Sep 16, 2013

It was with much sadness that we received the terrible news that JACQUELINE ROUGE had died giving birth to a Snitzel Filly on Friday, 13th September. Her part-owner John Dobie rang with the news and it came as a shock to Tony and all the staff at Greendale.

Jake Noonan as a representative of the stable has written some words in memory of this bonny mare:

Rest in Peace my girl Marlene.

It’s such a sad loss and tragedy to the industry and especially to the people who couldn't help but grow to love her nature and the qualities and terrific ability she brought to racetracks throughout Australia.

My earliest memories I shared and enjoyed with her were when I couldn't even saddle up, let alone brush any knots out of her tail but we made a connection and friendship. She had such a beautiful nature and personality – not to mention her looks, we had to keep her well away from all the colts and stallions.

She enjoyed her stable life and work, for the majority of her career she lived in a yard - rain, hail or shine, she loved her open space. Her yard was just outside my bedroom window so I always kept an eye on her. There was never any hesitation from any of staff at Greendale to deal with her in her stable or with her race day duties, although Sue (Schreuder) got her most of the time because she was her strapper and her care for Marlene was of the highest quality.

It wasn't long until Dad gave me the job of riding her work and the timing was perfect, I'm sure the other track riders didn't agree and were somewhat jealous but at this stage I was just starting to ride some gallops and she was the perfect ride to educate me on. From the first day I threw a leg over her I just fell in love with this horse. I know it’s not mentally healthy to grow too attached to horses as it can be a cruel game for them at times but I couldn't help it and I know I wasn't on my own. Even after she shied and dropped me once, she pulled up and came straight back to me. That's the sort of relationship we had.

By the time I came along and slotted into her career she was a frequent Saturday grade winner and stole some black-type up North. She usually carried apprentices in her races, Billy Hernan won a number of races on her and she was a simple ride. She would jump, sit on pace and just be too good and tough
I was fortunate enough and honoured to have ridden her in her final race start. I remember the feeling and the build-up leading into and throughout the race. We didn't win, but that didn't change any perception anyone had of her. It was off to the breeding barn and we said our last goodbyes. I sure have missed her around the stable and on race-day.

Dad was lucky enough to have purchased her first foal, I'm excited to have her come into work and compare her similarities with her mother - hopefully she’s got her ability. As we were informed of her giving birth to her third foal by Snitzel, we were sadly shocked by the news of her passing soon after. It’s a massive loss and she is a horse I will never forget; the racing success, the trackwork, the afternoon picks, the Balnarring beach workouts, the afternoon brushes, and just her overall presence. They are gone but never will be forgotten.