Bit of ad­vice to pun­ters

’ Bet on the good ones,’ quips trainer

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - IVY JAMES

CHAR­TERS Tow­ers horse trainer Bill Hether­ing­ton, owner of win­ning horse Like­fa­ther­like­son, is ex­cited to have all four of his horses com­pet­ing at the Tow­ers Jockey Club’s Ru­ral Race Day on Satur­day.

Get­ting his horses into gear for the event, Mr Hether­ing­ton said he’s look­ing for­ward to a win.

“I’ve got to have them look­ing good for the races,” he said. “Well I sham­poo and clean them, I do it all my­self. I’ve been do­ing it since 1974.”

Mr Hether­ing­ton said that de­spite be­ing of­fi­cially re­tired, horse train­ing was still his full- time job.

“It gives you some­thing to do you know, be­cause I’m 72 and it beats sit­ting at home watch­ing TV,” he said.

“I rode a lot of horses back in the day and that’s def­i­nitely come in handy as a trainer. It’s just the sort of thing that grew on me as I got older.”

Iron­i­cally, Mr Hether­ing­ton said he wouldn’t ad­vise any­one to buy horses or look into horse train­ing as a boom­ing ca­reer op­tion.

“A bloke from Bowen, he said buy­ing and train­ing a horse is a very poor in­vest­ment,” he said.

“You’ve got the blokes that barter in the metro and, well, they buy the best.

“Blokes in the bush don’t get enough com­pe­ti­tions.

“You can’t get no wa­ter in the river, you got a bit of grass, but just not enough wa­ter and horses do drink a lot of wa­ter.

“When they don’t win, horses they’re very ex­pen­sive.

“If you’re look­ing to buy a horse, look at its history.

“It’s a bit of a lucky dip isn’t it, take a look and see if it can gal­lop or not,” he quipped.

Grow­ing up with 17 sib­lings on a farm, he said his dad taught him ev­ery­thing he knows about cat­tle and horses.

“We got a big fam­ily you know – 12 boys and six girls,” he said.

“It was a lot of fun hav­ing so many sib­lings.

“We had to go to school and all that sort of thing, but we still had to milk the cows, about 80 to 100 head be­fore we went and we’d come home from school, bring in the cows and milk them again.

“I’ve got four sons my­self. They’re not into horses like I am, but they sure do love it when I win.”

Asked if he had a favourite horse, he gave the sort of re­ply only a true horse lover would give: “I don’t have a favourite horse be­cause they’re all favourites.”

The jovial horse trainer also had some ad­vice for pun­ters at the races next week.

“Bet on the good ones, that’s the only thing I’ll say,” he said.

The race day fea­tures a five- race card and North­ern Miner Fash­ions on the Field. Gates open at 11.30am.

BEATS WORK­ING: He might be of­fi­cially re­tired, but Bill Hether­ing­ton says train­ing is his full- time job and he’s ex­cited to have Lofty's Mate among all four of his horses rac­ing this week­end.

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