The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/White, Hon. James

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White, Hon. James, M.L.C., one of the best-known patrons of the Australian turf, was the eldest son of James White, one of the pioneer settlers of the Hunter River district in New South Wales. He was born at Scone, in that colony, in 1828. While he was still at school his father died, and Mr. White at the age of sixteen was called upon to manage extensive station properties, and gradually took up more and more outlying country on his own account, until he became one of the largest and most successful New South Wales squatters. He did a fair share of work in pioneering country on the Barwon, Hunter, and Castlereagh rivers, and was almost uniformly successful in his enterprises. In 1869 Mr. White went to England, and remained away several years, during which time he visited all the principal cities of Europe. In 1866 he was elected to the Assembly for the Upper Hunter, and kept that position for three years, and then resigned upon going to Europe. He was nominated to the Upper House in 1874. As a racing man, Mr. White was first known in connection with a steeplechaser called Hotspur, who won the A.J.C. Steeplechase in 1876. His first notable racehorse was Chester, who was trained in conjunction with Roodee by Mr. E. de Mestre, and won the double—Sydney Derby and Cup. Another of his horses, Democrat, won the Sydney Cup and Metropolitan in 1878, and in the spring of 1879 Palmyra won Mr. White his first Maribyrnong Plate. In 1880 Sapphire won the Oaks, and The Pontiff the Metropolitan, and in 1883 Iolanthe won for him the Maribyrnong Plate, and Martini-Henry carried off the double—Derby and Cup. Finding that from failing health he could not stand the excitement of a close attention to racing, Mr. White sold all his horses in training and yearlings in April 1890, and they realised phenomenal prices. Titan alone brought 4,000 guineas, the highest price ever given for a yearling in the Colonies, and the total for thirteen lots was 17,498 guineas. Mr. White continued his breeding establishment at Kirkham, in New South Wales, with a view to racing in England. He was the most successful racing man ever known in Australia. During the thirteen years he was racing Mr. White took a keen interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the turf, and his colours were always popular with the public, because every one knew that once seen at the post they were there to try and win. His colts Kirkham and Narellan were both entered for the English Derby in 1890, but the latter was scratched, and the former failed to secure a place. Mr. White died on July 12th, 1890.