ICONIC Hunter Valley horseman Noel Hennessy has died, at Denman, at the age of 80.
The Maitland-born “legend” may have been the last person to see, and handle, Australia’s most influential sire of the past century, Star Kingdom, before he died on April 21, 1967, at the Baramul Stud in the Widden Valley.
Hennessy joined the staff at Baramul in 1957, a stud then owned by Sydney solicitor Alfred Ellison.
And, as stud groom, he cared for Star Kingdom for the last nine years of his life.
He also looked after Todman, the son of Star Kingdom who won the inaugural Golden Slipper, when he stood at stud at Baramul, and the awesomely brilliant Biscay, both as a foal and as a sire.
Biscay stood briefly at Baramul when he retired from racing.
Among other horses grown under Hennessy’s care at Baramul were champion Star Kingdom filly Citius and Todman’s Golden Slipper-winning son Eskimo Prince.
In recent years, Hennessy had been living in retirement at Denman.