When you’ve been involved in various ways in a job for more than 36 years, or about half your life, it is a bit of a wrench to give it up. However, for a number of reasons, I’ve decided that it’s time to call time on my time as Secretary of the Trainers & Drivers Assn, as I have no wish to simply hang around until I’m not capable of doing a decent job anymore.
Without getting too sentimental, it’s been a blast and a revelation, considering when I arrived in NZ as a 12 year-old, I was scared of horses and I’d never heard of harness racing. That changed when I went to Riccarton High School (aka the Apprentice School), and found myself associating with guys who were as addicted to horse racing as I became soon after, although instead of going the more popular thoroughbred way, I veered off to trotting, going to my first NZ Cup in 1968, and attending every one since.
Like the follower of any sport, the participants soon became idols and when I saw a position of secretary of the ill-fated Harness Horse Association advertised, I applied and got the job. While that didn’t work out well, it did get me onto a rung of the ladder and the current position, and I found myself mingling and getting to know horse trainers and drivers on a first name basis, which I have often compared to being on the same footing as a rugby follower knowing the All Blacks. Probably sounds a bit silly, but I still get the same buzz today, albeit a little less starry eyed!
It's been a bit of a roller coaster at times, but having worked with many of the games’ legends on various committees over the years, I consider it a privilege to have been involved, and would like to thank everyone who has helped (and on occasions) hindered me over the years.
My passion for harness racing will live on in me until I fall off the perch, and I wish my successor and the Trainers & Drivers Association every success in the future.