Gunsynd - 'The Goondiwindi Grey' Gunsynd - 'The Goondiwindi Grey'

 

Gunsynd the "Goondiwindi Grey", was listed in 2004 as one of the top 12 Queensland Icons.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

In 2007 the Gunsynd Museum was officially opened when his only surviving part owner Bill Bishop cut the purple entrance ribbon. "The town of Goondiwindi has certainly rode on the horses back for many years and with these awards the legend will live on forever", former Goondiwindi Town Mayor, Tom Sullivan said.

Why did the Grey become a legend? There are several reasons. He was purchased for a pittance $1,200 by 4 bush owners who only wanted  to win a race on the local Goondiwindi track. (The deal was done in the famous old pub, the Victoria Hotel which has just had a multi-million dollar refurbishment).

Gunsynd showed that dreams can come true by becoming the Champion of his era winning The Cox Plate and the 4 big mile races, The Doncaster, The EpsomThe George Adams and the Toorak in the one season. (The only horse to have achieved this in Australian History up to the present time).

He won a string of other big races among his 29 wins and was placed in the Melbourne Cup burdened with the massive 60.5 kilos but it was his character and lovable antics that saw him adored not only by the racing fraternity but also by people not remotely interested in the sport who flocked to the tracks to watch him perform.

Some of his lovable traits included, standing stock still at the gate before going out to race refusing to move until the applause reached the required crescendo. He would never give in during a race mostly under crushing weights. Often looking beaten, but when he heard the crowd roaring would raise another effort, fight back and most times win. He would come back to the gate, lathered in sweat, his great grey chest heaving and look up to the crowd awaiting their applause, then bow and always headed to the winners stall.

 

 

A fierce fighter on the track, off it he was a lovable "softie" resting his head on people's shoulders for a cuddle and would stand perfectly still while little children crawled all over him. The record "The Goondiwindi Grey" made the hit parade. Cartoons normally reserved for Politicians and World Leaders were drawn about him.

Come along and see for yourself many of his trophies, rugs and other memorabilia and some remarkable photos at the Goondiwindi Visitor Information Centre. Watch a couple of videos and if you wish you can purchase a book "Gunsynd the Goondiwindi Grey" which tells the full story of this remarkable horse. Then head across the road and have your picture taken beside his statue standing in the Apex Park on the McIntyre River with a backdrop of beautiful trees.