Remembering Bill: A horseman at heart

Bill Wilson with his champion Australian Stock Horse stallion, Kywong Sim-Ray at the Taree Show. Photo Manning River Times Thursday October 22, 1982
Bill Wilson with his champion Australian Stock Horse stallion, Kywong Sim-Ray at the Taree Show. Photo Manning River Times Thursday October 22, 1982

William (Bill) Maxwell Wilson was a gold member of the Australian Stock Horse (ASH) Society and a life member of Gloucester ASH branch, the Gloucester Pony Club and the Gloucester Show Society.

He joined the ASH Society on February 6, 1972, roughly six months after it was formed.

Bill was remembered by his family and friends on March 12, 2018, at a service held in the Cattle Pavilion at Gloucester Showground.

Here are excerpts from the eulogy read by his eldest grandson, Ben Wilson.

“As a young child, Bill rode his horse across Wilson’s bridge to Bowman Farm Primary School. For high school, Bill would catch the mail train to Maitland to attend boarding school. He was known to have said that going to school were the worst days of his life other than having his cataracts operated on in the last few years.

“When he left school at age 14 all he wanted to do was buy a property. He worked a dairy farm with his brother Grahame at Kyella (on the Bowman River) until Grahame got married and Bill continued to work the dairy solo.

“Bill married Shirley Dare on November 30, 1955, making their home at Kywong (on the Barrington) and continued dairying there, where they would raise five children Stephen, Bruce, Jamie, Michael and Teresa. He continued dairying until the early 80s before shutting down the dairy and concentrating efforts on beef production.

“Bill’s passion was stock horses, whether it be breeding, breaking, riding or showing them, and this enthusiasm was instilled in his children with all of them going through pony club. This in turn resulted in a strong passion for horses among some of his grandchildren as well.

“Bill had many great successes with his horses from royal shows to small country town campdrafts. At 85 years old, Bill claimed to have never spent a night in hospital, and he had intended to keep it that way.

“Bill passed away on the morning of Thursday, March 1, 2018, at his home. He was packed ready to head to Tamworth to watch his beloved horses compete at the Australian Stock Horse National finals. In the end, I’m pretty sure Bill did go to Tamworth. And going by the results may have even been a pillion passenger in a couple of runs in the draft up there.”