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Frederick William (Fred) Hoysted (1883–1967)

by Peter Pierce

This article was published:

Frederick William (Fred) Hoysted (1883-1967), racehorse-trainer and jockey, was born on 8 May 1883 at Wangaratta, Victoria, fifth of twelve children of English-born Henry Hoysted, trainer, and his Victorian-born wife Winifred Louisa, née Johnstone. Henry's father, also Frederick William, hailed from County Kildare, Ireland. The most famous member of a renowned Australian racing family, young Fred began his career as an amateur jockey at the age of 12, winning his first race (on Wicket) at Bright in 1895 and his first city race at Maribyrnong on Bosnia (trained by his father) in the following year. Soon afterwards he received his only suspension, for failing to ride Wicket out: Hoysted said that he would sooner flog the stewards than a tired horse, and was stood down for a month. Following a fall at Beechworth in 1911, he turned to training—in partnership with his elder brother Henry ('Tib')—from their father's Wangaratta stables. On 21 April 1913 he married Ellen Frances Veronica Dedrick at Wangaratta; they were to have five sons before she died in 1931. Fred was to be affectionately known as 'Father'.

In November 1926 at Albury, New South Wales, his horse, Rakwool, beat the odds-on favourite trained by 'Tib'; the brothers had a disagreement and Fred moved to Melbourne. He took over stables at Mentone and by 1932-33 was the leading metropolitan trainer. Hoysted won or shared the premiership on seventeen occasions, including seven in succession from 1945-46 to 1951-52. Rakwool, which won the Grand National Steeple in 1931 with 11 st. 7 lb. (73 kg), was the first of his many fine fencers. His stables were named Redditch, after his best jumper which won the Grand National Steeple in 1933 with 12 st. 3 lb. (77 kg), together with the Australian Steeplechase in 1933 and in 1934 under the huge weight of 12 st. 13 lb. (82 kg). The outcry that ensued when Redditch died (July 1935) in a race fall at Flemington led to the replacement of post-and-rail by brush fences.

Known especially as a champion trainer of two-year-olds (in 1953-54 he won twenty juvenile races), Hoysted had the pick of Melbourne's finest jockeys, among them Harold Badger, Scobie Breasley, Frank Dempsey and Bill Williamson. His horses won numerous feature races, including the Adelaide Cup (Donaster), Doomben Ten Thousand (Ungar), Epsom (Achilles), Newmarket (Gay Queen), Oakleigh Plate (High Title) and the Victoria Racing Club's Oaks (Provoke and True Course), but the Melbourne Cup eluded him. Having taken over the training of Rising Fast, with which he won the Caulfield Cup in 1955, Hoysted saw the outstanding stayer unluckily beaten in that year's Melbourne Cup.

At St Patrick's Catholic Cathedral, Melbourne, on 27 October 1932 he had married Mary Elizabeth Brown, a nurse. The racing dynasty, which began when one Fred Hoysted arrived in Victoria in 1859, continued after his grandson's retirement in 1966: two of 'Father's' sons became successful metropolitan trainers and another, previously a promising jockey, became notorious for his stand against jockeys' use of the whip. Survived by his wife and the sons of his first marriage, Fred Hoysted died on 9 February 1967 at his Mentone home and was cremated with Anglican rites; his estate was sworn for probate at $111,144.

Select Bibliography

  • Age (Melbourne), 3 Mar, 2 May 1948, 10 Feb 1967
  • Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne), 22 Sept 1948, 1 May 1964, 30 June 1966
  • Sporting Globe, 5, 8, 12, 15 Oct 1966, 18 Jan 1975, 5 Oct 1982
  • Herald (Melbourne), 1 May 1978.

Citation details

Peter Pierce, 'Hoysted, Frederick William (Fred) (1883–1967)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1996, accessed online 23 July 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

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


8 May, 1883
Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia


9 February, 1967 (aged 83)
Mentone, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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