Day At The Track

Trotting saddened by loss of icon Kevin Newman

12:59 PM 26 Jul 2017 NZST
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Kevin Newman family
Kevin Newman family

The harness racing industry was shocked by the sudden and unexpected passing of legendary trainer-driver Kevin Newman on Tuesday night.

Harness Racing New South Wales Chief Executive John Dumesny expressed the harness racing fraternity's shock at the sudden passing.

"Kevin at 83 was well and had just finalised the sale of his Penrith home and was looking forward to moving on to the central Coast with his wife Beryl," Dumesny said.

"He was an icon, a legend of trotting, a one in a life time horseman.

"It was an honour to known and be in the presence of KB Newman.

"His wit had no peer and his recall of the halcyon days of trotting never diminished."

Born in Western Australia, Kevin arrived in Sydney in 1951, two years after night trotting was introduced at Harold Park, as a 16-year-old.

From here Kevin became a dominate force during what is known as the golden era of harness racing in the 1960s and 70s, particularly at Harold Park.

He won an unequalled 10 Harold Park trainers' premierships and eight drivers' premierships.

Kevin was the first driver to win two Miracle Miles - Halwes 1968 and Friendly Footman 1981.

He steered home 533 winners at Harold Park and all up about 1400 in his entire career.

Retiring from the driving ranks in 1986, Newman can claim victories in almost every major race at Harold Park.

For his services to harness racing, Kevin was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 1991, was named a Living Legend by HRNSW in 2000 and was also one of seven Living Legends of Harold Park.

He was also inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions at the State's Sports Centre at Homebush in 2001.

Kevin represented Australia twice in the World Driving Championships in the United States and Canada - finishing fourth behind Herve Filion in 1970, and sixth behind the New Zealander Kevin Holmes in 1978.

Top performers Newman was associated with in feature race wins at Harold Park during his long and distinguished career include Koala Frost, Tongue Twister, Adios Victor, Mitchell Victory, Apollo Eleven and Markovina.

To Kevin's wife Beryl, daughters Julie and Debbie and their families as well as Kevin's many friends, Harness Racing NSW extends its deepest condolences.

Funeral details to be announced.


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