Re­searcher in hall of fame

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY TONY LO­GAN

Pas­sion­ate har­ness-rac­ing his­to­rian John Peck was last week in­ducted into the Victorian Har­ness Rac­ing Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Fame at a gala din­ner at Tab­corp Park, Mel­ton.

Among Peck’s mul­ti­tude of achieve­ments is his mag­nif­i­cent 72-page pro­duc­tion, Hor­sham Har­ness Rac­ing His­tory, of­fi­cially launched by for­mer Mem­ber for Lowan Hugh De­lahunty at the club’s cen­te­nary meet­ing on March 10, 2014.

In Oc­to­ber 2013, while re­search­ing for the com­mem­o­ra­tive book, Peck cap­ti­vated guests in at­ten­dance at a Hor­sham awards din­ner with an amaz­ing off-the-cuff ‘sto­ry­time’ of trot­ting in Hor­sham district from the 1880s through to the early 1950s.

Trot­ting jour­nal­ist Max Agnew said Peck has pro­vided the fol­low­ing;

When still a teenager, John Peck be­gan work for the Aus­tralian Trot­ting Record in West Mel­bourne un­til its clo­sure, when he moved on to the Aus­tralian Trot­ting Coun­cil, now Har­ness Rac­ing Aus­tralia.

Dur­ing this pe­riod John briefly took over the role of Aus­tralian Sec­re­tary of the Coun­cil and for a time was the of­fi­cial Keeper of the Stud Book, un­til de­cid­ing to take his leave.

His pas­sion for har­ness rac­ing his­tory over the fol­low­ing years would see him spend hours most weeks at the State Li­brary delv­ing into old news­pa­pers and records. But for John, much of this early de­tail of the in­dus­try’s past might well have been lost in the mists of time.

John later spent time with Har­ness Rac­ing Vic­to­ria and then be­gan the pub­li­ca­tion, Har­ness Rac­ing In­ter­na­tional, which he edited for more than a decade, col­lect­ing nu­mer­ous na­tional me­dia awards along the way for his won­der­ful sto­ries.

Per­haps his crown­ing glory is his re­mark­able on­line data­base of elite per­form­ers listed in what is named ‘Clas­sic Fam­i­lies’ a ma­jor work he co-wrote with Dr Ron Groves from Perth, and Peter Charles from New Zealand.

Be­cause of his pas­sion for the sport, John has for many years been mak­ing an in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to har­ness rac­ing and is to­day recog­nised as the most out­stand­ing au­thor­ity on the Aus­tralian in­dus­try.

John Peck thor­oughly de­serves his recog­ni­tion tonight and we wel­come his in­duc­tion into Har­ness Rac­ing’s Hall Of Fame.

Any­one in­ter­ested in ob­tain­ing a copy of John’s book, Hor­sham Har­ness Rac­ing Club His­tory can call Tony Lo­gan on 0427 857 411 or email an­tho­ny­olo­gan@hot­mail.com.

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