1950 – The year 1950 was a significant milestone for the Ipswich racing fraternity. Two new state of the art totaliser buildings were opened on the grounds housing the Julius Tote. Around the same time a “Magic Eye” camera or photo finish camera was installed. An integral part of the Julius Tote was the Electro Mechanical Shaft Adder that dated back to circa 1936. Weighing 26kg, the Shaft Adder was part of a win place totalisator system. The complete system for 24 runners in a field consisted of 50 adders.
1950 – Frederick Tivoli Hooper and Percy John Kruger were made Trustees for and on behalf of Ipswich Amateur Turf Club. The agreement also included the Automatic Totalisators Limited.
1957 – Long-priced Ipswich Cup winner Emphatic was 50-1 when he won in 1957.
During the 1950s Noel “Digger” McGrowdie won three Ipswich Cups. In 1952 aboard Thuwise, 1955 Lucky Leader and in 1956 Malkuri. McGrowdie was an established jockey who won a Melbourne Cup and is one of only a handful of jockeys to win all four of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival – Stradbroke, Brisbane Cup, Doomben 10,000 and Doomben Cup.
Mel Schumacher – the boy from Boonah
A star apprentice of the 1950s who was still riding Group 1 and feature race winners in the 1980s. However, there is no doubt that he would have been an immortal had he not spent long periods on the sidelines. He was Australia’s form jockey when disqualified for five years in 1962 at the age of 24 for the infamous leg pull case in the AJC Derby. It slowed Schumacher’s career and although he returned a top jockey his best years were probably spent on the sidelines. He won more than 2500 winners in a career spanning 20,000 rides.
Kruger Family – Eye Liner
Edward Norman (Ted) Kruger and Percy John Kruger were local saw millers and racehorse-breeders who founded the City View Stud at Bundamba in 1944. A long-standing committee of the Ipswich Amateur Turf Club with Percy, along with Frederick Tivoli Hooper were made Trustees for and on behalf of the Ipswich Amateur Turf Club in 1950.
The family eventually moved their stock to Lyndhurst, near Warwick, from the McDougall family in 1956 but continued to support the Club.
In 1975 the brothers sold the mill site to accommodate a relocated Ipswich technical college. Ted took the timber and manufacturing interests while Percy and his son Merrell the Lyndhurst Stud. Ted was an active Ipswich local with interests in tennis, bowls and football and active in local community organisations. He was named the Ipswich Citizen of the Year in 1979.
The Kruger family foundation sire, was the imported stallion, Smokey Eyes. Foaled in 1947 and being a grandson of the 1933 English Derby winner and world-famous sire Hyperion, Smokey Eyes was, for almost a decade, the leading Sire of winners for the whole of Australia. Whilst Smokey Eyes produced many great horses, he produced one filly – who then, and to this day – has left an indelible mark on the Queensland and indeed Australian Racing Industry. Raced by the Kruger brothers, Eye Liner was the best two-year-old produced in Brisbane winning nine races in a row as a juvenile and 12 of her first 13 starts.
Trained by Jack Wilson, she was taken to Sydney to contest the time honoured 6 furlong (1200 metres) Champagne Stakes at Randwick. Eye Liner won the Champagne Stakes against the cream of Australian two-year-olds in 1 minute 9.9 seconds and in doing so, bettered the time record held by the champion Todman. In her illustrious career, she won 14 races and carried up to 69kgs (10stone12lbs) to victory and was named 1967 “Horse of the Year”.
In recognition of the support the Kruger family provided the Turf Club, the member’s lounge was named in Eye Liner’s honour in the 1980s.
Bundamba trainer Kevin Keidge also trained many of the Kruger’s horses but is best known for his skill in preparing the top-class Regal Advice to win the Group 1 Castlemaine Stakes (now TJ Smith) in 1983. Not only a superb effort against a strong field, he also made it a first for Ipswich trainers by winning a Group 1.