Marj Brown raced horses for 65 years
Marj Brown, who died on 21/06/2016 at the age of 95, met success breeding from White Robe Lodge stallions in her 65 years racing thoroughbreds.
Marj and her late husband, Joe, residents at Janefield (near Mosgiel), bred Leyleigh (Mellay -Russleigh) who won them five races. Her wins included the 1973 Kurow Cup when trained by Bryan Kennedy and ridden by Russell McAra, who is now the starter for clubs in Otago. The Browns bred Proud Leigh (by Noble Bijou) from Leyleigh. Proud Leigh won seven hurdle races in a row in the South Island in 1985 when trained by Pat Corboy at Washdyke for other owners.
The Browns bred My Lisa Leigh from Russlyn, a half sister by to Leyleigh. My Lisa Leigh (by Noble Bijou) won the 1980 Warstep Stakes at Riccarton when trained by Joe and ridden by Jim Pankhurst. My Lisa Leigh (Charlie Brough) won the Amalgamated Packaging Handicap (2000m) at the Grand National meeting there the same year when the outsider but one in an 18-horse field at odds of 109 to one. Joe had made his mark as an owner-trainer by winning the 1952 Wellington Cup with Reformed. He trained Royal Tower, co-owned by Marj, to win the Birthday Handicap (1952) and Otago Handicap (1954), the principal race at the Dunedin Jockey Club (now Otago Racing Club) meetings; the 1954 Kurow Cup and an open handicap at Riccarton. Royal Tower beat White Robe by a neck in an open sprint at Omakau in January, 1952. Joe also trained Bobby Dazzler, winner of the 1949 Waikouaiti Cup (1 1/4mile) and Hawksbury Hack Handicap (nine furlongs) three races later when ridden by Norman Ellis.
Another half sister to Leyleigh, Kathleigh left Rocky Leigh, who won the 1977 The Blue Riband (2000m) for 3yr-olds at Waikouaiti for the Browns. Marj bred and raced Southern Man (Personal Escort - Joe's Girl) who won three races in 2005 when trained by Graeme Mee. Marj with Brian and Lorraine Anderton sold the top priced lot in the WRL draft at $46,000 at the South Island Sale for 2yr-olds in 2010 --- a colt by Yamanin Vital from Joe Leigh, a winner by Personal Escort. Extend, a 4yr-old by Raise The Flag - Joe Leigh owned by the Andertons and the Brown family syndicate, is an acceptor for a maiden race at The Otago meeting on Thursday (30/06/2016). A farewell to Marj was held in the Winning Post lounge at the Wingatui racecourse. It was conducted by Dennis Brown and Linda (Wheeler), son and daughter of Marj and Joe. Tributes flowed to Marj as a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother with the accent on her ability at dress making, knitting, home baking and flower growing. The service had a musical theme in keeping with the many public events promoted by the Brown family. Renowned singer Eddie Low sang "Ava Maria" and Michael Wheeler (grandson) sang "Hallelujah".