Living Legends

What's happening with our champion racehorses and what's going on at Living Legends.

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Paris Lane turns 30 as Living Legends launches double donations

Living Legends has launched its second annual Horses’ Birthday giving day as 1994 Caulfield Cup winner Paris Lane celebrates his 30th birthday. Now sharing a paddock with one of the youngest residents in Tom Melbourne (turning 10), Paris Lane is the oldest horse at Living Legends, followed by Rogan Josh at 29. 

In a year that has seen past champions Might And Power and Chief De Beers pass away as well as the devastating effects of COVID-19, CEO & Veterinary Director Dr Andrew Clarke said there’s never been a more important time to ask the community for support.

“There’s no doubt we’re doing it tough this year, like many people and many charities are. We’ve lost at least six months worth of tour and event bookings, we made all the changes to recover from COVID and then the second wave came. It’s been a really tough year, but we’re determined to look to the future, work hard and raise the necessary funds so we can keep going and continue our community work.”

“Today’s Horses’ Birthday fundraiser is an important part of that process, to help us weather the storm and come out stronger so we can continue to share the joy of horses with people of all ages and all abilities,” Dr Clarke said.

The Horses’ Birthday giving day is being held in conjunction with Sportsbet, with all donations made today to be matched. Last year’s event raised over $91,000 for Living Legends, and with giving off to a flying start the target for 2020 is to raise $80,000 by the end of today.

The 26 Living Legends in residence have been divided into six teams, with supporters being asked to donate to their favourite team. That includes a Melbourne Cup team captained by Efficient, a lucky placegetters’ team captained by Tom Melbourne, and a team of Hong Kong Horse Of The Year winners captained by Silent Witness. 

More information and team lists are located on the Horses’ Birthday campaign site here.

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Might And Power Lap Of Honour & Bob’s Rainbow

8 May 2020

The late Might And Power will be honoured next Tuesday with a final “Lap Of Honour” before being laid to rest at Living Legends. As a tribute to his incredible career which included winning the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and the Cox Plate, his ashes will be escorted to Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley before he rejoins his old mates Doriemus and Better Loosen Up in an expanded memorial garden at Living Legends. 

Our friends at Racing.com will broadcast a video package of the proceedings, and the public are invited to participate virtually by leaving a tribute online or making a donation to be part of creating ‘Bob’s Rainbow’ at his final resting place.

Might And Power (aka Bob) passed away in the early hours of 12 April 2020, succumbing to a bout of colic at the age of 26. Widely considered one of the greatest racehorses Australia has ever seen, he was very much the people’s horse during his career and this continued for nearly 13 years as the “Lord Mayor” of Living Legends with countless appearances at racedays, city parades, schools and hospitals.

CEO and Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, said great care and planning had been undertaken to give Bob a fitting farewell that the public could feel part of, even during COVID-19 restrictions.

“Bob was a once-in-a-lifetime horse and we want to give him a farewell like no other. We’re incredibly grateful to the Melbourne Racing Club, Victoria Racing Club and the Moonee Valley Racing Club for embracing this opportunity to celebrate the career of Might And Power.”

“Since the huge outpouring of grief and love that we saw in the wake of his passing, we’ve been working behind the scenes to expand and rebuild our memorial garden in time to welcome our champ to his forever home and give the public a chance to be part of his legacy,” Dr Clarke said.

That legacy will come in the form of a rainbow bridge, beside which Might And Power will be buried, and his fans are invited to add their own drop of colour to the rainbow by donating to the memorial garden fund, or by leaving a written tribute. 

“We invite fans of Might And Power to be part of this celebration of his life, by leaving their online tribute in reflection. For those who wish to donate, we’re offering the chance to select a colour of the rainbow to hang on our lovelock bridge and be part of Bob’s Rainbow forever,” Dr Clarke said.

The website for donations and tributes is: https://www.charidy.com/bobsrainbow

Each coloured piece will be individually numbered for each donor, and fans can find their numbered piece on the rainbow bridge when they visit, post COVID-19 restrictions.

If the fundraising campaign is successful, monies raised will also support the establishment of a Might And Power gazebo in the near future – a place for all visitors to enjoy, with wheelchair access and seating areas for reflection.

Media enquiries:

Dr Andrew Clarke

0407 551 289

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Statement on Might And Power

12 April 2020

It is with the deepest sadness that we advise that one of the all-time greats of Australian racing, Might And Power, has passed away at the age of 26.

Late yesterday afternoon he was diagnosed with colic and rushed to Werribee Equine Centre for emergency surgery, but was unable to be saved.

CEO & Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, said he and the team were completely heartbroken to lose this very special once-in-a-lifetime horse.

“I am incredibly sad to have to let you know that Might and Power was euthanised in the early hours of this morning,” Dr Clarke said.

“Our hearts are with owner Nick Moraitis and Bob’s many fans, and also to our wonderful staff who cared for him every day. Living Legends will never be the same without our treasured Might And Power.”

“A special thank you to Werribee Equine Centre for their efforts to save his life,” he said.

Might And Power retired in 1999 as a rare winner of the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate treble, and was one of the longest standing and most popular residents at Living Legends.

Might and Power (foaled 1993) was New Zealand bred, but Australian owned and trained and named Australian Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999.

Might and Power was rated the world’s best stayer when in 1997 as a four-year-old he won the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double.

A free striding, front running style of racing made Might and Power an exciting racehorse and endeared him to racing fans across the nation. Might and Power broke course records in winning the Caulfield Cup, the Doomben Cup, and the Cox Plate, and won a number of races by big margins.

Might and Power demoralised and demolished his opponents. Said Les Carlyon: “The horse is a champion in the old fashioned sense of the word, a freak. He does things others can’t do”.

Might and Power had the speed to open up an early lead in a race, and the stamina to maintain it in the middle and closing stages. In the 1997 Caulfield Cup, jockey Jim Cassidy took him to the front at the outset, made the pace for the whole race, and finished seven and a half lengths in front of the second horse, in a record time of 2 min. 26.2 sec. The rest of the field was headed by the 1995 winner Doriemus. Lee Freedman called it “The most amazing race I have ever seen”.

Despite a 3.5 kg penalty in the 1997 Melbourne Cup, Cassidy employed the same tactics, and brought Might and Power home a winner by a short half head from Doriemus. At the end of 1997, Might and Power was named World Champion Stayer.

In the autumn of 1998, Might and Power again exerted his dominance with a crushing 10 ½ length victory in the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He broke the course record in winning the Doomben Cup.

In the spring of 1998 he destroyed a crack field in Australia’s weight-for-age championship, the W.S. Cox Plate, taking a full two seconds off the course record set the previous year by Saintly. He became only the second horse, after Rising Fast in 1954, to win both Cups and the Cox Plate, and the first reigning Melbourne Cup winner since Phar Lap in 1931 to win the Cox Plate.

Might and Power won 15 of his 33 race starts and $5,226,286 in prize money.

Might and Power was retired after suffering a tendon Injury in 1999. He was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.

Media enquiries:

Dr Andrew Clarke

0407 551 289

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Tom Returns to Melbourne as the newest Living Legend

11 April 2020

Newly-retired Tom Melbourne has arrived safely at his new home, becoming the 28th current resident at Living Legends in Greenvale.

Arriving by float this morning after crossing the Nullarbor from Perth, he joins some of Australia’s most treasured champions, including Might And Power, Apache Cat, Efficient, Zipping and Who Shot Thebarman.

OTI Managing Owner, Terry Henderson, said it was an obvious choice to send the much-adored Tom Melbourne to live out his retirement at Living Legends.

“I’ve no doubt Tom will relish the surroundings at his new home, a magnificent facility that enables champions to be admired long after they’ve run their last race. While Tom’s feats on the track may not match the winning feats of his new friends, he’ll certainly be the champion second place-getter on the property,” Mr Henderson said.

The Irish-bred 9yo gelding Tom Melbourne enjoyed a celebrated career amassing just under $1.5 million in prizemoney and was retired last Saturday after 51 starts, his first in Ireland and his final two in Perth. 

His biggest victory came in the Albury Gold Cup (2000m), but he was most famous for consistently placing second – on 14 separate occasions including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap and the Group 1 Kennedy Mile – and earned him the love of the racing public.

CEO & Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, said it was an honour to welcome Tom Melbourne to Living Legends.

“Tom Melbourne has captured the hearts of the Australian racing public and so it’s only fitting that people will be able to visit him in his retirement at Living Legends. Our horses are all unique with their own stories and personalities and Tom will certainly add to that mix in the best way possible.” 

“We’ll let him settle in for a few days before pairing him up with a paddock mate. He’s in good hands with our team who remain dedicated to the care of our horses during the current COVID-19 restrictions. While we can’t operate fully at present in terms of being a tourism destination, the silver lining is that the horses are enjoying even more attention than ever from their carers and we’re sure that Tom will really enjoy that,” Dr Clarke said.

Living Legends was established in 2006 as the International Home Of Rest for Champion Horses, as an organisation promoting the life, care and well-being of horses after racing and a public museum for horse racing memorabilia, on a site that once was home to 19th century race meetings and is one of the most historic thoroughbred properties in the southern hemisphere. Now, 13 years on, Living Legends is the only public rest home for racehorses in Australia, and has become a much-loved attraction for people of all ages within the racing community, the public and local and international tourists.

The popularity of Living Legends was recently acknowledged with the 2019 RACV People’s Choice Award for Best Tourism Experience or Service.

Media enquiries:

Belinda Meyers 

0412 122 532

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And the winner is… Living Legends!


29 November 2019

The people of Victoria have voted, and Living Legends is the winner of the 2019 RACV People’s Choice Award for Best Tourism Experience or Service.

More than 11,000 votes were cast for over 60 Victorian venues, with Living Legends announced as the winner at a gala ceremony in Melbourne last night. 

It is the first time Living Legends has won a prestigious RACV Tourism Award, and CEO and Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, paid credit to his team at Woodlands Park and the extended Living Legends family.

“It’s been a legendary team effort to grow and develop Living Legends into the treasured place it is today, from Annie’s famous scones in the Black Caviar Cafe to our 25 retired racehorses including the likes of Might And Power and Aache Cat who are available to the public 364 days a year. We’d like to sincerely thank our staff, sponsors, visitors and donors for supporting us along the way.”

“We were in a very strong field and on debut, and it feels like we’ve won the Melbourne Cup of Tourism. We are proud and humbled to receive this honour,” Dr Clarke said.

In addition to taking out the People’s Choice Award, Living Legends was also acknowledged as one of five finalists in the Cultural Tourism category of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards. This recognition comes just two weeks after being announced as the winner of the Tourism category  at the 2019 Hume Business Awards, run by Hume City Council.

Living Legends is the only public rest home for racehorses in Australia, and has become a much-loved attraction for people of all ages within the racing community, the public and local and international tourists. There are currently five Melbourne Cup winners who call Living Legends home, and next week will see the arrival of two new residents at Living Legends – 2016 Melbourne Cup winner ALMANDIN and 2013 Caulfield Cup winner FAWKNER.

Living Legends was established in 2006 as the International Home Of Rest for Champion Horses and a public museum for horse racing memorabilia, on a site that once was home to 19th century race meetings and is one of the most historic thoroughbred properties in the southern hemisphere. Now, 13 years on, Living Legends is unique in Australia and has evolved into a treasured destination where the public experience the joy of interacting with retired champion racehorses surrounded by native bushland, wildlife and a deep connection with Australian history.

Media enquiries: Dr Andrew Clarke 0407 551 289

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2017 Hume City Council Business Awards

Above image (left to right): Cr Drew Jessop, Geoff MacKay (Living Legends Board Member), Dr Andrew Clarke (Living Legends CEO), and Cr Naim Kurt


ANOTHER RARE DOUBLE FOR LIVING LEGENDS!

Retired racehorse home and tourist attraction Living Legends has been recognised with two prestigious awards from the Hume City Council.

Just like the ever-popular ‘Legend’ Might and Power, who achieved the rare Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double in 1997, it was twice the celebration as Living Legends took out the Education and Workplace Learning and Hospitality and Tourism categories at the 2017 Hume City Council Business Awards.

Living Legends CEO, Andrew Clarke, was thrilled to accept the two awards from the Hume City Council.

“We’ve been through a total transformation from our front gate through to an overhaul of all of our marketing over the last two years. It’s extremely rewarding when the investment and hard work pays off with recognition such as this,” he said.

The Hume Business Awards acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of local businesses and the contribution they have made to the economy and the wider community, through employment opportunities and delivering exceptional products and services.

The international home of rest for champion horses like Might and Power since 2006, Living Legends operates on the heritage-listed Woodlands Historic Homestead and Park, is open 364 days a year and is a registered charity.

The award for Education and Workplace Learning comes after 10 years developing lifelong learning programs from Primary School excursions to agricultural and veterinary students at university level, as well as VET and VCAL work placements, and opportunities for people who are unemployed.

“Living Legends is much more than a place to visit former champions of the turf. Education and training has been a long-term focus for us, and we are incredibly proud to be making a real difference and providing fun and practical experiences for students of all ages,” Dr Clarke said.

Success in the Tourism and Hospitality category comes as a result of a commitment to providing an excellent visitor experience to everyone who visits Living Legends.

With 20 former champion horses available to the public, including winners of five Melbourne Cups, heritage gardens, a historic homestead and large mobs of wild kangaroos to greet guests, the unique venue attracts thousands of visitors each year, from racing fanatics to those who have never patted a horse.

Living Legends also takes its ambassadors to the people, with support from corporate sponsors and principal racing clubs, such as Victoria Racing Club which has recently expanded its partnership to feature Living Legends at all Flemington racedays outside the Carnival, and a dedicated Living Legends raceday in May each year.

Presentation Gallery

For more information on Living Legends, please visit our Contact Us page.

Media enquiries: Andrew Clarke CEO & Veterinary Director – Living Legends 0407 551 289

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Book Launch A Horse Called Mighty

Event Date / Time: Tuesday 13th June 2017, 11am to 1pm.

About

Celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Might and Power’s Caulfield Cup Melbourne Cup double kick off with the launch of an expanded and updated edition of Helen Thomas’ timeless story “A Horse Called Mighty”.

Limited tickets available to this special day which will be hosted by Melbourne Racing’s Chief Race-caller Matt Hill.

The day will commence with Devonshire Tea with Annie’s freshly baked homestead scones. Master of Ceremonies Matt Hill will introduce author Helen Thomas who will speak on the book and this legendary stayer, Might and Power, the only horse ever to lead all the way to win the Caulfield Cup Melbourne Cup double. Matt will host a question and answer with Helen and attendees before officially launch the book with star of the show Might and Power.

Book signing and photo opportunities with Might and Power and Helen Thomas will follow before a light sandwich lunch.

The book launch special event package includes:

  • Your signed copy of “A Horse Called Mighty”
  • Devonshire Tea with freshly baked homestead scones
  • A limited edition Living Legends Might and Power ceramic badge
  • Photo of you with the star of the show Might and Power
  • A light sandwich lunch

Cost

The cost of the package is $55, and a gift certificate can be provided by calling on: (03) 9307 1165.

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Government House Open Day 2017

What’s On

Living Legends will be participating in Government House Open Day (Thursday, 26th January 2017) when the historic home and extensive gardens will be open to the public. Famous racehorses Fields of Omagh and Super Impressive will be available to meet and greet visitors and for photo opportunities in the historic Hopetoun Stables at Government House.

Government House is a major historic and cultural Victorian asset and is the residence the Hon. Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard QC. Government House, situated between Kings Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens, is 1.5 kilometres and a 20-minute walk from Flinders Street Station.

The Governor and Mr Howard are welcoming members of the community to view the Government House State Apartments, Mews complex and Gardens between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm (self-guided tours of the House will conclude at 3.00 pm). Another attraction on the day will be the historic State Coach on loan from Melbourne Museum. Entry is free.

As well as Living Legends, other participating organisations include: Croquet Victoria, Tennis Victoria, Cricket Victoria, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Country Fire Authority, the Collingwood Children’s Farm, Inside the Brick, the Skin and Cancer Foundation, and the St John Ambulance CPR Lab.

There will also be roving entertainment and musical performances throughout the day. Visitors can bring their own picnic or buy food from a number of vendors including tea and scones from the Country Women’s Association.

Please note, there will be no vehicle access to Government House throughout day. Visitors are encouraged to use public transport to access the precinct. Long queues are expected.

More information

http://www.governor.vic.gov.au/government-house/australia-day-at-government-house

See also

https://twitter.com/hashtag/GovHouseVic
https://twitter.com/hashtag/GHOpenDay17

Living Legends at Government House Open Day 2017

Living Legends (www.livinglegends.org.au) is a charity established over 10 years ago to provide visitors the opportunity to get up close to and pat retired racing legends. Based at one of the southern hemisphere’s most historic thoroughbred properties – Woodlands Historic Homestead and Park, Living Legends has a stable of 18 retired racing champions including 4 winners of the Melbourne Cup. Living Legends is open to the public 7 days a week year round with tours of the horses daily at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. With large mobs of wild kangaroos, Heritage gardens and surrounding bushland complete the traditional Australian setting. All this, less than 10 minutes from Melbourne airport by car!

Our horses also go on road trips such as to Government House Open Day 2017, and to schools and nursing homes. Back at Living Legends, our horses are involved in a wide range of community events and functions, and in education programs for all ages from primary school students to secondary schools; to undergraduates; and to post graduate university students. University of the Third Age participants are also regular visitors to Living Legends.

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Seniors Festival 2016

EVENT DATE:  7th October 2016.
Times:  Show-times 10am and 2pm.
Venue:  Living Legends, Woodlands Drive, Greenvale VIC 3059
Cost:  $25 per person includes Devonshire Morning Tea with our Legendary Homestead baked scones.

About

Presenting Poems, Song and Stories of Legends of the Turf.

Most noteworthy, Carol Reffold (the Patchwork Poet) along with Jim Brown and Dr Andrew Clarke will present songs, poems and stories about the Living Legends, Melbourne Cup Winning horses who now live at this remarkable homestead.

In addition, we showcase tales with interesting ‘coincidences’ about events and the horses’ connections, which have led to that one day of the year, the first Tuesday of November with the running of the Melbourne Cup.

More Information

Please call Living Legends today on (03) 9307 1165, or
email us at info@livinglegends.org.au

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Accessibility Weekend

EVENT DATE: 9th and 10th September 2017. Open 9:00am – 4:00pm.

Accessibility Weekend is a FREE event providing access to both Victoria favourite attractions including Living Legends for people who use a wheelchair and their carers.

Living Legends provides a unique opportunity to pat retired champion racehorses at Woodlands Historic Homestead, Heritage Gardens and Park.

ACCESSIBILITY INFO

The horse paddock area, gardens, homestead and park are all wheelchair accessible with wheelchair accessible toilets on site.

The path around the horses is approximately 800 metres with some uphill and downhill walking. Vehicle access can also be provided.

MORE INFORMATION

Please visit: https://www.accessibilityweekend.com.au/metro-venues and then scroll down to “Living Legends”.

Contact: http://www.livinglegends.org.au/contact-us