Researcher in hall of fame
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 anthonyolo[email protected]mail.com.