Day At The Track

Industry loses one of the best

11:00 AM 03 Apr 2020 NZDT
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Wedderburn bred and mostly owned Nine Mile Cruiser had its first start at Maryborough on July 18, 2016 for trainer Col. It ran fifth,Harness racing
Wedderburn bred and mostly owned Nine Mile Cruiser had its first start at Maryborough on July 18, 2016 for trainer Col. It ran fifth

Rival harness racing horsemen had the utmost respect for runners from the central Victorian stables of Col Redwood.

Mr Redwood, 83, who had a training complex at Bridgewater, near Bendigo, died on Tuesday. One of the most respected gentleman of the sport, he was well-known for his love of the square-gaiter and was associated with many classy performers, both trotters and pacers.

His involvement in harness racing-as an owner, trainer and driver-goes back to the early 1950s. He followed in the footsteps of his father Hughie and the Redwood name is recognized and revered with the Maryborough club's Redwood Classic Day in August each year.

Mr Redwood competed at the top level, racing in Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Finals, Australasian Trotting Championship Finals and the V L Dullard Trotters Cup, with such outstanding horses of their time as Red Eclipse, Maressar, Rockin Dale, Classic Victory, Mount Alm, Kurahaupo Lord and Arrestin Tess.

"I competed against him often and when he took his horses to the races, he always had them prepared so well you knew you were in for a fight," successful Bendigo trainer Gary Donaldson said.

"You always had to be wary of him, because Col would turn them out trained to the minute," he said.

"If you were ever lucky enough to beat him, he'd be one of the first to congratulate you-he was just a great guy."

Gary Donaldson's words are just one of the many heart-warming tributes from far and wide that have been posted since Mr Redwood lost his battle to illness.

Col and his wife Dorothy, who died a few years ago, had two children Darren and Janine. Darren competed as a driver for a few years, and was also a talented footballer.

One of Col's greatest achievements was as a driver, donning the Australian colors at a World Amateur Drivers' Championship. He also enjoyed being a competitor in the annual veterans' race, staged at Bendigo.


Col Redwood enjoyed competing in veteran driver events at Bendigo. He is pictured about to take part in the 2014 race (Bendigo HRC photo)

Off the track, Mr Redwood served many years on the board of the Victorian Square Trotters Association, of which he was a foundation member. He took on the role of president, working tirelessly to promote the square gaiter. He was a worthy recipient of a Harness Racing Victoria Distinguished Services Medal.

Well-known country Victorian horseman Nick Youngson was one of many who posted condolence notices this week, and summed up everyone's feelings: "An out and out trotting gentleman. If I do half as good a job in the Victorian Square Trotters Association as Col did, I'll be very happy!"

Harnesslink extends its sympathy to the Redwood family.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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