The wonderful foundation broodmare Foxona gets general recognition as the matriarch of Haunui Farm. But even her contribution tends to pale when compared with that of four generations of special Haunui ladies of the two-legged variety.
The trail-blazer was Winifred Schofield, wife of high profile General Motors franchise-holder and racing enthusiast Ernest Schofield, from whose estate the couple’s daughter Peg Chitty and husband Geoff acquired the legendary Foxona.
Winifred Schofield made an inauspicious entry into racing in 1946 when her Foxbridge filly named Diamond Lady died before reaching the track. But she had much better luck with her gelding by Autopay named Huntopay, who broke through for his first win at Thames in January, 1947.
Huntopay returned to the same track the following year where he dead-heated for first with Valsan in the first division of the Borough Hack Handicap. He also put together a number of placings, including a second to subsequent Auckland Cup winner Swanee.
More significantly Winifred Schofield’s racing colours were white jacket, with red diamond front and back and, black sleeves – now the famous livery of Haunui Farm.
Winifred’s daughter Peg Chitty inherited her mother’s love of racing and both bred and raced Sir Kinsman, winner of Melbourne’s former famous Duke of Norfolk Stakes. Later, following the death of her husband Geoff, Peg succesfully raced high profile mares Rosie’s Girl and Lavender Hill, both descendants of foundation broodmare Foxona.
Peg continued to live in the Haunui homestead until Ron and Carolyn relocated in 1981. With the considerable development of the Bloodstock facilities at Haunui Ron’s wife Carolyn planned and managed extensive planting and the establishment of the picturesque gardens that Haunui became so well renowned for. Her enthusiasm for gardens and landscaping has been carried on to the new property at Karaka.
The latest of Haunui Farm’s special ladies is Sara Chitty, wife of Managing Director Mark. Although she is a qualified radiographer, now a mother of four, Sara’s hands are full these days without embarking on too many stud chores. During her student days at university she was annually employed through the summer to help with yearling preparation.
Already the signs of future studmasters are emerging from the next generation. Mark and Sara’s son Matthew shows his father’s passion for racing and was a very excited young man when receiving the breeders award from Sir Patrick Hogan after Fix won the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic.