Welburn & Booth Trackside Again

Published 8 August 2022

Welburn & Booth Trackside Again

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I have been waiting for literally ages to get a snap of retired jockeys Wally Welburn and Geoffrey Booth together on a racecourse again. Between them the pair had over 70 years of riding winners at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse in the city where their names were instantly associated with horse racing.

I don’t intend to elaborate on their successful riding careers too much suffice to say that between them they rode well in excess of 2000 winners with the vast majority at Callaghan Park racecourse. Wally, 13 times Rockhampton premier jockey retired young for a hoop at 50 on December 28, 2001. His most notable Callaghan Park win was aboard Pathfinder Force in the 1984 Rockhampton Cup for Brian Rosel.
Geoffrey rode on until February 8, 2007 when he hung up his saddle aged 57. Winning on Rash Action at Eagle Farm on July 25, 1998 is one success Geoffrey will always treasure.

Anyhow, at Keppel Park races at Yeppoon on Saturday I caught up with them to snap that elusive picture together in front of the winners’ stall – a place they frequently visited on horseback in years gone by. The picture of them as jockeys was on the old Avery jockeys’ scales at Callaghan Park racecourse on a day where Booth rode a double and Welburn the one winner. From what I can gather it was taken in either October or November 1997.

Wally Welburn is a now a young 71 while Geoffrey is the senior of the pair at 72. As is said “every picture tells a story” but wouldn’t this pair be able to tell some.
Fact or fiction – would it really matter?

Tony McMahon.

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