The world is much poorer following the news respected equine journalist Gene Makim-Willing died on Monday, April 13.
Once met but never forgotten, Mrs Makim-Willing aged 96, is remembered for the driest sense of humour, and was a great storyteller with a colossal following in all horse disciplines.
She had an amazing ability to cover any equine sport from camp drafting, polo to Shetland ponies.
While teaching horse riding at New England Girls School, Armidale, the self-taught journalist wrote freelance stories for The Land newspaper.
She soon joined the paper’s ranks covering horse events and shows, and later edited Horse Monthly. She also was a well known contributor to Hoofs and Horns.
Mrs Makim-Willing covered all the horse ring events at Sydney Royal for many years. She was the first successful person to refuse to wear the compulsory dust coat into the main ring at Sydney Royal Show, but her dress sense and hats were pure perfection.
Upon retiring from The Land Newspaper, Mrs Makim-Willing moved to Toowoomba, where she wrote and self-published seven books including “Stand up and be Counted” in 1996, and “A history of Qld Polo: Backhander from the Past” in 1999.
Other books included “Get up on his Shoulder -a history of campdrafting in NSW and Qld” in 2002, and Horse manure on the Brain” in 2005.
She will be remembered as a lady of great style and at home in any company, for her resilience and resourcefulness, and incredible instinct.
She is survived by her five children Margaret, Sallie, Alex, Harold, and John, her five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Queensland Country Life and The Land Newspapers will publish Mrs Makim-Willings full eulogy when provided by her family.