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Jockey, Norman Hugh Mckinnon, Tragically Killed During a Horse Race at Randwick Race Course in Sydney

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A librarian, family historian and artist, Jen loves to travel and take photographs

Norman McKinnon

the jockey

Norman was a hurdle jockey who raced at Randwick racecourse in Sydney, NSW. His horse was called Coster.

Norman and Coster were tragically both killed during the running of a hurdle race. He was only 27 years old.

The newspaper articles written at the time give the details about the accident.

Coster, generally reported to be a slow beginner, hit the first hurdle hard. Norman was thrown from Coster. Coster landed heavily on his back fracturing his spine. Neither moved again. An ambulance took Norman to the casualty room, where the club doctor found that Norman had broken his neck.


The Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

Young Norman

Norman McKinnon was born 20 Apr 1900 in Tumut, New South Wales, Australia. The eighth child of Hugh McKinnon (b: 21 Mar 1861 in Brungle, NSW ) and Mary Clee (b: 26 Oct 1863 in Gocup near Tumut, NSW). He was a cousin of my great grandmother, Margaret French nee McKinnon.

This is a photo of him as a child. We had a photocopy of this for a long time without knowing who it was. Thanks to Ancestry.com a distant cousin had uploaded it and named it! We were thrilled to find out it was Norman!


Norman McKinnon

Norman McKinnon

In memory

A poem, written in memory of Norman, goes like this.

He is gone from us for evermore

A jockey of some fame

he was well known by racing men

McKinnon was his name.

He'll never ride another race

His loss we all deplore

we sympathise with his kind friends

who'll see his face no more

Randwick Racecourse 1928

At 6min 24sec within this documentary

Excerpt from a 1928 documentary on Sydney's busy tramway system. Filmed as huge crowds depart Randwick Racecourse.
Intertitles: A glimpse of the Sydney Cup at Randwick Racecourse. Marshalling hundreds of cars for the return Racecourse Traffic. After the last race the rush commences. An exceptional feat in Tramway Transportation. Trams move the huge crowd at the rate of 1000 per minute.

Norman's brothers and sisters

His siblings were:

  • Mary Florence born 12 Apr 1884 in Tumut,
  • Isabell Annie born 21 Jan 1886 in Gocup near Tumut,
  • Archibald Albert born 18 Nov 1887 in Gocup,
  • Herbert John born Abt 1890,
  • Clara Gertrude born Abt 1892,
  • Mabel Therese born 8 Aug 1894 in Tumut,
  • Maud Stella born 1897 in Tumut,
  • Mirriam Elizabeth born: 29 Apr 1904 in Tumut.

The Mckinnon's

Hugh's parents (Norman's grandparents) were"

Ewen "Hugh" MCKINNON born approximately 1823 in Kilmnaerick, Inverness, Scotland and

Mary MCMILLAN born 18 Sep 1831 in Camdale, Fort William, Inverness-shire, Scotland.

Ewen was born in Kilmonivaig and christened on 12 Feb 1829 in the town or parish of Strath in Scotland.

His parents were Archibald MacKinnon and Mary Stewart.

Archibald and Mary were married on 26th March 1818 in the parish of Kilmonivaig, county of Inverness, Scotland.

To Australia!!

Ewen, Mary and his daughter Eliza came out to Australia on the maiden voyage of the Marco Polo. In September 1852 they arrived in Melbourne, Victoria.

800,000 Australians can trace their roots to the Marco Polo. The three masted wooden clipper ship, named after Venetian explorer Marco Polo was launched in 1851 at Saint John, New Brunswick.

Declared the "fastest ship in the world" She completed a 76-days voyage from Liverpool to Port Phillips Heads, Victoria, Australia, Captained by James Nicol Forbes. 52 passengers died during the voyage from a measles epidemic.

Clipper ship Marco Polo

After two years in Victoria, the McKinnon's made their way to New South Wales, residing as graziers at Brungle, near Tumut.

Hugh and Mary had a family of eight children, Eliza, was born in Scotland, Archibald was the first of the children to be born in Australia in 1855.

At the time of Hugh's death, he and Mary had five living children. Archibald, Catherine, John, Hugh and Jessie. Three daughters had predeceased him.

Hugh died aged 80 on the 17th December in 1903. His wife Mary died aged 79 on the 22nd September in 1910.

The clan McKinnon

The origin of the McKinnon surname

The McKinnon surename is Scottish and comes from an ancient form of the name MacFhionghuin. In gaelic it means "Fair born"


© 2010 Jen Wood

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