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Horses have long been one of Greg Mance’s great loves and, as part of the Windsor Smith shoe empire, he was able to indulge his passion through Carngham Station – a 2400-hectare horse training stud outside Ballarat. Greg’s father Clarrie established Windsor Smith in 1946, the year his son was born. His father also loved to train trotters, which is probably how Greg inherited his love of racehorses. As a young lad of 13, Greg was indoctrinated into the shoe business but by 1981 had managed to purchase the historic Carngham Station and tasted relatively early major success when his horse Cole Diesel won the 1989 Caulfield Cup. During the 25 years that he and wife Diane owned the property, they tasted considerable success at major race meetings in Melbourne, Sydney and on the Gold Coast.

They sold the property eight years ago but unfortunately the homestead was destroyed in the 2013 bushfires. The pair also had a taste for the finer things of life and in two-storey conjoined properties at 37 and 39 Drummond Street, Carlton built up a considerable collection of antique furniture, porcelain, art and other collectibles. The properties have now been sold and the Mances have asked auctioneer Phil Caldwell to auction the contents from 11am on Sunday May 18.

One of the outstanding features about the auction is Greg Mance’s stud breeding library – the best in Australia and full of the finest volumes on the science accumulated as the result of diligent research and frequent trips to countries like England and France. Another highlight is the magnificent banquet sideboard they brought to Carlton from Carngham Station and fine French silk upholstered Bergere chairs.

There are several paintings in the sale – none more important than the portrait of seven-time Archibald Prize winner William Beckwith (W.B.) McInnes’s son as a young boy (later killed in World War I). Another work features one of Greg’s horses with the jockey wearing the family racing colours. A third is a portrait of “Father of the Turf” Tregonwell Frampton painted by John Wooten (1682-1764), an English painter of sporting subjects, battle scenes and landscapes. Among modern Australian painters works is Sidney Nolan’s Kelly and Horse 1955 and a large John Olsen frog.

The auction also features quality English and French antique furniture, rare Asian and European antiquities, important clocks, antique bronzes and hand- knotted rugs. Of particular interest is an important early stick barometer, from W. Gibbons of Birmingham, that features readings from both the current and previous days. Auction: Sunday May 18 11am Viewing: Friday May16 Saturday May 17 10am-6pm Sunday May 18 9.30am-10.45am Contact: 0411 529 414