Vale Leo Newbound

Oct 18, 2015 | Harness Racing Victoria Vale Leo Newbound

Shepparton’s Leo Newbound who died suddenly last Saturday was a true harness stalwart who had an association with some of the best pacers and trotters to grace Australian trotting tracks.

Newbound and one of his brothers, Kevin, started the renowned harness stud Forest Lodge at Chiltern in the 1950s and raced and bred some great pacers and trotters down the years.

The great pacer Rip Van Winkle and the top trotter Court Jester were two champions bred at Forest Lodge and Gay Acres and Victoria Oaks winner Provocative were among many classic winners the Newbounds bred and raced in partnership.

But Leo Newbound always rated Exemplify, a trotter he bred and trained to win 20 races, including seven in a row at Moonee Valley, as the best horse he was personally associated with.

Newbound was also responsible for travelling to America and negotiating the deal to get premier sire, Windshield Wiper, to stand at Forest Lodge stud.

Another of his industry feats was purchasing the broodmare Lucias First, the dam of Gay Acres, from prominent Riverina breeder and trainer, Bernie Kelly. 

Newbound juggled his love of harness racing with his profession as a policeman for 25 years in his younger days.

His time in the force included a stint with the mounted branch, which saw him help escort Queen Elizabeth during her stay in Melbourne in the Olympic year of 1956.

At 84 Newbound was one of Australia’s oldest trainers and in recent months raced a trotter called Olympus who has shown some promise and is now being prepared in South Australia.

Newbound is survived by his wife, Beryl, daughters Reagan and Suzanne, son Warren and four grandchildren.

He is being privately interred but funeral prayers will be offered at St Brendans Catholic Church, Knight St, Shepparton tomorrow, from 11am followed by a wake at the Shepparton RSL Club.