Harley Walden, a stalwart of breeding and racing at Scone in the Hunter Valley for 60 years, died this week after a battle with a brain tumour.
Harley had spent all his life at Scone, except for a brief stint as stud groom at the Stratheden Stud at Tamworth. He grew up on Sledmere Stud and, as a schoolboy and for a few years after, helped his father, the late Darcy Walden, in the breeding season, preparing yearlings and taking them the Sydney sales.
Some of these yearlings were shown in the thoroughbred section at the Sydney Royal Easter Show by Darcy and Harley and won many awards.
Mr Walden helped in the production of many good horses at Sledmere, including Sailor’s Guide, a great Australian racehorse of the 1950s who went to America and won the Washington DC International, and 1968 Golden Slipper winner Royal Parma. He also had a long association with Scone Race Club and published several books on its racing activities.
Mr Walden often had a column on racing and breeding in The Scone Advocate: “He was a wealth of knowledge,” Upper Hunter editor Rod Thompson said.
“I met him a couple of times when I first arrived to the area. And, I was amazed by what he could recall. The industry certainly needs characters like Harley – and he’ll be greatly missed. My condolences to his family members.”