29 MacIntyre Street Goondiwindi
Gunsynd the “Goondiwindi Grey”, was listed in 2004 as one of the top 12 Queensland Icons.
In 2005 he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2007 the Gunsynd Museum was officially opened when part owner Bill Bishop cut the purple entrance ribbon. “The town of Goondiwindi has certainly rode on the horses back for many years and with these awards the legend will live on forever”, former Goondiwindi Town Mayor, Tom Sullivan said.
Why did the Grey become a legend? There are several reasons. He was affectionately known as the Goondiwindi Grey, as his owners came from Goondiwindi, and he was pure grey in appearance. He was purchased in 1969 for a pittance approximately $1,300 by 4 bush owners (Bill Bishop (newsagent owner), G Pippos (hotelier), GN McMicking (grazier), and Jim Coorey (business executive)) who only wanted to win a race on the local track. The deal was done in the famous old Goondiwindi pub, the Victoria Hotel.
Gunsynd had 54 starts for 29 wins, 7 seconds and 8 thirds, a record (for those days) of prize money with $280,455.
Gunsynd showed that dreams can come true by becoming the Champion of his era winning The Cox Plate and the 4 big mile races, The Doncaster, The Epsom, The George Adams(now known as the Emirates) and the Toorak in the one season.
He won a string of other big races among his 29 wins and was placed in the Melbourne Cup burdened with the massive 60.5 kilos but it was his character and lovable antics that saw him adored not only by the racing fraternity but also by people not remotely interested in the sport who flocked to the tracks to watch him perform.
Some of his loveable traits included, standing stock still at the gate before going out to race refusing to move until the applause reached the required crescendo. He would never give in during a race mostly under crushing weights. Often looking beaten, but when he heard the crowd roaring would raise another effort, fight back and most times win. It is even said, that after a particularly good victory, Gunsynd would stop in front of the grandstand and bow to the applauding crowd.
A fierce fighter on the track, off it he was a lovable “softie” resting his head on people’s shoulders for a cuddle and would stand perfectly still while little children crawled all over him. The record “The Goondiwindi Grey” made the hit parade. Cartoons normally reserved for Politicians and World Leaders were drawn about him.
Come along and see for yourself many of his trophies, rugs and other memorabilia and some remarkable photos at the Goondiwindi Visitor Information Centre. Watch a couple of videos and if you wish you can purchase a book “Gunsynd the Goondiwindi Grey” which tells the full story of this remarkable horse. Then head down the road and have your picture taken beside his statue standing in the Apex Park on the McIntyre River with a backdrop of beautiful trees.