Home' TAS Country : February 27, 2015 Contents 14 TASMANIAN COUNTRY, Friday, February 27, 2015
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IT'S only been a matter of 10 years, but
the Geard racing empire, more
commonly known as the Gee Gee
family, has become a real force in
Tasmania's $100 million thoroughbred
The foundation for Paul and
Elizabeth Geard's success on the
racetrack has been laid in breeding
Holstein cows for the family's dairy
The Geard family has been showing
cattle at the Royal Hobart Show for six
decades and has enjoyed huge success,
last year scooping the prizes for best
udder and interbreed dairy champion.
The family, based at Jordan House at
Broadmarsh, has brought into racing
Mr Geard's pedigree-breeding
knowledge picked up from his dairy
stud Glory Green Holsteins. All horses
owned by the Geards have a reminder
of the Holstein stud in them, with the
prefix "Geegees" a part of their name.
Be it cows or horses, Mr Geard
focuses on the longevity of the blood
lines and looks beyond the successes of
his current generation.
Mr Geard said one of the secrets to
the horses' success was they were cared
for and lived a happy life, running free
in large mobs on large, lush paddocks.
Their biggest claim to fame to date
has been the rise of champion galloper
Geegees Blackflash, who has won a
state record $1,166,200 in stakes, all on
Geegees Blackflash has won at
varying distances and recently took
home this year's Hobart Cup, his
second victory in the race after winning
This week he was chasing his second
win in the Launceston Cup at Mowbray
but finished third in Wednesday's big
race, behind winner Genuine Lad and
Geegees Blackflash, by Clangalang
out of the family's mare La Quita, is
trained by John Luttrell at Brighton.
He is one of the family's 125 horses
racing on Tasmanian tracks.
The Geards entered thoroughbred
racing 10 years ago after an invitation
from Broadmarsh trainer Walter
McShane to join a small racing
syndicate. From there, the racing seed
was planted, though Mr Geard
acknowledged his interest had been
piqued decades earlier.
"My first taste of racing was in the
mid-1980s when the late Dudley Clark
and I had a share in a pacer called
Lucky Atashy, which won 23 races over
various distances,'' Mr Geard said.
"About 10 years ago I went to the
Launceston sales and bought 10
broodmares and that's when it all
started. I can recall at my 60th birthday
when my son, Ben, stood up and made a
speech and he mentioned that every
time he turned around there was a truck
pulling up and dropping horses at
"It's always been a family affair.
Whether it's showing cattle or racing
horses, Elizabeth and the kids have
always been a part of it, even when they
were in prams.''
Mrs Geard came from a pony club
background. Her first and only pony as
a youngster was called Flash.
"I love the farm and the lifestyle it
has given,'' Mrs Geard said.
"I was milking up until a cow did its
business on my head and I thought a
grandmother possibly shouldn't be
doing this anymore.''
Before their love of all things horses
took off, the Geards were the latest line
in a strong farming dynasty that started
with Paul's parents, who had a dairy
farm at Kingston called Green Glory.
The family now owns five farms in
the Broadmarsh area, running 1500
Angus beef cattle, 6000 wool sheep,
1000 crossbred ewes and 1000
crossbred lambs. The dairy stud has 500
cows, of which 300 are milkers
producing about two million litres of
milk a year.
Even at the age of 70, Mr Geard has a
hands-on approach to life on the farm
and keeps up the dairying routine. He is
still ready to start the day at 4am.
Their Jordan House property also
features mini Shetland ponies, dogs of
all sizes and breeds and donkeys
roaming the paddocks.
"I love farming, and if my knees were
OK I would still be out at the milking
shed," Mr Geard said.
Son Ben, 34, now handles the dairy
and is continuing to forge the operation
ahead in the rapidly changing industry.
The Geards' four other children, all
daughters, and their grandchildren all
live within 10 minutes of the Jordan
The Geards employ five trainers to
look after their horses.
Mr Geard believes the Tasmanian
thoroughbred industry is heading in the
right direction. He said the synthetic
track at Spreyton had been a welcome
acquisition because it guaranteed races
each week without cancellations.
"Stakemoney has lifted across the
board and our horses have improved.
It's important that we all keep talking
up the industry here in Tasmania.''
Tasracing chief executive Eliot
Forbes said the Geegees race names
were now synonymous with Tasmanian
"The Geard family is strongly
committed to the racing and breeding
industries in Tasmania,'' he said.
"We are fortunate that they continue
to focus their racing activities in
Tasmania rather than look interstate.''
The Geards still have an interest in
harness racing with their daughter
Donna and son in-law Chris Howlett
and their children Justin, Brayden,
Matthew and Eliza all heavily involved.
Gee, this family can bree
After decades of success with pedigree dairy
cows, the Geard family is using the same
principles to be a force in thoroughbred racing.
Roger Hanson and Damien Seaton report
been a family
or racing horses,
the kids have
been a part
of it PAUL GEARD
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