WHAT was once one of Marburg's brightest flames has been extinguished.
Trevor Perrin succumbed to the combined effect of a number of ailments including heart disease at the Nowlanville care facility last Monday afternoon.
Trevor was only in his mid sixties but had battled illness and failing sight for over two decades.
Along with wife Anne, the "big fella'' had been an active and successful harness trainer from the late 70's at Ipswich.
In the period covered by computer records (1982/83 to 2000/01), he had presented 949 starters, which provided 54 winners, 58 seconds and 71 thirds, banking a total of $99,654.
His best season was 1985/86 with 17 wins, 10 seconds and seven thirds for earnings of $21,555.
The stable's top performer at this time was Super Rooster, a multiple winner, which retired with earnings of $48,000.
With failing health and job requirements limiting his outdoor activities, Trevor turned his full attention to raising sponsorship funds for the Marburg Pacing Association, while working as advertising manager for National Trotguide and Harness Racing Weekly.
His gift of persuasive argument combined with bulldog tenacity saw him achieve great results in both positions.
While he was a successful hobby trainer, few people realised that he had been a top athlete in his youth. He played rugby league for Booval Swifts, Norths Devils in Brisbane and had a brief stint in the southern big time with Manly Warringah in Sydney.
However, Trevor missed Rosewood too much and returned home where he played some cricket and won a state championship, sprinting on the grass at Lang Park.
Trevor Perrin, a deserving Life Member of the MPA, is gone.
I doubt we shall see his like again. He had special qualities, which not everybody possesses.
Like the man who could sell ice to Eskimos, TP could sell the harness dream to anyone who would stand still long enough.
He will be sorely missed.
Trevor's funeral is at 10.30am on Tuesday at the Uniting Church, Rosewood.
TWO interesting issues affecting the harness code at present were anointed by the process of appearing in last Sunday's Courier Mail.
Firstly, Peter Cameron's column Traps, quoted a senior Racing Queensland official as saying that harness racing was a "poor cousin'' of the other codes, "which keeps shooting itself in the foot"!
It was further said that harness turnover "was barely 10% of the tri-code total".
These comments were not well received at the top end of the harness participant tree. But, in the real world, if the same people who took umbrage at these aspersions are the same people who are equally upset at RQ's plan to cease racing at Albion Park (second issue) and develop a residential and commercial complex on the resulting vacant site, it is time that those people commenced to "think outside the square".
There are very well founded and historically proven arguments for the retention of Albion Park based on the geographical inability of Globe Derby, Melton and Menangle to draw viable crowds.
One would think that the policy put forward by a handful of influential people in the year 2000, and I quote from a well attended industry meeting held at Albion Park, "We must create an elite industry, by creating conditions where we can have elite trainers, elite drivers, and horses which can be promoted as superstars. We must attract wealthy owners", might have been a "goer".
At the time, there were considerably more trainers, drivers and horses, but no trainers here were winning in excess of a million dollars for their owners year and year out.
However, there were a reasonable number of trainers and drivers earning a good living.
It would be fair to say, that after a 17 year trial, the "elitist" policy has failed to deliver.
If we abandon that policy tomorrow, and re-introduce a simple racing format that the average recreational punter can understand and use with satisfaction and pleasure, it will be a long road back.
If we don't abandon it, there will be no road back.
Next week, some frightening figures.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight.
R1: Quinella 1-4: Simply Gorgeous (M. Neilson) and ChattanoogaChooChoo (A. Sanderson).
R2: E/w 3: Diesel Shannon (L. Weidemann).
R3: E/w 1: Countdown (N. Dawson).
R4: Box trifecta 1-5-8: The Space Invader (N. McMullen)-Pub Blitz (M. Elkins)-Lancelot Bromac.
R5: Box trifecta 5-8-10: Fire One (G. Dixon)-Fire An Ice-The Charging Moa (S. Graham).
R6: box trifecta 2-4-8: Major Kiwi (B. Graham)- Rubys Bad Boy (N. McMullen)- Flaming Hero (N. Dawson).
R7: Quinella 3-5: Only The Brave and Im The Smoocha (G. Dixon).
R8: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Constantly Sideways (D. McMullen)-Lenny The Legend (N. Dawson)-Shakas Magic (S. Graham).
R9: Box trifecta 2-4-8: Avonnova (S. Graham)-Ideal Scott (A. Sanderson)- Destreos (K. Dawson).
R10: Quinella 3-10: Wishitwasheaven (S.Graham) and Remember Ruby (G. Dixon).
The training section of the leader board featured a triple dead heat between Greg Elkins, Chantal Turpin and Ron Sallis with two winners apiece. Adam Sanderson took charge of the driving division with five wins. Nathan Dawson and Lachie Manzelmann were not far away on three each. The most pleasing effort has to be Justin Elkins with a double at Albion Park last Tuesday.
Albion Park, May 12: Three Of The Best (Adam Sander- son for Shannon Price); Exceptional Mach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Alta Surreal (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Kash (Pete McMullen for Mick Butler); Nolonga Your Choice (Anthony Gorman for Rachel Scott); Our Leonardo (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law).
Albion Park, May 13: Phantom Rockstar (Gary Whitaker for Kevin Joiner); Bettor Promise (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price).
Albion Park, May 14: Queens Accent (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins); Out Of Art (Justin Elkins for Kenny Rattray); Black Belt (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis).
Albion Park, May 16: Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price).
Redcliffe, May 17: Long Road To Fame (Adam Sanderson); Comigal (Lachie Manzelmann for Brett Cargill); Tarin Kowt (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Official Reign (Lachie Manzelmann for Chantal Turpin); Sammari (Nathan Dawson for Kylie Rasmussen).
Redcliffe, May 18: Inciter (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Lucky Lefty (Narissa McMullen for Christina Monte); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Hot Rod Heaven (Dan Russell for Tayla Gillespie); Rockstar Rikki (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Call Me Yours (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves).