Geoff & Maureen Duryea

Gemaura, 1-27 Cemetery Road
Corowa NSW 2646

Geoff:         0427 331 016

Maureen:   0427 331 873

Gemaura, our Corowa propertyGeoff and Maureen purchased 27 acres of bare land at Corowa in August 1980, situated 1.5km from the Corowa Racecourse and only 5km from the Victorian border. We felt this to be a perfect location to establish a racehorse training centre, naming the property Gemaura, a combination of both our names.

We started by building 4 walk-in/walk-out boxes and yards, a feedroom and a large sand roll, so Geoff could continue to break in young horses.

In 1983 we added a 100m swimming pool which has been a godsend for keeping the weight off horses’ backs and giving them a change in their exercise routine.

In 1986 we built 5 large boxes with a wide undercover passageway, as well as a larger feedroom. Two years later we erected a large shed utilising half as a hay shed and another 4 walk-in/walk-outs in the other half.

Whilst all this was happening we were erecting different size paddocks for different purposes and landscaping the surrounds including wind breaks and large trees.

We sold our home in the township of Corowa and together with our 3 children moved to Gemaura, having transported and renovated a very small home that once housed workmen whilst building the Dartmouth Dam. In 1990 we built our current home and our back garden is now where our original home once stood. Many a footy has been kicked, cricket played and netball shootouts in that backyard and we are now enjoying our grandchildren continuing our love of all sports.

Geoff was born in Balranald, a small town in South West NSW. He grew up with a pony in the backyard and rode with success in district gymkhanas. He spent most of his non-school hours on his horse and it was in those early years where he learned how a horse thinks.

As a 15 year old he moved to Berrigan and began an apprenticeship under A.F. (Bert) Honeychurch, both winning many premierships. Geoff also broke in most of Bert’s horses in his years there.

Geoff was a top apprentice, winning almost every cup in country NSW and Victoria, and Vic provincial tracks.

He rode many winners in Melbourne with a career highlight riding Red Hope in the 1973 Melbourne Cup. Geoff considers Roy Higgins to be the best jockey he ever rode against.
Geoff moved to Corowa in 1975 as stable rider for J.R. (Jack) Freyer, another premiership winning trainer.

At 170.5cm Geoff’s weight was a constant battle and he retired from race riding in 1983.

Geoff helped breeder/studmaster, Len Rhodes with stallions serving mares and handling foals at his Riverside Stud at Corowa.

Geoff feels privileged to have learned from three of the most respected horseman in the Riverina, trainers Bert Honeychurch, Jack Freyer and breeder Len Rhodes.

Maureen handles the administrative side of the business, but also pitches in with cleaning boxes, racking yards, swimming horses, mixing feeds and driving to the races so Geoff can update his diary, take calls or have a kip.

Darrin Mathieson has been our track rider/stablehand for 10 years. Darrin is a very experienced horseman who worked for Leon Corstens for many years before moving to the North East with his family.

Our son Paul is often seen strapping at the races, but his full time trade as a welder/boilermaker is evident in the newer additions to the horse yards and ongoing maintenance.

Paul and his wife Bec have built an agistment property near Lake Moodemere, Rutherglen, where our team go for some R & R. They named their property Gorki Park, after our much loved racehorse Gorki, whom Paul & Bec laid to rest there.

Our daughter-in-law Bec is well known on the local equestrian circuit and helps to re-educate and place horses who have retired.

Some are sold to continue racing in Northern Qld and Darwin, but most enjoy a future career as a show jumper, eventer, hack or just a lovely paddock companion.

Our horses are all broken in and educated by the well known team of Vin and Shaun Nolen at their property at Goorambat.

Phil Kirkham has been our farrier for over 20 years assisting with many different hoof issues.

Local Corowa veterinarian, Rowley Bennett, is always on call with his expertise and Jim Vasey at the renowned GV Equine Hospital is readily accessible for specialised services and advice.