Night of nights at Callaghan Park for Racing Industry Awards: By Tony McMahon
Published 18 November 2022
The Rockhampton Jockey Club staged the 2021-22 season Industry Awards presentation ceremony in The Members at Callaghan Park on Thursday night after the November 17 race meeting.
Premier trainer Clint Taylor and his wife and working partner Erin drew a warm response from attendees for the success they have achieved in just a few short years in Rockhampton.
The couple are tireless workers and explained it was a big gamble to move from rural Condamine on the Western Downs and relocate in Rockhampton just after Christmas in 2018.
“Erin and I and the two girls arrived here with three horses and believe me it was tough for the first few years. Rockhampton provided better opportunities all round and especially for the daughters schooling. It has proven to have worked out very well and there are so many people to thank”, Clint said.
All up including his 21 Rockhampton winners last season, Taylor trained 54 winners throughout Queensland involving almost 78,000km in floating his horses to race meetings.
He now has around 30 horses in training and praised Erin and his staff, whom Clint said the award came about through “a team effort’’.
In an interview with MC Russell Leonard, the trainer said stable star Chinny Boon was “flying” while rating earlier Thursday Maiden winner Divine Purpose potentially “as the second-best horse I have trained”.
Earlier during Thursday’s race meeting, the RJC made a presentation to last season’s leading jockey, the Brisbane based Ryan Wiggins who top scored with 32 winners.
Right on Cue, Wiggins rode four winners of the eight-race card – John Wigginton’s In Evidence, Ricky Vale’s Divide The Sea, Fred Smith’s Valtino and Nick Walsh trained Milo Man.
Kerrod Smyth, trainer of Mocial Chief, the RJC Horse of the Year praised his wife Glenda for her support whereby she owns the award-winning horse and five others in the stable.
“Glenda is my biggest owner and Mocial Chief was a cheap online purchase ($4500) and has been a very good acquisition”, hands-on trainer Kerrod said.
Premier last season apprentice Tahlia Fenlon, also the winner of the Mackay jockey’s premiership spoke of her hopes to get back to riding very soon.
‘’The doctors say about another six weeks but I’d like to be back sooner than that”, Tahlia said.
She has been sidelined with a broken ankle since mid-September, the consequence of a pre-race accident at Twin Hills.
Strapper of the Year, Will Johnston was a very busy man as he also accepted the trophy for his boss, trainer Graeme Green for Ahooshu winning the 3YO of the Year.
Will 18, spoke with the aplomb of one well above his years and praised mentor Graeme Green for his invaluable assistance in tutoring him in the ways of training.
Kris Hansen, son of trainer Kevin and Donna was named Barrier Attendant of the Year,
Formerly employed with the Gold Coast Turf Club, Kris’s experience working behind the barriers has been widespread and he is one of Rockhampton’s most sought-after track work riders.
Sam Conway accepted the trophy on behalf of her brother the trainer Tom Smith who prepared 2YO of the Year in Better Rain.
Tom had a good excuse for missing the presentation ceremony as he is in England for the World Cup Final.
RJC CEO Ian Mill congratulated all award winners who were presented with engraved trophies while the winning horses didn’t miss out either with rugs bearing their names.