'We've lost our greatest pal'

Title:
'We've lost our greatest pal'
NFSA ID:
45352
Year:
1932
Courtesy:
Cinesound Movietone Productions
Category:
Access fees

Part-owner and trainer HR Telford stoically mourns the loss of the great Phar Lap saying he had a 'heart as big as a lion' in this newsreel entitled Phar Lap: Idol of the Australian Turf.

His young son Gerald 'Cappy' Telford is shown atop Millie, a white pony who 'travelled with him almost everywhere he went'. Telford says that Cappy was Phar Lap's 'greatest admirer who could handle him or do anything with him in anyway, which only speaks to his ... even disposition'. 

Telford and his family had suffered another terrible blow just ten days earlier with the death of Telford's baby daughter Louise.

Since Phar Lap's death on 5 April 1932 there have been numerous theories surrounding his death. A theory that he died from an equine virus has been disproved; in 2006 scientists discovered that it was almost certain Phar Lap was poisoned with arsenic. Whether that arsenic came from a feed additive, a tonic for horses which contained arsenic, a pest spray used at the stables where he was staying, or whether he was poisoned by gangsters feeling threatened by his prowess, we will most probably never know for sure.

Over the top of images of Phar Lap in Mexico, the narrator says 'Well Phar Lap, happy hunting old man. Give him a hand everyone', followed by the sound of applause. There wouldn't have been a dry eye in the house when this newsreel played to Australians mourning the loss of Phar Lap.