Chimes, who in turn stood at Waikaura. Cathedral Chimes left Ahuriri, winner of the NZ Cup in 1925 and 1926, and Kohara, who won the next year.

Mr Johnston bought American-bred Sandydale from George Youngson of Gore in the 1940s. Besides siring Captain Sandy and the dam of Cardinal King, Sandydale sired the dam of Johnny Globe, who left the champion racehorse and sire Lordship. He is also the maternal grand-sire of Stanley Rio, winner of the NZ Cup and Inter-Dominion Final in Brisbane in the 1976-77 season.

Mr Johnston sold 26 yearlings through the National Yearling Sale which he supported from its inception in 1944. He sold Village Logan, dam of 2:00 pacers Emery Wheel, Bell Logan and Logan Son, for 175 guineas at the 1957 sale.

Credit: Taylor Strong writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 6Sep77

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