THE bell tolls again as it marks the passing of another trotting man from another era.
Colin Field, of Wilsons Plains near Harrisville, died from a snakebite.
He was in his 81st year.
Col was born at Penrith, NSW, on September 23, 1932 and was raised on the family farm situated on the banks of the Nepean River at Castlereagh.
It was here that he developed his overriding preference for outside work, hand milking cows and growing fruit and vegetables.
This early grounding never left him and whenever Col and Shiela Field had ground to cultivate, a productive garden was first priority.
After a stint at taxi driving, Col took a stablehand job with Penrith butcher Perce Hall, trainer and driver of an elite team of trotters and pacers and first man to drive 500 winners at Harold Park.
Perce and Col made a great team as both were workaholics.
It was not long before Col was stable foreman and travelled with the mighty James Scott to the Perth Inter-Dominion Championship in 1962.
So great was Hall's trust that he did not arrive in Perth until James Scott had won his three heats.
The son of Noble Scott made it a clean sweep, taking the grand final in good style.
Col was to travel to America with the horse for the Yonkers International Series, and due to the travel and quarantine arrangements of that time, it was basically a world tour.
Col told me that he had been on an aircraft carrying the three best pacers to fly at one time - Cardigan Bay, James Scott and Lews Hope.
Survivors of that era would not be arguing.
Col then moved to a property on Mulgoa Rd near the Penrith Paceway, where he educated young stock and trained others, the best of which would have been the strong mare Scotch Sox, which featured frequently at Harold Park, Menangle and Penrith with PJ Hall in the sulky.
Looking to "break in" to the harness game in serious fashion, the stringbean reinsman (who at over six feet in height had to carry lead to make the 10 stone minimum) moved to Oxenford in Queensland to catch the rising tide of night trotting there.
Scotch Courier, Smokelands, Pirate Peter, Blazing Victor and Truant Lady all carried the brown and white checks with brown cap to victory on numerous occasions. One year, the team took premiership honours at the old Southport track.
For a man with a growing family, a more certain income was needed so Queensland Horse Transport came into existence with stepson, the late Ray Hollier involved.
Hollier later took over the business as Col was finding the endless miles too much.
A stud at Beaudesert was the next venture with a son of Meadow Skipper, Five Plus Tax in residence.
The stallion got a number of metropolitan winners but could not crack it for that star that keeps the mares lined up. There was not enough money in long term agistment.
Col and Shiela moved again, firstly to Peak Crossing and finally to Wilsons Plains.
As always, there were gardens, fruit trees and horses.
Col Field had a great life. He was ever optimistic, ready to have a go at a new venture.
Those of us who knew him will miss him badly.
NEXT Saturday, Marburg is the place to be.
Gates open at 9am and the first race goes at 11.45am.
It's a six-race card with top features, including the MPA David Pahlke Summer Cup of $2,000 for the R2-R3 class pacers.
Local feed and agricultural suppliers Farmcraft, with putlets at Kalbar and Lowood, are putting on feed for all placegetters.
A new event, The Graham Harriott Memorial, will be run over 2200 metres from the stand. It is for trotters TR0 and no better than TM1 with a maximum backmark of 60 metres.
Two thousand dollars is up for grabs with feed manufacturers Hygain, donating product for the placed horses.
Two bookmakers will bet on the local trots and all major gallops meetings with big monitors for you to follow the Sky Channel gallops action.
Raffles and losing betting ticket draws will help keep you in excitement mode.
TOMORROW is our last trial day for 2012. It's education and fitness trials.
Nominations from 7.30am with the education sessions beginning at approx 8am.
First trial goes at 8.30am.
Come along and pick some likely winners for December 15.
Marburg trial form is a reliable indicator.
THE move of Pete McMullen and Chantal Turpin to train their own team at Albion Park has seen the second of the young McMullens, Narissa up her workload in the sulky for father John as well as regular engagements for Ron Sallis.
It's paying dividends with 20 winners for September and October.
If this strike rate lasts the season, it will see Narissa top the century for the year.
It will be achievable and incredible all at the one time.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - E/w 2: Jollygood Gent (A.Sanderson). R2: E/w 2: B. G.Three (D. March). R3: Quinella 1-6 - Franco Bulgari (K. Dawson) and Davey J (P. McMullen). R4: Quinella 1-5: Im El Magic (not advised) and Demolition Babe (S. Graham). R5: Box trifecta 5-6-7: Devil Dodger (G. Dixon)-Maywyn Tonz (B. Cowen)-Torque In Motion (S. Graham). R6: E/w 8: Prince Benji (C. Petroff). R7: Quinella 1-8 - San Fran Lady (R. Law) and Trueative (S. Graham). R8: E/w 5 - Fox Valley Appeal (G. Whitaker). R9: Quinella 2-7: Partyu Queen (B. Cowen) and Beau Starlight (L. Weidemann).
Ricky Gordon and John Davis tied the trainer's with two winners apiece. Four was what it took to put Pete McMullen in the drivers frame.
Gold Coast, November 30: My Ultimate Hell (Pete for John Davis).
Marburg, December 1: Hit It Lenny (Crystal towns for Max Towns); Cardinal Rule (Justin Storie for Shaun Gillespie); Still To Come (Lacey Hinze for Bruce Wyborn); Tooperate (Lola Weidemann for Ricky Gordon).
Albion Park, December 1: Maywyn Tonz (Peter Greig for Shane Sanderson); Palface Jasper (Al Barnes).
Albion Park, December 3: Magnussen (Pete for Lynn Beaton); Melton Maxbye (Danielle McMullen for John McMullen).
Albion Park, December 4: Dougs Place (Pete for John Davis); Praze An Beeble (Adam Sanderson for PG Young).
Redcliffe, December 5: Black Cruiser (Pete for Ron Sallis); The Falcon Ute (Mathew Clayton).
Gold Coast, December 6: Spiderman Two (Lacey Hinze for Ricky Gordon).
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