The NSW breeding industry lost one of its most respected figures when Major James Mitchell died on Thursday.
Mitchell developed Yarraman Park into one of the most successful studs in the Hunter Valley.
The Mitchell family had farmed in Gloucestershire and Norfolk before immigrating to Australia. Major Mitchell also owned Highgrove which was later purchased by Prince Charles.
Mitchell bought Yarraman from champion jockey George Moore in 1968. He had visited the property two years earlier and was so impressed he made Moore promise to give him the first right of refusal if he ever decided to sell.
Situated west of Scone, Yarraman is now run by his sons Arthur and Harry while their brother Bill, a former Randwick based trainer, is a prominent bloodstock agent.
All three spent their formative years on the farm which has been a thoroughbred nursery for over 100 years.
The 1,250 hectare property is home to four stallions – I Am Invincible, Magic Albert, Trotamondo and first-season sire Hinchinbrook.
Yarraman Park has topped the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale on several occasions in recent years highlighted by a $3 million Redoute’s Choice colt and a $2.6 million Encosta de Lago sister to Alinghi.
Universally known as “The Major”, Mitchell will be sadly missed in Scone, Sydney, Newmarket and other racing and breeding centres in Australia and Britain.