TROTTING is often said to be "a family sport".
This simple statement can be interpreted in several ways.
It can mean a sport to which you might be happy to take your family for example.
However, the prime meaning is that it is common for a large number of members of an extended family to be participants in the light harness game.
Such is the case with the Pascoe family, who have had a presence in Ipswich trotting from well before the closure of the Showgrounds track in 1981.
Alf Pascoe, father of William (Mick) and Wayne, and Les snr, father of Vic, Graham and Les jnr, were all active in some hands-on capacity when this writer came north in 1978.
Always hobbyists, the Pascoes raced their teams of two and three pacers for the joy of it and the occasional bet.
Every so often a horse would turn up that was just a bit smart, like Chief Glo for Les snr.
Difficult to train with long standing leg problems, but possessed of considerable ability. Time takes its toll and last Saturday Mick Pascoe fell victim to the long standing heart condition which caused him to leave the workforce in 2004. He had turned 70 on October, 4 2012. Mick was introduced to the horse business early, riding trackwork at Bundamba for his father, and turned to the sulky at 30.
The W.A Pascoe colours of dark blue and yellow Maltese cross were regulars at Ipswich and were seen behind the likes of Count Eden, Macs Muscles, Nana Travis and Tops Again.
One of the better horses was Copy, which he trained and brother Graham handled in good efforts at Rocklea and Albion Park.
A highlight was the performance of Fleetwood Garrison, which ran a sensational mile rate of 2.00 minutes, winning at Redcliffe with Denis Holbeck in the bike.
Added to this was his passion for darts, playing for three clubs, Country, West Moreton and Ipswich. Mick Pascoe was a happy bloke who would rather do you a good turn than a bad one.
He was a worker, as evidenced by his resume, which included only four jobs.
Railways at Northgate, Amberley Highway buses, Moreton Shire Council and finally a ten-year stint with Sun Bus.
He is survived by his partner of 39 years, Shirley and their son Justin, who trained and drove Mick's last horse, Oz Striker in recent times.
Justin is well cast in the Pascoe mode with a couple of handy horses and seems set for the long haul.
At a time when a sense of humour and a near permanent smile are rare items in trotting, Mick Pascoe will be sorely missed.
SAHRC shows how
POSSIBLY the brightest recent event was the Betezy South Australian Cup, won by the iron horse of Australian pacing, Smoken Up.
The official crowd figure was 6,500 - the largest seen at Globe Derby since the Inter-dominion.
The SAHRC attributed the rise in attendance to a number of factors, including marketing and promotion through radio, TV and print media leading up to the event, and a simple but appealing slogan in "Come Back To The Trots".
Add an increase in prize money to ensure a top field and a wide range of catering options and you can only say that the SAHRC got it right. Job well done.
GIVEN the weather gurus have promised us considerable rain this weekend, trainers intending to start horses at tomorrow morning's Marburg trials should be aware that a text message will be put out if the trials are in doubt.
If you don't have a mobile ring Denis on 0408 352 478 or Steve Towns on 0402 171 871.
Nominations taken from 7.15am.
While on the subject of Marburg, we next race on Saturday February, 2 with all the best features of a country race meeting just 30 minutes from Ipswich CBD.
It's the place to be.
Tonight's Albion Park selections: R 1: E/w 2: Marshall Law (G.Dixon)
R 2: Quinella 1-8: Montana Pablo (D.Graham) and Karter Brown (G.Dixon).
R 3: Quinella 1-3: Street Safe (A.Sanderson) and Hiking (B.Cockburn).
R 4: E/w 8: Wicked Style (P.Greig).
R 5: E/w 1: Bronski Firestar (P.McMullen).
R 6: E/w 3: Sir Bobby Lashley (G.Bond).
R 7: Quinella 3-6: General Bronski (A.Sanderson) and Party Queen (B.Cowen).
R 8: Quinella 4-7: Our Mels Dream (M.Rue) and Glory Jasper (M.Neilson).
R 9: Box trifecta 2-5-7: Emperor Montana (D.Graham), Shez No Fake (G.Whitaker), Three Shamrocks (L.Weidemann).
IT WAS another lean week, with just nine winners from greater Ipswich.
The pot of gold was once again centred on the Darrel Graham complex at Fernvale with Darrel preparing three winners and Adam Sanderson driving three, two from DG's team and one for Shane Sanderson.
In the worthy mention department, Amy Rees for a patient drive to get third on $98 chance Serve It Up at her first racetrack appearance.
A sound start to a career in the sulky.
Redcliffe, January 18: Yeah Right (Adam Sanderson for Shane Sanderson), Maywyns Best (Brad Cowen for Shane Sanderson).
Albion Park, January 19: Pocket The Dream (Narissa for John McMullen).
Albion Park, January 22: Emperor Montana (Darrel Graham).
Redcliffe, January 23: Dancing Major (Trevor Lambourn).
Gold Coast, January 24: Midnight Montana (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham), Hitemup (Adam Sanderson for Darrel Graham), Christensen (Kelli Dawson for Phil Mitchell), Special Art (Brett for Max Towns).