Popular racing and breeding identity Geoff White has died aged 81. He passed away after a short illness at Wolper Hospital in Sydney on Sunday night.
A civil engineer by profession, his company is an Australian leaders in its field. White Industries has been responsible for well known public landmarks like the National Art Gallery, High Court of Australia and National Mint in Canberra.
Overseas, White Industries built the Singapore Government Housing Project, Fiji Regent and Pippiwa Coal Mine in India.
White and his wife Beryl bought their first yearling in 1973 and, living close to Rosehill, asked Jack Denham to prepare the horse, beginning a relationship that continued until the trainer’s death in 2010.
They struck gold in 1981 with a $50,000 Biscay yearling called Marscay. He won the 1982 Golden Slipper and later became the foundation sire for the couple’s breeding dynasty.
Marscay’s daughter Triscay won five G1 races and Marscay mare Marrego foaled Eremein who retired with $4.26 million in earnings. Other Group 1 winners to carry their white and purple colours included Euclase, Jetball, Filante, Yippyio and Reenact. All their horses had seven-letter names.
The Whites purchased Robrick Lodge on the outskirts of Sydney to house their burgeoning bloodstock portfolio and later added Bhima and Invermein Studs.
“Mr White’s passing is a very sad day for racing in this State,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said. “Geoff was an extremely keen racegoer and will be missed greatly by the entire industry.”
White was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal in 1998. He is survived by his wife Beryl, children Helen, Sue, Greg and Judy and his grandchildren and great grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for Friday, July 13.