Leonard Seton Otway 1894-

Born: 1894
Father:Loftus Hastings Otway
Mother:Mary Russell Puckey
Children:Audey Mary Otway, Edward Charles Loftus Otway, Kenneth Seton Otway
Updated: 03 Oct 1996


Described as 'The legendary Studmaster' in The Australian Magazine in 1995, Seton Otway lived at the Trelawney Stud for 60 years. This stud was the birthplace of 7 Melbourne Cup winners. Seton ashes are buried 'where he would wish to be', between two of them.

Leonard Seton Otway is probably the most well-known of the family today. He was at Aylesbury in his early years and was one of the first pupils at Elstow Primary School just after it was built in 1901. There were hot pools around the Aylesbury area in those years before the swamp was drained but with the lowering of the river, the hot spring pools disappcared.Seton's mother, Mary, used to get the boys to have their bath in a lined hot pool eside the river - this "bath" was fitted with a plug 50 that the water could be changed. When Seton later attended Auckland Grammar School, in the days when Mr Tibbs was headmaster. he stayed with his grandmother Puckey.

On leaving school, Seton assisted on the farm and enjoyed duck shooting with his father and Uncle Charlie: Seton was a good shot winning many local prizes for clay bird shooting.

Early on, Seton began to enjoy race meetings and developed a love of thoroughbred horses; his first mare was bought for him by a Mr John Lennard for Seventeen Pounds.

In 1920. Seton married Sydney Clayton of Auckland, daughter of Charles Ziegler Clayton, a partner in the law firm of Hesketh, Richmond, Clayton and Meredith. His father-in-law was an honorary steward for the Auckland Racing Club. Sydney had been dux at the Diocesan School for girls.

Seton and Sydney leased a farm at Aylesbury for a few years before moving to a 200 acre dairy farm at Kiwitahi, near Morrinsville. This property was sold in 1931 when the near derelict property at Pukekura (Cambridge) and now known as the "Trelawney Stud" was purchased. Through the depression years. thoroughbred horse breeding became more attractive and the two original dams of his successful breeding programme were Lady Marie and Persis however the turning point came with arrival from England in 1934 of "Foxbridge". Dairying was then given up and "Trelawney" became a thoroughbred stud.

In the years before the war, the children went to school in Auckland where they and Sydney went to live in 1935. Throughout the war years. the progeny of the champion sire "Foxbridge" won races throughout the country establishing "Trelawney" as the premiere stud in New Zealand, and no wonder because at the Auckland Racing Club's Boxing Day meet in 1944 (when the Auckland Cup and the Railways Handicap were still run on that day) 6 winners out of the 8 race programme, were Trelawney bred. "Nizami" was also prominent at this time. The thoroughbred yearling sales held at Trentham each January. were exciting events during the 1950s and later as many overseas buyers especially from Australia. boosted the prices. Seton imported other successful sires including Khorassan, Pride of Kildare, Marco Polo II and Alcimedes. Four Melbourne Cup winners have been "Trelawnev" bred and the stud can also boast two Sydney Cup winners, three AJ.C. Derbys and two V.R.C. Derbys. Some of the more famous "Trelawney" names read like a "Racing Who's Who" viz:

Sleepy Fox. Prince Grant, Silver Knight. Joyita. Galilee, Fox Myth, MacDougal, Divide and Rule, No Peer, Foxami, Calypso. Magnifique, Magic Flute, Tavel, Tulloch and Citadej. "Galilee" was the best staying horse ever bred and won the Sydney, Caulfield and Melbourne Cups all in one year. As a delightful touch, MacDougal was originally bottle fed by a family companion of many years. Peg Macdougal. Ruth White of Cambridge is Seton's second wife and they have had many tirips to Australia combining business with pleasure and although times have changed since the 1950s and the heyday of Foxbridge's success. Seton is as keen as ever in thoroughbreds and in all that goes on at the stud. He still attends the National Yearling Sales and would never miss the races at Te Aroha where he is Patron of the Racing Club.

ID: 1485   Generated by GedTree on 27 Aug 2002

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