Midnight the Warhorse: Part 2 - 'Bonding'

by Peter Haydon

Above: Guy Haydon in a studio child portrait

 

 

Right: Sydney Church of England Grammar School

First XV - 1905

Bernard’s second son Guy Haydon was born on 24 April 1889. He was a strapping sixteen year old when Midnight was born and he formed an immediate partnsixteen-year-oldfilly. He handled her as a foal and started her in all her training. He could ride before he could walk, growing up around good horses. He developed into a fine horseman like the rest of the family. He developed strong bush craft and was a crack shot with both a rifle and pistol.

Guy excelled at his boarding school the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore), especially in sport, winning the 1906 Head of the River, playing for two years in both the 1st XV and 1st XI, who were GPS Champions in 1906 and representing the school in GPS Athletics.

Above: 'First crew winners of schools' championship, 1906'

 

Above, right: 'First XI, 1906 - GPS Champions'

 

Right: 'First XI, 1906 - GPS Champions' (detailed)

Guy Haydon playing polo in 1907

Guy Haydon, aged 18, in the Scone Polo Team wins the Northern Challenge Cup in 1907

He spent many hours riding Midnight doing his work around the properties, training her as he went about his tasks. He taught her the basic dressage movements. Backing up and side passing over to open gates and to cut burrs. Cracking a stock whip to make a loud noise so the cattle would run out of the timbered country. Learning fast work blocking and cutting out cattle. Chasing the horses into the yard.

On weekends they would compete in the local Bushman Carnivals and campdrafting competitions. In 1907 as an eighteen-year-old playing for the Scone Polo Team he won the prestigious Northern Challenge Polo Cup at Quirindi, the youngest to do so.

 

After the war his brother Barney would have similar success competing on Thora who was from the same family as Midnight, with her mother also being by Tester. Thora established a long line of horses which are still successful in the stud today including the leading stallion Nightwatch.

Bloomfield Polo Team 1908. Max Wright, Guy and Fred Haydon, J H White