Family Memories – Pass Them On
This photo is of my Great, Great Grand Father Edwin Kither Plaisted supposedly holding the stallion Mountain Knight. E.K.Plaisted was a horse trainer and stable owner in the northern part of New Zealand and this photo hung over the fireplace in my Grandmother’s kitchen for as long as I can remember. Vaguely I can remember asking her about the photo and that is why I remember the horse’s name and who the gentleman is.
Is that of any significance, well perhaps. You see Mountain Knight won, amongst other races, the AJC Derby in Oct 1914, a very significant horse race in Australia. He went on to win other races and then ignamonously he fell during a clash in the Melbourne Cup which ran on Tue 2nd Nov 1915 and broke his shoulder. In no records can I find any connection between my grandfather and Moutnain Knight, so when did he begin his association with the horse?
In the Melbourne Cup fall Mountain Knight broke his shoulder and was never to race again, however, I have found numerous references in newspapers of the time as to his progress along the road to wellness and the intention to put the horse out to stud. I have found a newspaper article reporting his recovery and his shipment to Sydney in preparation for his sea crossing to New Zealand where he would stand at stud.
This article reads in part:
Adelaide Advertiser 16 August 1916
Melbourne, August 15
Mountain Knight, who terminated his racing career when he fell in the last Melbourne Cup, was sent to Sydney today on his way to New Zealand. The horse, who made a good recovery under the care of Mr. S. O. Wood, is to do stud duty in the Dominion.
And in yet another article some three years after that in which he was reported as going to New Zealand yet another article anouncing Mountain Knight standing at stud at Te Mahanga in 1919, interstingly enough placed by the executors of the late W. J. Douglas, but still no mention of E.K. Plaisted my Great, Great Grandfather.
So did E.K. Plaisted secure Mountain Knight and stand him at stud in the north of New Zealand? Was Mountain Knight his horse or was he offering it at stud on behalf of another owner? He certainly offered other horses for stud for other owners as evidenced by advertisements in the local paper. These and many other questions are yet to be answered, perhaps they never will be answered but, if the horse was significant enough in his life to have a portrait photo of him and the animal taken and if it was significant enough for it to have been hung in my own Grand Mother’s kitchen for all those years there is a story to be told here.
A short note by my Grandma, or time spent noting down her family memories of her own father and the photo, and she would surely have solved a whole mystery for me. Ask your questions and write down the answers so your family memories may be preserved.
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