Racing to the country Hall of Fame

New Hall of Fame inductees for Queensland country horse racing

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COUNTRY racing has crowned its best for the calendar year 2019 and celebrated by adding five exalted candidates to the Hall Of Fame.

COUNTRY racing has crowned its best for the calendar year 2019 and celebrated by adding five exalted candidates to the Hall Of Fame.

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Old mates: Ken Waller, a country racing hall of fame jockey, catches up with an old mate, Peter Moody, of Black Caviar fame at the Off The Bit country racing awards.

Old mates: Ken Waller, a country racing hall of fame jockey, catches up with an old mate, Peter Moody, of Black Caviar fame at the Off The Bit country racing awards.

Former jockey Ken Waller and trainers past and present John Manzelmann, Neville Peoples and Les McLennan were inducted onto the Hall of Fame alongside outstanding Miss Petty, winner of 22 consecutive races.

The Off The Bit country racing awards, the second of their kind after a debut in 2019, were unveiled at a gala function in Emerald on February 8 attended by racing glitterati.

Besides key officials from Racing Queensland, including its CEO Brendan Parnell, the event featured poet par excellence Rupert McCall and Black Caviar's one-time mentor Peter Moody.

A country guy at heart after his rearing in and around Wyandra, Moody was able to swap tales of past links with Waller, one of the most gifted riders of his generation.

"I can remember Peter when he was about four," Waller said.

"Later I had the chance to ride for him when he was managing things for Bill Mitchell and then I rode horses when he took out his own trainer's licence.

"To see him there and to talk about the old days was good, real good."

On his elevation into the Hall of Fame, Waller said he was "thrilled beyond words".

Similarly, Manzelmann, who cut his teeth in harness racing before switching codes, said he was humbled by the announcement.

"I knew nothing of it," he said. "This is an absolute honour but I never thought it would happen to me."

Miss Petty, a foal of 1981 by the Irish import Master Petard, was the best of her day. Trained and often ridden by Charlie Prow, Miss Petty helped write a special chapter in the chronicle of Queensland racing in the 1980s.

In a historical report by Helen Walker, Miss Petty was revealed as a former Border Region galloper bought by the partnership of Dick Banks and Fred Gilthrow and given to Prow to train.

"Miss Petty went onto write her name into bush folklore by winning 22 races straight for Charlie Prow. Her record was only broken by Black Caviar in 2012," Ms Walker wrote, then quoted Prow on his recollections.

"I rode her for 18 of her 22 straight wins and she carried 66kg in open company. I believe for her to win her 22 straight races, I read her right at the beginning," Prow said at the time.

"She was an easy horse to train as she didn't like a great lot of fast work and that way I knew she kept her best effort for race day."

he 2019 jockey of the year went to Mt Isa-based Dan Ballard and the 'Isa' also claimed horse of the year honours through Deadly Choices.

The trainer-of-the-year was Bevan (Billy Johnson).

Off The Bit country racing awards:

- Clubperson / Volunteer of the Year : Jack Murray

- Non-TAB Race of the Year : Ewan Cup

- TAB Meeting of the Year : Roma Cup

- Non-TAB Meeting of the Year : Alpha Cup

- Media Personality of the Year : Andrew Watts

- Personality of the Year : Matt Peters

- Newcomer of the Year : Jade Doolan

- Apprentice of the Year : Emma Bell

- Horse of the Year : Deadly Choices

- Jockey of the Year : Dan Ballard

- Trainer of the Year : Bevan Johnson

- Hall of Fame Personality : Jack Murray

- Hall of Fame Jockey : Ken Waller

- Hall of Fame Horse : Miss Petty

- Hall of Fame Trainer : John Manzelmann, Neville Peoples and Leslie McLellan

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