Tough job of the race caller

Central Telegraph - - SPORT - Vanessa Jar­rett Vanessa.Jar­rett@cen­tral­tele­graph.com.au

THERE are many jobs that go into the races, from the bar­tender to the sec­re­tary, the gate keeper, the book­ies and Dar­ren Walker’s job – race caller.

Dar­ren be­gan call­ing races at a young age.

“I first got into it when I was about 15 in Glad­stone,” Dar­ren said.

He grew up around the race­track with his fa­ther as a horse trainer.

“Dad was train­ing the horses and the bloke that was do­ing the race call­ing gave it away and so Dad had to fill in but he wasn’t that keen so he taught me how to do it,” he said.

“And I have kept do­ing it.” The job of race call­ing isn’t just call­ing what the race num­ber is, it is stat­ing over the mi­cro­phone which horses are com­ing first and com­ing up.

“It is all about mem­o­ris­ing, as­so­ci­at­ing the horse with the colours,” Dar­ren said.

Mov­ing around a bit, Dar­ren first started race call­ing out at Thangool Cup in the early 90s.

Last year he picked up the mi­cro­phone at the Thangool Cup for the first time in 25 years.

“I was ap­proached by Pat Bren­nan to do it again,” Dar­ren said.

“And you don’t say no to him.”

Over the years Dar­ren said he had seen the an­nual Thangool Cup race meet get big­ger and big­ger.

“It cer­tainly has grown in size a lot,” he said.

“The crowd has grown im­mensely.”

Dar­ren said he couldn’t quite put his fin­ger on why it had grown to be so big but said it was great to see.

“Ev­ery­one wants to be there and it is a big so­cial event on the cal­en­der,” he said.

The pop­u­lar­ity could have some­thing to do with the hard-work­ing Thangool Race Club com­mit­tee.

“They are a good com­mit­tee,” Dar­ren said.

“They put in a lot of ex­tra hours.

“A lot of un­paid hours. The races to­mor­row are ex­pected to be a big one with mar­quees and ta­bles all booked out.

“There will be a lot of peo­ple, it will be stand­ing room only,” Dar­ren said.

PHOTO: VANESSA JAR­RETT

Dar­ren Walker’s job as race caller calls for a good eye and a steady nerve.

PHOTO: VANESSA JAR­RETT

Who is in the lead? Thangool race meet ear­lier in the year.

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