In­dus­try vet­eran re­mains on track

Leigh lends help­ing hand at Gayn­dah race meet­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

LEIGH Far­rell once owned a share in a race horse. That as­so­ci­a­tion ended more than 40 years ago but ever since he has felt a kin­ship with the world of horse rac­ing.

While he no longer has ties to any par­tic­u­lar horse, Mr Far­rell is still in­volved in the thoroughbred rac­ing in­dus­try just not in an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity.

In­stead, the 61-year-old vol­un­teers his time to the Gayn­dah Jockey Club and was on deck when the club hosted a race meet on Satur­day.

“I’m not part of the jockey club but I choose to help out around the place in the lead-up to the races,” Mr Far­rell said.

“Things like clean­ing out the toi­lets and mak­ing sure we don’t have any frogs or any­thing mak­ing it their home.”

Mr Far­rell said coun­try race meets have an at­mos­phere all of their own and de­clared the North Bur­nett lucky to have three race tracks still host­ing meets.

“It’s a bit of a shame that other places like Eidsvold and Mount Perry only get one race a year but that is still bet­ter than the al­ter­na­tive,” he said.

“Gayn­dah be­ing able to re­tain two a year is a good thing as well.”

Mr Far­rell has been a ded­i­cated mem­ber of the Gayn­dah Jockey Club for 15 years and said that while on the sur­face it doesn’t look like much had changed, the club is al­ways work­ing at ways to im­prove each race race meet.

“The course is good and has its own unique type of flavour,” he said.

“I think peo­ple get a lot of fun out of th­ese race days.”

Mr Far­rell said while there was plenty of sup­port for the race meet­ings, he

❝ I’m not part of the jockey club but I choose to help out around the place in the lead-up to the races. — Leigh Far­rell

was hope­ful oth­ers would con­sider join­ing the vol­un­teer ranks to help keep rac­ing alive in Gayn­dah.

“We are ac­tu­ally in need of some more vol­un­teers al­ready,” he said.

“It would be good to see the next gen­er­a­tion of sup­port­ers get on board and help out.”

Mr Far­rell said horse rac­ing was a pas­sion and vol­un­teer­ing al­lowed him to re­main in­volved in the in­dus­try.

“I en­joy be­ing able to help out where I can and be a part of get­ting the races go­ing,” he said.

“I had that share in a race horse over 40 years ago so my as­so­ci­a­tion with the sport goes back quite a while.”

Mr Far­rell sur­ren­dered his in­vest­ment in the race horse af­ter it did not win a race. Un­for­tu­nately, not long af­ter he pulled out of the syn­di­cate the horse started to pro­duce re­sults.

“I prob­a­bly pulled out at the wrong time,” Mr Far­rell said.

Mr Far­rell said there was not a lot as­so­ci­ated with own­ing a share in a horse, al­though you could help with the nam­ing.

“If I re­mem­ber right, you have to sub­mit three names for con­sid­er­a­tion,” he said.

“And af­ter a race horse is re­tired that name is not able to be used for a pe­riod of time.”

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

DED­I­CATED VOL­UN­TEER: Leigh Far­rell helps keep track of things at the Gayn­dah Jockey Club.

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