Day At The Track

Parade | Big call for youngster

07:33 PM 19 Apr 2019 NZST
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Narrabri showgrounds
Narrabri showgrounds

Cometh the hour, cometh the (very young) man. That was Parade's first thought when he heard a terrific story from a couple of local harness racing identities this week.

The identities made the long trek to Narrabri last weekend for a meeting and, as they explained to Parade, they had not long arrived when the PA system came to life and a very sheepish sounding official said he had an announcement to make.

There had been a bit of a mix-up, he said, and the Narrabri club did not have a race caller for the meeting.

"If there is anyone on the course who can call the races," the official said, almost as an afterthought, "will you please make yourself known."

The first race, Parade is told, was run in near-silence - not only making it hard to follow the action on the track, but affecting the atmosphere.

But when the second race started, the PA system came to life and a hesitant, uncertain, very young-sounding voice started to commentate.

"Out in front is ... bringing up the rear is ..."

In the absence of anyone else willing to step up and have a go, a young fellow, around 10 or so, had offered his services - and been gratefully accepted.

Parade is told the young fellow called that race and the ones that followed, gaining confidence as he went and bringing some atmosphere back to a meeting that was in danger of not having any.

As someone who could barely speak in front of his class when he was 10, Parade has nothing but admiration for the courageous young caller of Narrabri.

Who knows, those on the course might have witnessed the debut of a star of the future.

Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

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