Race-caller retires after 32 years
THE Warwick Turf Club meet at Allman Park on Saturday proved to be an emotional affair, as it heralded several new beginnings and one significant ending.
Race-caller Barry Jones retired after 32 years at the Warwick Races.
“I am sad to be leaving, but happy to be handing the reins over to such a talented young man like Anthony Collins,” Mr Jones said.
While Mr Jones is retiring from the Warwick area he will still be calling other races.
“I just felt it was the right time to let Anthony take over,” he said.
Anthony Collins has been training with Mr Jones since 2007.
“He is very gifted and didn't need much training at all,” Mr Jones said.
“I have met a lot of great people during my time in Warwick and have enjoyed working with all the presidents and secretaries of the Warwick Turf Club.”
New voice of the Warwick Races Anthony Collins will officially start his position at the next race meet on August 21.
“Mr Jones has been a wonderful mentor to me,” Mr Collins said.
“I was born into a horse-racing family and grew up listening to the races every weekend.”
Mr Collins said he is looking forward to his new career and could think of no better day to start his new position, as August 21 is also his birthday.
“It will be a double celebration for me,” he said.
Ross McIntosh also had cause for celebration on Saturday as he glowed with pride watching his grandson, Lachlan Miller, follow in his footsteps on his first day on the job as a barrier attendant.
Mr McIntosh has been loading horses into the barriers at the Warwick Races for some 50 years.
“I only missed about three years when I was building my house,” he said.
“I love the camaraderie and the involvement with the horses that this job provides.”
Mr McIntosh said his grandson joining the ranks represented four generations of the family becoming barrier attendants.
“It's great that he wanted to become involved and not only did he enjoy his first day, he did really well too,” he said.
Warwick Turf Club vice-president Jim Costello said while numbers were a bit disappointing at the weekend event, the fields were excellent.
“The June meet is normally a quiet meeting but this year we clashed with the Ipswich Cup and the Kilcoy Cup, which might explain the smaller crowd,” he said.
“However the field was excellent with more horses being accepted than at Toowoomba and Kilcoy meetings.”
Stanthorpe bookmaker Brian Shannon said it wasn't a bad little crowd.
Mr Shannon said he loves the adrenalin rush he gets from his job, which may be why he has missed only five meets at the Warwick races over the past 20 years.
“We had a great day on Saturday; us bookies had a winning day for a change,” he said.
The bookies weren't the only winners on Saturday. Two local trainers Mick Hemmings and Les Clarke also celebrated with winning horses.
“It's always nice to see the locals win,” Mr Costello said.
It was party time for 14 young ladies as they took advantage of the day to hold Gina Bloomfield's bachelorette party at the Saturday race meet.
Party organiser Connie Ready said it was a great day.
“We were so excited we got here at 11am and all of us tried our hand in the betting ring, however none of us had a big win,” she said.