Midnight the Warhorse: Part 15 - Midnight’s Legacy
by Peter Haydon
The horses today at Haydon Horse Stud have the unique direct recorded line back to the horses at Beersheba and in the Light Horse. Midnight’s family lives on through the Stud’s renowned Thora Family. As well most of the horses today are descendants of Tester mares. Ten generations later her family is going as strong as ever, being one of the most sought after families in the studbook. They are still used to do the stock work around the property and are competing in events all round Australia and the world. They are playing polo overseas and a son is standing at stud in America. Haydon Nightwatch was a successful sire for the Stud. In 2009 Peter Haydon rode a descendent Haydon Celestial, leading the Scone Horse Festival Parade as the Festival VIP.
The family’s fine horsemanship tradition continues to flourish.
Guy’s daughter, Isabelle’s (Tink Haydon’s) son Guy Walter was one of Australia’s leading racehorse trainers, winning all before him with the champion Tie The Knot. On one occasion, he trained the first three horses’ home in the Doncaster at Randwick. He trained 36 Group 1 winners and over 120 stakes winners.
Guy’s sister Pearl’s daughter Judy Mackay was an internationally recognised dressage rider and was the first ever outside woman to be invited to ride at the Spanish riding school.
Guy’s older brother Fred was affectionately known as “The Father” of the northern bushman carnivals” which have grown into such major campdrafting and rodeo events now throughout Australia. His two sons, Hilton and Jim were very accomplished horseman. Jim’s son Peter continues the Stud on today, as one of the oldest continuous family horse studs in the world. In 1989 he was appointed to manage the polo stables at Windsor Castle for HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2009 he was the Scone Horse Festival VIP. The stud bred Hall of Fame mare Haydon Angel Jewel, who traces back to the Tester mare Bangle, who won every major polo tournament in the world played by the world’s best player Adolfo Cambiaso. She played in England, Spain, America and Argentina. In 2017 she was inducted into the ASHS Hall of Fame.
Peter and Alison’s sons Henry, Nick and David all ride and play polo. Their grandchildren represent the seven generation of Bloomfield riders.
Peter Haydon - Scone Festival VIP in 2009 riding Haydon Celestial.
Horses from the stud are still used by the modern day Light Horse for exhibitions and ceremonial parades, especially on the official Beersheba Day the 31 October each year.
Haydon Bandanna on parade carries the flag
Haydon Sun Charm in complete Light Horse gear
David Haydon riding leading stallion Haydon Nightwatch at Ellerston
On 5 September 2014 Haydon Moonstruck from Midnight’s Thora family foaled a colt who was born with the identical markings as Midnight…… “On her forehead was a small white star and she had a distinctive white triangular peak on the front of her near hind coronet, standing all alone”. A horse that has white markings on its feet normally has the white going all the way around so it is very rare to have just this isolated triangle of white just above the coronet, standing alone in the front of the foot. When Haydon Warhorse was branded as a yearling he was given Midnight’s Haydon brand on the near shoulder but by a totally random twist of fate he was branded 12/4 on the off shoulder. The 12 being for the 12th horse branded for those born in 2014, while the 4 represents the year he was born.
This meant not only did he have the identical markings of Midnight he was branded 12/4 and it was the 12th and 4th Light Horse Regiments that charged Beersheba! So, he is now officially registered as Haydon Warhorse and will see out his days here at Bloomfield being used for station work, polo and Light Horse parades.
Peter Haydon on Haydon Secret Night a descendant of Midnight’s family and her sire Tester with Kevin Taylor on his book “lookalike” Midnight at the Scone Horse Festival Parade 2014.
Mago Films have produced the very successful documentary for the ABC called “The Waler- Australia’s Great War Horse”, which includes the Midnight story. It was a finalist in the 2014 Busselton Film Awards, see photos below.
Tom Thompson has used the famous photo of Guy on Midnight on the cover of the re-launched Ion Idriess book “The Desert Column” and its accompanying audio version.
Tom also collected over 800 of Guy and Barney’s photos from the Bloomfield Archives and painstakingly scanned them. He used a selection of these photos to produce his new book “To Beersheba 1917”.
The story of Guy Haydon and Midnight has been made into an award-winning children’s book by Mark Greenwood and illustrated by Frane Lessac. It is called “Midnight - The story of a light horse” which has also been released in the United States of America.
Peter Haydon holding the bullet
2017 story compiled by Peter Haydon
20 Haydons Lane, Bloomfield Homestead, Blandford, NSW, 2338 Australia