He had been running cattle from his earliest days but, apart from dealing, wool growing had been his biggest enterprise in the ninety twenties to the extent of being the biggest wool grower in the country. But when the wool market declined during this period he was increasing his cattle breeding herd. He then heard about this property with a big herd of the type of Shorthorns he was looking for. Although it was a leasehold title, it was the cattle he was after! The Queensland Country Life of Thursday 28 November 1935 report (from ANL’s Trove web site) below explains how this sale came about. You should note Ardsley is misspelt.
Below, again from Trove, is part of a newspaper article in Smith’s Weekly (Sydney) dated Saturday 24 April 1926.
MYSTERIOUS STUD AND TRAINING TRACK
Country Venture That Plans Ahead
VALAISE’ TRAINED EARLY
An interesting, and enterprising stud-farm and training stable
combined, that has newly sprung up and grown into a huge concern,
yet so unostentatiously that it is hardly known, is ‘Ardsley, the
breeding establishment launched by Mr. J. J. Leahy. –
ALREADY something around £100,000 has been expended on thorough
thoroughbreds, and an extensive team of valuable horses is already
at work on a full-blown, private course that belongs to this mysterious
ARDSLEY. was formerly the Bathurst
family estate of the Suttors
which passed over to Pastoralist-
sportsman J. J. Leahy twelve months
ago. Smallest of the many huge
station-properties of this self – made
cattle king, it possesses every facility
as a. stud-farm and private training
ground for thoroughbreds.
Its seven-furlong private track is
already being pounded by the racing
hoofs -of bred-in-the-purple youngsters.
Well-watered by a permanent stream
which meanders through the property
so as to form the maximum of rlver-
flats. Ardsley comprises some of the
richest limestone country in Australia.
Shelter bolts of pine line its hills and
dales, while century-old willows mark
the whole distance of the wandering
And the lucky owner whose early
dabblings in thoroughbreds was re-
warded with a champion like Speciality
is now setting out in earnest to
coax the capricious luck of the breeding
Note: There was an airstrip in the middle
of the training track used as an emergency
strip during WWII.
A straight six-furlongs run is the
latest proposal for this private track.
It will be formed on a lane off the
existing circuit, permitting of a
three-quarter mile run along the
There is a big write up following in this article with a lot of information about J. J. Leahy’s thoroughbred horse breeding enterprise, which I will post in another Blog.