Newcastle And Hunter Racing Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

Newcastle And Hunter Racing Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced

Today’s Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame event has witnessed eight new and well-deserved inductees recognising and honouring outstanding achievements in the Thoroughbred Industry emanating from the Hunter Region.

The eligibility clauses for Jockey, Trainer and Associate require the nominee to be born in the Region, predominantly domiciled in the Region, or made a significant contribution to the Racing Industry in the Region, to be eligible.

The horse inductees qualified by competing out of Newcastle Racecourse or any other Hunter Valley Racecourse which is considered a product of the Newcastle and/or Hunter Regions and which has excelled at the highest level in the Region.

The Selection Committee Chairman Brian Judd said the biannual event was great recognition for those inducted and showcased the importance of Newcastle and the Hunter Region as an integral part of the Australian Racing Industry.

“My fellow Selection Committeeman consisting of Greg Radley, Ray Thomas, Gary Harley and Sam North were unanimous with all of this year’s inductees, all of which have contributed greatly to our racing industry.” Judd commented.

The four categories and successful inductees for the 2023 entry into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame are:

Racehorses – sponsored by Ascend Sales Trophies

  • Ortensia – Multiple Group 1 winner including in Australia, Dubai and UK when trained by Paul Messara.
  • Samantha Miss – Three-time Group 1 winner in her short 12 start career trained by Kris Lees.

Trainers – sponsored by National Horse Transport

  • Neville Begg – Legendary trainer of 139 stakes races including 39 Group 1 events including being the trainer of 1984 Australian Horse of the Year Emancipation.
  • Clarry Conners – Champion trainer with 37 Group 1 wins including four Golden Slippers.

Jockeys – sponsored by ANZ Bloodstock News

  • Jim Pike – Champion Jockey of his time. Melbourne Cup winning rider of Australia’s most well-known horse Phar Lap.
  • Albert Shanahan – Two-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey and winner of around 1000 races in the early 1900’s.

Associates – Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association

  • John Messara AM – Outstanding contribution to the Racing Industry as a thoroughbred breeder and racing administrator.
  • Roy Mahony – In recognition for his outstanding contribution to Racing Administration including 35 years (ten years as Chairman) on the Board of the Newcastle Jockey Club.


For images, please visit below link:

For short videos about each inductee please visit the below link:

Additional information about the 2023 inductees can be found in the Official 2023 Event Booklet:

More about the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame:


For further details, or to arrange an interview contact with CEO Duane Dowell, please contact