Day At The Track

Ross lets bygones be bygones!

06:00 AM 31 May 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Ross Healy,Harness racing
The ups and downs of racing…A medic (pictured left) who assisted Ross Healy after his accident at Bendigo was again on-hand to check in on him six days later when Tarara Jill saluted at Stawell. (L-R) Sue, Cherelle and Ross Healy.
Ararat Harness Racing Club

Good natured Ararat harness racing owner-trainer Ross Healy says he's the best of friends again with his racemare Tarara Jill.

The five-year-old square gaiter, who Healy describes as a horse with "not much patience", recently put him in hospital overnight after they got tangled up prior to a race at Bendigo.

But six days later at Stawell, Tarara Jill (Allawart Ray-Hickory Trick (Yankee Reb USA) got the money, courtesy of a super Michael Bellman drive.

"I'm pretty sure it was her way of saying sorry," Healy joked.

The Bendigo accident happened as Healy was leading Tarara Jill from the stabling area to the marshalling yard.

As he let the horse go, she spun sideways and stood on his foot.

"Then the shaft got me a ripper causing me to lose my balance and I stumbled backwards, landing flat on my back," he said.

"She is one of those types which you have to be very careful with all the time, and I am, but in saying that, she's still bowled me over a few times.

"I'm starting to think I'm like accident-prone Frank Spencer in the TV sit-com 'Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em' - I just seem to be in the wrong place all the time!"

Healy said he wasn't allowed to move after the accident until the ambulance arrived at the track.

"So it was a bit embarrassing, but thankfully I had a Wilson Medical Group member monitoring me and keeping me calm before I went off to hospital," he said.

"A lot of good people helped out. I've always said harness racing is a big 'Neighborhood Watch' at its best! We're out there competing against each other, but when people get into strife, support comes from everywhere."

Tarara Jill ran a creditable fifth at Bendigo, her first run back from a short spell.

"Our daughter Cherelle drove home with the horse and float that night, while my wife Sue was at the hospital with me," Healy said.

"On our way home the next day, we talked about backing Tarara Jill up quickly at Stawell as an experiment."

And the hunch paid off.

After beginning brilliantly from the 10-metre handicap, driver Michael Bellman was in front a short time later. Appearing under siege with 400 metres to go, Tarara Jill dug deep to fight off all challengers and score a strong win.

The Tarara in the mare's name comes from Ararat spelt backwards and the mare is raced by Ross, Sue, their daughter and "number one strapper" Cherelle, and son Dale.

Healy, who is track curator at Ararat, got involved in the sport over 35 years ago when working on the railways with Neville Bellman, father of trainer-driver Michael.

"I used to go out to Neville's and clean the boxes and do other jobs around the stables. Then later on he stuck a form under my nose and told me to sign it - it was a lease agreement for a horse," he said.

"I told him I couldn't afford it because we were putting kids through school at the time. Neville wouldn't listen and just said 'you keep doing what you've been doing for me and you have a share'.

"To say that we got spoilt would be a big understatement as the horse was Good Lookin Byrd, which went onto win 15 races and 28 placings for about $140,000.

"So, of course, we then got the bug and went in some others and had fun. It was around 2002 when (Daylesford horsewoman) Anne Maree Conroy urged me to get my own trainer's licence-so I've been doing it ever since."

Healy said it was a real family affair with wife Sue in charge of breeding bloodlines, daughter Cherelle doing jog work and stable-hand duties, while son Dale helps out when work permits.

"We have two other girls who aren't into it, but are doing well in their own careers," he said.

Healy will be sidelined for between eight and 12 weeks, having a knee replacement next Monday.

"And before you ask, it was nothing to do with Tarara Jill - I've been waiting two years for this operation!"

 

Terry gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: