I was surprised when Club Menangle historian Peter Collier told me that forty trotting trainers and drivers have died in accidents since the sport began in Australia.
In conjunction with his Victorian counterpart John Peck, Peter has worked tirelessly for years to identify the people involved and to trace the circumstances of their fatal accidents.
The Club Menangle Memorial Wall is to be officially unveiled between races on Sunday June 30 - Breeders Challenge Finals and Len Smith Memorial day.
Following is a summary of Sunday’s format and the final reports detailing the circumstances of the racing and training accidents.
(Banner images courtesy Club Menangle - Left: Arch Egan, master horseman who died 9 days after a Menangle racing accident in 1958. Right: Steve Weston was only 37 years old when he died after a Kembla race fall in 1974.)
This Sunday, 30 June, during the Breeders Challenge Final and Len Smith Mile race meeting at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, a special Memorial will be unveiled.
After many years of painstaking research by Club Menangle Historian, Peter Collier, along with close friend John Peck from Melbourne, a Memorial for our fallen drivers will be unveiled.
Called the “National Harness Racing Trainer & Drivers Memorial” it will be a national recognition for the ‘40 Trainer and Drivers’ that have lost their lives from injuries received from a race fall or training accident across Australia.
Club Menangle will launch the Memorial Wall this Sunday, in conjunction with Harness Racing Australia.
It will be a permanent place in the Club Menangle Museum.
“It is long overdue and we now can finally honour and pay our respects to our fallen trainer & drivers who have tragically lost their lives”, Collier said
“It is based on the model of the National Jockeys Trust criteria for the thoroughbreds.”
“We have sadly lost 40 of our participants. That of course is forty too many.”
“Our fallen have been mainly hobby trainer and drivers, they all loved their chosen sport and are from varying parts of Australia.” Peter Collier added
The unveiling will take place mid-afternoon in the Museum (at the parading ring end).
We are proud that a number of family members of the fallen Trainer & Drivers will be present for the unveiling, to witness Club Menangle’s tribute to the lives lost.
IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN TRAINERS AND DRIVERS
THOMAS LAWRENCE ALLENDER
Thomas, 34, died at midday on Sunday 4 December, 1927 after injuries he received in a fall at the Danbury Park Trotting Club meeting at Elphin the afternoon before. During the preliminary for the race, Ruby Carbine, which he owned and trained, fell and rolled on her rider. He was picked up unconscious and taken to Hospital but later died.
He was single and came from Hobart to Launceston where he worked as a railway signalman. Thomas, an owner and trainer, who had driven Lady Clyedo to victory at Elphin in 1925, normally didn’t ride but was unable to get a rider on this day so he did himself and it proved fatal.
He was survived by his father, George and a brother.
MISS CHRISTINA ROSE (DOLLY) JACOBS
Dolly Jacobs, 26, of Sale, died on Wednesday 26 September, 1928 at the trotting programme at the Royal Melbourne Show at the Showground.
Jacobs was riding Hue Wind in the Women’s Handicap trot and was rapidly overhauling Delma Huon (ridden by Mrs Pearl Kelly), when Hue Wind tripped and fell opposite the Chirnside stand. Jacobs was thrown heavily and lay on the ground without moving.
She was hurried to Hospital in an ambulance but was dead on arrival. She was wearing a skull cap but her injuries were chiefly to the head.
Dolly was the fourth female to win a race against the men in Victoria having been successful at Orbost, aboard Bonnie Elsie, in 1924.
EDWARD GEORGE (TED) BARRELL
Ted (as he was known), 39, died on 27 April, 1930 from injuries received when Betty Rorneo fell at the Gloucester Park meeting in Perth on 19 April. Ted had won the Kalgoorlie Cup on Steel Bells many years ago.
He had held a trainers and drivers licence for 16 years. This fatality was believed to be the first ever recorded in Perth.
Bert Fitch, 36, was killed while competing at the Maroona Club’s trotting meeting on Saturday 7 March, 1931. He was riding his own pacer, Alremea when the hopples snapped and the horse somersaulted on top of him. He was badly crushed and had head injuries and taken to Ararat Hospital unconscious but he later died.
Bert’s first winner was at Ararat on 15 March, 1924 (aboard Heaper). Well-known in Ararat, Bert was formerly the dog inspector in the Ararat Shire. Ironically the race won by a horse ridden by the brother (Edward) of the deceased.
He was survived by his wife Florence, who was ill in hospital at the time of the accident, and brother’s Edward, Fredrick, Arthur, Norman and a sister Greta.
GEORGE FRANCIS MOULDS
George Moulds, 33, died on 24 July, 1932 from injuries he received when he was thrown from the sulky when his pacer, Charming Ribbons, shied at a motor lorry when working on Windsor Road near Rouse Hill.
George was a fruiterer and trained a team alongside his wife, ‘Pioneering Woman’ Constance Moulds at Riverstone.
He was the father of Lawrie Moulds, a top trainer and driver after night trotting commenced. George trained winners Apia, Barlow and Ella Huon.
Harold, 39, died on Tuesday 6 December, 1932 at Northall Park in Tasmania. Rose Garland, whom he was riding, fell and Harold received a fractured skull and serious internal injuries.
Harold’s first winner was ‘Rothlind’ at Brighton in 1931 and in the 18 months prior to his death, Harold enjoyed his best period of success with 13 victories, including Wild Mick in the New Norfolk Cup.
John (Jack) Eddie, 57, died on Thursday 5 May, 1938 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital from injuries he received in a training accident on the Tuesday before.
The son-in-law of Harry Owens from Bathurst, Jack Eddie had his stables in Arundel Street, Glebe. He was in the sulky behind a mare and was leading two other horses in Ross Street as he went up the hill to Arundel Street. The mare reared and tossed him out and he hit his head and was unconscious. He never recovered and died in hospital.
Born in 1880 in Wellington in New Zealand, Jack came to Sydney at a very young age. He commenced his career in trotting in 1905 and was later a leading driver.
Jack Eddie won the Harold Park Drivers Premiership on three occasions and also tied for first with Peter Riddle on one occasion. He finished runner-up on five occasions having great battles with driving greats Peter Riddle, Jerry McDonald, Syd Ball, Herb Chant, Jack O’Shea and Jack Watts.
Jack Eddie drove/rode 236 winners at Harold Park. His best performers were Nancy E (his first winner at Kurrajong on 9 September, 1905 and first win at Harold Park on 19 December that year), Brooklyn, Dixie’s Chance, Brun, the 1931 NSW Trotters’ Derby winner in ‘Lou Spear’, Don Douglas, Nutshell, Huon Tuxedo, Winifred, Black Rock, Charming Rebel, May Wilbur and Patience Bingen (his last winning drive).
He was a crack reinsman and was frequently praised for his superior horsemanship. He was unrivalled as a trainer and driver of free-legged (unhoppled) horses.
Jack Eddie was survived by his wife Gladys and his daughter Isabelle (Bendall).
ARTHUR TEAL McINDOE
Arthur McIndoe, 44, died in hospital on 26 May, 1938 from injuries he received from a five-horse race fall at Shepparton race meeting on 4 May.
Born in 1894, Arthur was a hobby trainer and a sheet metal worker by profession and lived at Ascot Vale (near Melbourne Showgrounds). His best horse was Duke Cole, who had won five races during the season.
HENRY BENJAMIN (JACK) PHIPPS
Henry (or Jack as he was known), 34, driver of Rock Denver, was killed at the Richmond Jockey Club’s Trotting meeting at the Londonderry racecourse on 17 July, 1939. Rock Denver, who was wearing ‘No. 13’ in a race with 13 starters, fell when approaching the turn into the straight in the first race.
Phipps was thrown from his seat and hit a peg inside the track over the rail. He had a fractured skull and was rushed to hospital but died soon after admission.
He was a local from Windsor. It was reported at the time that this was the first fatal accident in trotting to any rider or driver in NSW.
WALTER JOSEPH ‘PAT’ WEEKES
Walter Weekes, 46, died on 3 June, 1949 in Orange Hospital from the injuries he received in a fall in a race at the Dubbo Show on 21 May. From Molong, Walter was a brother to well-known and successful trainers, George and Gus.
He was survived by his wife and five young children.
CECIL CHARLES ELDRIDGE
Cec, 57, of Dudley Street, Punchbowl was driving his pacer, Marshall Ayr who was involved in a five-horse race accident in race three at Mittagong, on Saturday afternoon 16 July, 1949. The leader, Tantivy (Andy Picken) crossed his legs and fell on the turn going out of the straight in the last lap. Eldridge’s horse hit the fallen horse hard, rolling completely over it. Eldridge was flung about 15 feet into the air, landing on the track beyond the horse. He died instantly. Trotting at the Mittagong Showground ceased immediately.
Cec Eldridge was a tailor who had a shop in Elizabeth Street, Sydney (facing Hyde Park) and was also a very well-known reinsman. He was one of the “representative owner, trainers and racing men” who gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee during 1938-40 to investigate the conduct and administration of racing and the aim to have trotting drivers covered by insurance. He also worked hard to have night meetings permitted in trotting (sadly he never saw this happen).
Eldridge scored his biggest win with Oro Bay in the 1945 NSW Sydney Sapling Stakes at Harold Park, a ten pound purchase by East Hills (near Bankstown) young market gardener, Jim Arentz.
Dustynite, which he trained, won a division of the ‘Harbour Bridge Cup’ run in 1932. His other good performers were Bobbie Ribbons, Packing Machine, Coachman, Punchbowl Boy, Rolly’s Image and Rock Charm.
Only the week before his passing, Eldridge had won a double with Gallant Rescue at Richmond for good friend Bruce Connelly.
In 1959, the Bankstown Trotting Club erected the ‘Cec Eldridge Memorial Stalls’ to commemorate a member of a family well-known in Bankstown.
Cecil was survived by his widow Myra, daughter Mavis and son Bruce (a leading bookmaker) and their families.
LEONARD de BANKS
Len, 43, was driving Gay Willow, owned and trained by himself, when his pacer crashed into a horse that had already fallen at the Gloucester Park race meeting on 17 September, 1949. He was thrown on the track with great force and suffered a fractured skull. He was quickly taken to Royal Perth Hospital but died shortly after admission.
De Banks was well known in Leederville where he was a partner in his fathers’ Oxford Street Butcher’s shop. He had raced pacers for a number of years and had success with Percy’s Lad and Moulyining.
The tragic accident was witnessed by his parents and his sister.
WILLIAM CHARLES PEACOCK
William Peacock, 59, of Victoria Street, Northcote, was fatally injured while exercising a horse in Leonard Crescent, Ascot Vale (near Melbourne Showgrounds) on 13 October, 1949. The horse he was driving bolted at a wet patch and hurled its sulky against a telegraph pole. Peacock was flung into the gutter on his head and died soon afterwards.
He had only that morning been taken into the employment of leading owner/trainer, Charlie Priddeth.
ALFRED EDWARD BROMFIELD
Alfred Bromfield, 73, was fatally injured while exercising his pacer, San Diego at the Kensington track at New Norfolk on 9 May, 1954. San Diego jumped forward suddenly and dislodged Alfred from the sulky. He landed on his head and was killed instantly. His son Les was standing only a few yards away when this accident happened.
Alfred was connected with trotting for over 50 years and was a member of a family well known in Tasmanian trotting. He drove Mickey Derby when he won the first race run at the Elwick Showground track. With a filly called ‘Gentle’, he won the first Sapling Stakes (1929) at Launceston.
In later years, Alfred was trainer for his son, Les (a bookmaker), at New Norfolk. The stable had many successes, namely Tipster, Turalura, Peter Norton, Ranj Lad and Postmistress. In fact Alfred’s three sons all owned, trained and drove pacers.
In his younger days, Alfred Bromfield was a general carting contractor and for years was New Norfolk’s pound keeper.
He was survived by his wife, Lillian, sons Cyril, Les and Vivian and daughters, Lorna and Laurel.
ALLAN KINTORE RICHTER
Allan, 65, died at 4pm on 19 July, 1955, three days after a fall from Wadderin Hall in the Members Handicap at Gloucester Park, Perth. Tragically the veteran reinsman was at the time thinking of retiring after a long career. He was flung from his pacer, when it stumbled, to the horror of the crowd who moments earlier were cheering the titanic dual in the lead of the race.
Richter had won aboard Wadderin Hill in a Free-For-All only three weeks before at 16/1 over Kellett and Beaudale at Gloucester Park.
PHILLIP THOMAS ANDREWS
Phil Andrews, 69, died in May, 1957 from injuries he received a week earlier when thrown from the sulky at the Cowra trials. Phil was a trainer/driver for over three decades in Cowra and won several premierships at Cowra & Young. His best horses were Flash Silver, Lachlander, Lachamfer, Double Blonde, Lachalier, Lachaglen and Graham’s Fling.
He was survived by his wife, Mary and 11 children, with most of them well served with their father’s love for horses.
GEORGE RICHARD SAUNDERS
George, 39, died on 3 September, 1957 as a result of injuries he received in an accident during the August carnival meeting of the Golden Mile Trotting Club at Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia.
His good winners included Bronze Sheik (who won at Kellerberrin on 20 October 1954), Surrender and Vinhalia. He was survived by his wife and three young children.
Sid Harpley, of Temora, a member of a well-known trotting family, died from injuries received in a crash during a trotting race at the Temora Show, on its old track, on 30 September, 1957. He received multiple fractures to the spine when his horse and two others were involved in a fall.
Sid Harpley trained and drove pacers as a hobby. He inherited his love of the horses from his father, Bill Harpley. He was a cousin of Eric Harpley, one of the best trainers in NSW.
ARCHIBALD ULRICH EGAN
Popular and a colourful personality and a very successful reinsman, Arch Egan was involved in a nasty fall from his pacer, Civil Centre at Menangle on 17 September, 1958. He failed to regain consciousness and passed away in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital nine days later on 26 September.
Egan, 53, was born and lived in Nowra all his life. A carrier and shop assistant in his younger days, Arch had a dairy property at Nowra which kept him pretty busy.
Arch Egan drove his first official race winner, Miss Pronto, at the combined gallops/trotting meeting at Nowra on 29 September, 1923. Miss Pronto was to provide Egan with his next three race wins at combined gallops/trotting meetings at Cambewarra, Nowra and Greenwell Point on the South Coast.
He trained a team for years but in the mid-50’s decided to drive only in races and was in high demand. He once said, “I travel more than 8,000 miles from Nowra each year to drive at 40 Harold Park meetings and the country tracks. The cost of gear and having a good float was too great, so I will only drive in races. Easier to manage”.
Arch Egan had great success at Harold Park with the classy Cup winning pacer Blue Gamble, who won 14 races at Harold Park, the 1953 Coronation Cup, the 1953 NACO 500 Cup at the Sydney Show, which was the rich trotting prize in Australian Show history, and multiple 1956 Inter Dominion heats.
He drove Petty Officer to win the 1953 Harold Park Summer Cup for trainer Charlie Muddle. He won the heat and Final of both the 1956 Goulburn Sapling Stakes and the 1956 NSW Youthful Stakes with two-year-old General Scott.
Arch Egan drove a winner at the opening night race meeting at Nowra on 14 September, 1951 and trained and drove four winners at Goulburn meeting that year. He finished second to Alf Phillis in the 1954/55 season Harold Park Drivers’ Premiership.
He was much sought after and a very successful freelance reinsman, driving for trainers like Charlie Muddle and ER (Ned) Smith.
Arch Egan’s last winning drive was aboard Westgrove Boy at Bulli on 2 September, 1958. The same pacer was actually his last four winning drives and his last Harold Park winner on 24 May that year.
He was said to be “an artist. He drives with seeming unconcern, but knows exactly where he is going and can time a run to the last yard.”
He was survived by his wife, Irene (Renee to her friends).
DENNIS MERVYN CARN
Dennis Carn, at only 17 years of age, was killed while exercising his pacer on the road near his home at North Henty on 8 February, 1964.
The budding young trainer/driver had a great love for horses and had only a handful of race drives. He was only just entering the sport, with the support of his family, when he tragically lost his life.
CHARLES HENRY GLADSTONE BURNELL
Charles Burnell, 63, was fatally injured when exercising a pacer at Pardoe Beach, Devonport on 29 September, 1964. He received severe head injuries when the pacer jumped an object on the beach. He was thrown forward underneath the horse.
Charles was an owner, breeder and trainer and driver, who originally from Melbourne. He bred the top performer Black Globe in 1930 who won races in Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia.
In the season prior to his passing, he won 8 of 12 starts with smart pacer Tenth Rose, including the Sheffield and Metropolitan Cups. His other good performers were Aluminous (nine wins), Divulge, Warringa Boy (five wins) and Rose Rae (four wins).
Charles was a Devonport Councillor and in 1954 was elected Chairman of the Devonport Trotting Club. Previously he was President of the Devonport Flying Club and successfully raced homing pigeons. His aunty was ‘Dame Enid Lyons’, the wife of Australian Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons (1932 – 1938).
He survived by his wife and three daughters.
JOHN ARTHUR WILSON
John (Jack) Wilson, 53, died on 24 March, 1966. Jack was returning from Lord’s Raceway, Junourton and had almost reached home when his young pacer shied, throwing Jack in the path of a heavily laden truck of clay. His death was a shock to all that knew him. He was reaping the rewards of hard work and saving.
Jack Wilson had climbed from the bottom rung of the ladder and, with his good wife, built a lovely training establishment overhanging the Bendigo track. Countless young horses, both trotters and pacers and also gallopers, passed yearly through his hands.
He was survived by his wife Winifred and children, John and Janice.
ALEXANDER MILNE BRUMBRIDGE
Alec was born at Belmore in Sydney in 1926. He moved at Queensland in the late 1950’s.
He was 42 years of age when he was involved in a fall at Albion Park on Saturday night 5 July, 1969. Driving Saloon Scott in race six, the horse in front of him, Regal Pete (Jim O’Sullivan) fell and Alec was thrown heavily to the track.
Officials rushed to the scene but sadly died in the ambulance before it left the track.
COLIN ANDERSON FITZPATRICK
Colin, 57, fell from his pacer Bannock Rob just after the start in a race at Hawkesbury on 6 December, 1972. He died 3 days later in hospital from his injuries.
He was a Committeeman of the Penrith Trotting Club from 1963 up to his death in 1972. A very successful businessman, Colin was a member of the NSW Trotting Club and in 1968 was made an ‘Honorary Life Member’ of Trotting by the industry.
The great pacer Mount Eden was stabled at FitzPatrick’s ‘Minnaville’ property at Castlereagh when he won the 1971 Miracle Mile.
Distant Peak was a pacer he had a win (and a run of thirteen placings) with during 1958 at Harold Park.
He was survived by his wife Anne, two daughters (Wendy MacPherson and Rhonda Blackall) and son, Robert. He was also survived by his brother Gordon and sister, Jean Cook.
STEPHEN ALISTAIR WESTON
Steve, a popular reinsman and true gentleman, was only 37 years of age when he was involved in bad four-horse fall from Hunter Cup winning pacer Dixie Boy in a Free-For-All at Kembla on 11 June 1974. He died the next day in Wollongong Hospital from his head injuries.
Weston worked for a living at the wharves but drove freelance for a number of battling trainers around Sydney and of course stable driving duties for his father-in-law, Dinny Byrnes.
In his early years he learnt the trade from Charlie Parsons and Claude Tupper at Bankstown. He worked for Gordon Rothacker in Victoria; for Hugh & Claude Cameron in Adelaide, where he drove his first winner, Carlotta Harwood at Mt Gambier as a 17-year-old and back home for Max Treuer in Bankstown.
His drove winners for trainers of the likes of Ted Moon, Cobber Elliott, Sam Aggett, Mrs Marcia Pearce, William Sultana, Bill Speedy, Vern Norrgard, Harold Reeves and John Cooke.
His biggest win was aboard the Wally Townsend trained, Todman, who won the 1963 Tom Austin Cup at Richmond. The last of Steve’s 133 career wins was aboard First Cover, that he trained himself, in a two-year-old pace at Harold Park on 24 May, 1974, only three weeks before his passing.
Following his death, the Professional Horseman’s Association and both the NSW Trotting Club and Trotguide help his family greatly and set up the ‘Steve Weston Family Assistance Fund’. His funeral was a huge gathering and the most hardened trotting owners, trainers, drivers and officials wept unashamedly.
Steve Weston was survived by his loving widow, Lorraine and sons Shaun (13), Christopher (12) and daughter Keryn (10). His father-in-law was Dinny Byrnes and brother-in-law was Bill Hansell.
Steve Weston’s eldest son Shaun later, in 1978, drove a winner at Harold Park to emulate both his father and grandfather, while his other son, Chris, had a successful career as a jockey, worked for Tommy Smith, Mick & Maureen Dittman, Graham Begg and was Clerk of the Course for the AJC.
KEITH PATRICK BARRY
Keith, 41, died as the result of injuries received in a race fall at Nyah on 29 August, 1975. The local Swan Hill hobby trainer died following extensive injuries when he was tossed high into the air and over 30 feet over the running rail into the centre of the track from his drive Celia Adios.
He had driven a dozen winners in his ten years as a trainer.
He was survived by his wife, Betty, and six children aged 18, 16, 14, 7, 4 and eight months. The Northern Region Trotting Association in Victoria and several clubs set up an appeal to assist his young family.
LEONARD JOSEPH CHARLES TOWERS
Len Towers, 45, was involved in a race fall at Horsham, on the old Showgrounds track, on 3 January, 1976 and died the next day in hospital. He was driving his own horse Grand Con when the horse fell a lap after the start.
From Mount Rowan (near Ballarat), Towers was a successful Studmaster (Rowan Lea Stud) and had good success with smart open class pacer and Milk Board Cup winner Grecian Star, and General Con. His last smart performer was Loyal Bill.
He survived by his wife Lillian and seven children, Len 22, Marilyn 19, Gwenda 18, Peter 16, Geoffrey 13, Cheryl 11 and Mark 4.
COLIN ARTHUR WALKER
Colin Arthur Walker, 44, passed away at Wagga Base Hospital. His passing was the result of an accident in a race at the Leeton Paceway on 2 January, 1978, from which he never regained consciousness.
Born on 10 June, 1933, he was the fifth and youngest child to Lindsay and Eileen Walker from Ariah Park.
He started driving at 15 years and won many races throughout New South Wales and Victoria. During the 1955-56 seasons he drove good pacer, Spring Scott for Karl Goesch of Narrandera with great success. He won a double at the Melbourne Showgrounds one night in 1956 with Spring Scott and his father’s horse, Ulie. His last winning drive was Holdit (in a 28P at Wagga on 28 December, 1977), owned by good friend George Lawrence, a week before the race accident.
Eden Joe, his promising three-year-old, won a heat & Final series at Wagga after the accident, with son, Raymond, in the sulky.
He was survived by his wife, Patricia and children Susan and trotting driving sons Raymond and Ian. His brother, Brian, was also a reinsman. At his funeral, the casket was draped in the Walker family colours of ‘Royal Blue with gold spots’.
Leonard George Schoenauer, 57, was tragically killed while exercising a youngster at his Hemmant (near Brisbane) property in May, 1978.
Born on 13 December, 1921 in Manly, Queensland, he served during World War II. A professional of 12 years standing, he handled former boom pacer Hamilcar Chief in some of his northern engagements.
His wife, Linda (died aged 72 on 14 October, 2004) was the owner and trainer of Hamilcar Chief, who won at Albion Park’s opening night trotting meeting in September, 1968.
Canowindra reinsman Percy Bermingham, 48, suffered severe head injuries when a five-horse fall occurred at the 400 metre mark in a race at Cowra on 30 December, 1978. He died five days later in Orange Hospital as a result of the injuries.
His last winning drive was recorded at Cowra on 14 October, 1978 when he won a maiden pace aboard Grogan Grand.
He was survived by his wife Betty and daughter Gail and son John.
JOHN ANTHONY SNOW
John, 49, died as a result of injuries received from a training accident at his property at Jandakot, a suburb of Perth on 8 December, 1979. He had lived in Perth for a few years.
Formerly from Blacktown in Sydney when he trained trotters, pacers and occasionally a galloper, he moved to Western Australia in 1975.
John Snow trained trotter La Jose to four Harold Park wins in the 1960’s and the 1962 VL Dullard Trotters Cup (with Wally Wood at the reins) at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Snow also won on the same trotter, off 120-yards, at Menangle in August, 1962.
He trained Bright Circle to the 1975 Summer Trotters Cup win at Harold Park with Kevin Newman in the sulky.
At the time of his death, Snow was training Ataglance, a promising trotter in Perth. Ataglance, a trotter by Halwes, had won two-year-old trotters races at both Kapunda and Gawler, with John at the reins in June and July, 1979.
LESLIE PETER HILDEBRANDT
Les Hildebrandt, 27, died in hospital on Monday 18 February, 1985, as the result of injuries he received in a fall at the Moama trials the previous Thursday. He suffered head injuries in the three-horse fall that also included Garth McVeigh and Russell Thomson.
From Elmore, Les was a butcher by trade and had five horses in work and was trying to establish himself.
He was survived by his wife Aileen and two young children aged five and nine months.
ROBERT NORMAN (BOB) HOLT
Bob Holt, 55, died in hospital on 15 June, 1985, as the result of injuries he received a few days earlier when a motor vehicle had collided with his sulky as he was driving pacer, Mister Statesman, to the old Sturt-Marion trialling track (around Marion Oval), located south-east of the Adelaide CBD, from his nearby stables.
Bob Holt was prominent in thoroughbred racing as a leading jumps jockey, who won features races in several states. He also broke in race horses and took part in the early education of 1960 Adelaide Cup winner, Lourdale.
But his background was in harness racing as his father, Jack Holt, used to ride standardbreds in events at Thebarton Oval over 50 years earlier.
A painting contractor, Bob Holt only trained a few pacers at any time but was associated with some good performers Equus and Manoora Prince (four wins). In recent years, Bob had driven Historic Tempo to seven wins at Kapunda, Gawler (five) and Globe Derby twice.
Paul Hally died in Prince Alfred Hospital in Melbourne on 25 January, 1987, as the result of injuries from a race fall at Warragul on Tuesday night, 20 January, 1987. Hally, 27, fell from Eagle Attack, and were thrown over the running rail. He was in a coma and subsequently died from the massive head injuries.
Born in Kyabram, his family moved to Warragul (then later Hamilton) when he was young. Hally had previously won with Eagle Attack at the Elmore restricted meeting on 14 December; at Bendigo 17 December, 1986 and at Wangaratta on 16 January, 1987.
Paul Hally was a protégé of Bill Bond and as a youngster spent time in Canada. Bond had sold his good trotter, Jack Ardri, there but they couldn’t get him going. So the Canadian stables of Clure Archdekin paid for Hally to go over there to get Jack Ardri going, as Hally seemed the only person to get on well with the horse. It worked, Jack Ardri went on to break his duck and go on to win 17 races in Canada and Paul Hally stayed on there to gain more valuable experience.
He lived at Strathmore, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs at the time of his death. He was an Executive Member and Assistant Secretary and Minute-Secretary of the M & C.T.A and worked part time as a Sports Journalist with Australian Associated Press. His main job was a senior position within the superannuation department of CML Insurance at the time of his death.
Paul was survived by his wife, Anne, who continued to race a few of his horses after his death.
HELEN MARY RYE
Helen Rye, 46, died in hospital on 5 February, 1996, as the result of injuries she received in a fall at the Sunday Canowindra trials. She was a hobby trainer and driver who potted around racing pacers in the Western Districts.
Her most successful pacer was Lustrous Caesar, who won five races in 1988 and ran some 13 placings as well. Her other winners included Keystone Pride, Hound Dog Raider, Mohakito and Spanish Silver.
Helen Rye was survived by three daughters and her son, Shannon, himself a successful trainer and driver.
GLENN NEVILLE TOMLIN
Glenn was 22 when he died after a training mishap at his parents (stalwarts Bill and Pam) training establishment at Medowie on 10 April, 1997. He was driving a young pacer when it spooked and bolted and Tomlin was thrown from the sulky.
In a short career he drove 20 winners and won with Clever Nugent (three wins), Classic Tori, Manwarra Blur (two wins), Stylish Manwarra and Strong Manwarra in the recent times before his sad passing that devastated the Newcastle community.
Glenn worked at Jarvie Engineering, but was in the process of setting-up his establishment at home at his parent’s property to tackle the sport on a full-time basis when he was tragically killed.
Glenn’s last race drive was aboard Lord Delwin, who finished midfield, at Newcastle om 22 March, 1997.
Launched in 2000, the “Glenn Tomlin Memorial Young Drivers’ Championship” is run annually at the Newcastle Paceway to honour the memory of Glenn and showcases the great junior talent on offer each year in the Hunter Valley.
BARRY JOHN POWER
Barry, 60, died on 21 July, 2007, from the terrible injuries he received in a fall at the Trundle race meeting back on 25 June, 1994. The Trundle Club never raced after this day.
Barry was a hobby trainer and driver and his main job was as an Inspector of Stock with the Department of Agriculture, a position he had to forego after the accident.
His best pacer was Kayrica Princess that he trained and won eight races with. The mare won at Canberra, Dubbo, Blayney, Bathurst, Forbes, Parkes (twice) and Penrith. She finished third in the Star Trek Final at Bathurst in 1986.
Barry was survived by his widow, Kay, and daughters Denise and Wendy and their families.
DAVID IAN HODGES
David, 61, died on 13 November, 2008, as the result of injuries he received in a freak fall from a pacer he was working at the Young Paceway.
David was described as a one in a million with a heart of gold, an amazing worker and all-round good guy and a legend. He was well liked and a respected businessman and sportsman in Parkes for many years including winning numerous Spaceman Player of the Year awards.
His love of rugby league was high on his list of achievements, representing Western Division. He won multiple Rugby League Premierships with Parkes and was Captain-Coach of Peak Hill who really cared for his players – especially the young ones, before moving to Canberra to take up a position in the Fire Brigade.
David moved to Young and was President of the Young Harness Racing Club for more than four years.
He was a successful trainer and driver. His best performers were Nikalong Adios (15 wins) and Gavro (14 wins). These two pacers provided him one of his greatest moments when they both scored at Harold Park on 28 April, 1995, with Darren Hancock in the sulky.
Marcus Mainbrace won 12 races for David and his wife, Sharon, before being sold to race in America. Alacarte and Paleface Rose was other winners, while Who Told Nan won five races and finished third at Wagga, with David in the sulky, only six days before his sad passing.
David was survived by his wife Sharon and his children and grandchildren (that he coached in junior football).
KEITH JAMES THOMSON
Keith, 70, died on 2 April, 2010, the result of terrible injuries he received in a fall working a pacer at the Parkes Showground in February, 2008.
He was left a quadriplegic after the accident. After the accident, the Parkes community and harness racing fraternity held a gala auction and dinner to raise funds to help Keith and his family. Keith was ‘overwhelmed’ by the support.
Keith battled away in harness racing for over 50 years and met with mediocre success. His most notable winners included Glendon Miss, Portellis Gift, Newtown Lil and Frednsue.
Keith was survived by his devoted wife, June, and five children, Mark, Darryl, Brett, Suzanne (Dean) and Megan (Heraghty). Keith’s grandson, James Dean, is a current harness racing driver living in Bathurst.
Danielle, 28, was killed at the Cranbourne training complex on Monday 15 September, 2014, when she was flung from the sulky when the horse she was driving took fright.
She had only just started to make strides in harness racing, having previously attended the Gippsland Harness Training Centre as a 15-year-old and also spent time working in New Zealand with leading horseman, Tony Herlihy.
She was living with close friend, successful trainer and driver, Simone Walker, at their Pearcedale property. She was originally from Yarra Valley.
Danielle was remembered as a “diamond in the rough with a heart of gold”. As a reinswomen, she drove her first winner, aboard ‘Gunnas Rule’ for local trainer Ping Lam Chan, at Warragul on 15 October, 2008.
Danielle went on to drive 10 winners form 135 drives.
She won seven races with her favourite horse, Kiss Kenny (for fellow trainer Greg Hansen) including an Australasian Breeders Crown repechage win at Kilmore and a Melton win only a month before her sad passing.
COLLAPSED AND DIED DURING A RACE:
Over the years there have been a number of drivers that have tragically died as the result of having a heart attack during the running of a race and/or at the conclusion of a race and have fallen to the track or into the dust sheet.
‘We pay our respects’ to these persons as well.
These include (but not limited too):
Jack Lynch, 55, at Geelong 21 June, 1927 (Collapsed near finish from apoplectic seizure)
James Mason-Wells, at Griffith Gymkhana 20 October, 1946 (collapsed and died after finishing second in the first trial)
James Cavanagh, 61, at Bulli 26 December, 1946 (Collapsed in sulky when leading the Bulli Cup field)
Cliff Brown, 43, at Warragul 27 May, 1950 (Collapsed and died in the sulky)
John Frederick Massey, 62, at Victor Harbour SA 23 October, 1951 (finished sixth in a race and collapsed and died while walking back to float)
George ‘Shaver’ Reid, 47, at Healesville 2 November, 1957 (led, had heart attack, collapsed into sulky)
Herbert Victor Dixon, 47, at Terang 15 December, 1964 (Collapsed and fell from sulky)
Samuel Clarence (George) Coles, at Broken Hill 19 April, 1965 (a Trotting Pioneer in the area, he collapsed and died while driving in a race)
Denison Paul Scanes, 35, at Harold Park 17 October, 1969 (Died heart attack and fell from sulky when driving Faultless)
A.W. (Bill) Reynolds, 52, at Wyong 26 August, 1974 (Died heart attack, collapsed from sulky)
Alexander Henry Morton, 53, at Nyah 5 January, 1976 (collapsed as he took ‘Big League’ to the marshalling yard prior to the running of the 3YO Cup)
Bernie McConnell, 37, at Yarra Glen 6 November, 1984 (Died heart attack, collapsed from sulky)
Malcolm ‘Pat’ Bellman, 61, at Ballarat 20 May, 1986 (Died heart attack, collapsed from sulky)
Colin Gee, 64, at Forbes 3 June, 1994 (Died heart attack, collapsed from sulky finish race eight)
Ray Reid at Toowoomba late 1980’s (Died heart attack just as race finished)
Ralph Phillips, 70, at Gold Coast 17 August, 2000 (Died heart attack, collapsed from sulky)
Colin Crawford, at Globe Derby Park in 2007/08 season (died from heart attack, collapsed from sulky)