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Alexander Hampton Fullarton (1910–1964)

by Peter Pierce

This article was published:

Alexander Hampton Fullarton (1910-1964), jockey and horse-trainer, was born on 10 June 1910 at Ascot Vale, Melbourne, second child of Victorian-born parents Robert Fullarton, horse-trainer, and his wife Rubina Susan, née Hampton. Educated at Moonee Ponds West State School, Alex was apprenticed to the trainer Bill Leyshon at Flemington and was twice leading apprentice in Victoria. He had his best win on the flat in the inaugural King's Cup of 1927 at Flemington, riding Leyshon's Spear Maiden; the Duke and Duchess of York were in attendance.

Increasing weight forced Fullarton to become a jumps jockey. His success was swift and spectacular. At his second ride over fences he won the Victoria Racing Club's 1929 Grand National Steeplechase at Flemington on the Harry Gabell-trained Sandhurst. He rode Polygonum to victory in the V.R.C.'s Grand National Hurdle in 1932, captured a second steeple on Woodlace in 1934 and won the first of two Australian hurdles on Dress Suit in 1937. Fullarton's second victory in that race as a jockey came in 1944 when he rode Benghazi as an amateur, four years after he had retired as a professional jockey to concentrate on training.

In his career as a jockey, Fullarton recorded about 700 wins, some 200 of them over the jumps. Redditch was perhaps the best jumper that he rode; he had the mount when the champion was killed in a fall at Flemington in the Grand National Steeplechase of 1935. Fullarton avoided serious injury during his hazardous career, but his younger brother Don was killed in February 1957 while schooling Mungaroo over the steeplechase fences at Flemington.

From his stables by the Maribyrnong River at West Essendon, Fullarton produced a steady stream of winners. He schooled all his horses personally, an unusual preference partly explained by his continuing love of riding. His recreation was riding to hounds. Fullarton had won the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank, in the Adelaide Hills, as a jockey on Kenjin in 1934. He trained four further winners of the race: The Feline (1948 and 1951), Teedum (1956) and Moonacoota (1961). Teedum had also won the 1953 Australian Steeplechase. The Feline was the best of Fullarton's jumpers. Among its successes, the small, plain gelding had won the Australian Hurdle (1947), the Grand National Hurdle (1948) and the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase (1950). Fullarton trained another Australian Hurdle winner, Elastin (1949), and part-owned Victory March, winner of the Grand National Hurdle (1943). He is the only person to have trained, ridden and owned winners of the Grand National Hurdle.

At the registry office, Collins Street, Melbourne, on 14 March 1933 Fullarton had married Edna Annie Hastings, a Tivoli dancer. On 28 March 1964 at Oakbank, where he had two strong fancies engaged for the local meeting, he collapsed and died of myocardial infarction. Survived by his wife and three sons, he was cremated. Fullarton and The Feline had Melbourne metropolitan jumps races named in their honour.

Select Bibliography

  • Herald (Melbourne), 22 June 1938, 11 Apr 1944, 28 May 1949, 28 Mar 1964
  • Argus (Melbourne), 22 July 1940, 27 Feb 1957
  • Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne), 23 Oct 1940, 1 July 1942, 30 Mar, 16 Apr 1964
  • Age (Melbourne), 30 Mar 1964
  • Sporting Globe, 1 Apr 1964.

Citation details

Peter Pierce, 'Fullarton, Alexander Hampton (1910–1964)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1996, accessed online 16 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, (Melbourne University Press), 1996

View the front pages for Volume 14

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