A former steward, ringmaster, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) vice-president, president and trustee until his passing in 1989, Peter Ronald’s royal legacy shines on through the Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout and the hunting events.
The gregarious, well-respected horseman was instrumental in securing its place as the top equestrian event in Australia today.
Peter served in numerous sections of the Show, as ringmaster, as trustee and in the pavilion. He was president from 1973 to 1977, and a councillor for forty years from 1949 to 1989.
As president, Peter fought against the removal of trotting at the Showgrounds and oversaw the largest expansion and redevelopment of the grounds in one calendar year, worth some $3million. He secured commitment for the new government pavilion and developed a renewed relationship with City Councils.
Those who knew Peter report he never turned down an invite to represent the Society at any function.
It’s a passion his sons Jason and Bill inherited. Jason Ronald OAM wears many hats as a result: farmer in the Tallarook region, director for The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, and a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recipient for his contribution to agriculture and other areas. At Melbourne Royal, Jason is a life councillor and current board member who has dedicated countless hours to the Horses in Action program and the Garryowen, which his father before him played such an integral role in promoting.
Bill stewarded in the horse ring for 20 years, and Jason learned the ropes as soon as he left school. He went on to steward his first Garryowen in 1983 and still dons the stewarding badge for the prestigious event every year. Jason is chairman of the Garryowen Hall of Fame Committee, and played a major role in its formation.
From horses to the heritage committee, there’s not many advisory groups Jason hasn’t contributed to at the Melbourne Royal Show. He’s also a life councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, having been elected in 1991.
Pocketing a lifetime of Melbourne Royal memories, with many more to come, Jason says it’s all about people, agriculture and the pursuit of excellence.
It’s a great team that provides the show, and it comes down to wanting to ensure success for people, for the society, and to encourage excellence through competition.”
Jason’s father, Peter CMG, began stewarding at the Melbourne Royal Show after World War II and went on to become a ringmaster, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria vice-president, president and trustee until his passing in 1989. His legacy lives on today through the Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout.