16 January 2012 – Veteran Bendigo harness racing trainer and breeder Ron Pocock passed away yesterday, aged 84 years.
Pocock, the 2005 Harness Racing Victoria Gordon Rothacker Medallist, was actively participating in racing at Lords Raceway last year but a recent illness prevented him from continuing in the sport that was his life. A champion in racing and proud to call Bendigo home, Pocock was fourth recipient of Harness Racing’s highest award following Ian McCallum (2002), Geoff Hill (2003) and Jim Barker (2004) on the honour roll. Pocock provided exemplary service to the harness racing industry for more than 60 years. The astute and highly respected horseman fulfilled many roles during his career, but was best recognised for his breeding and training achievements. For more than half a century, Pocock nurtured and developed one of the State’s most successful standardbred families. The progeny of his foundation broodmares boast collective stake earnings in excess of $1.4 million. They delivered him a host of feature race wins, particularly with juvenile pacers which became his trade mark. Jasmarilla, True Roman, Jack Brandon, Ima Orphan, El Pablo, Gold Share, Six Oclock Rock, Next Bonus and Star Bonus are just some of the many quality horses Pocock has either bred, educated and/or trained. He was a member of the Bendigo Owners’, Trainers’ and Drivers’ Association for 30 years since being elected its inaugural President in 1975. In his younger years, he also played a significant role in developing the fledgling harness racing industry in the State’s north and was among a handful of volunteers who worked to develop tracks in this region. Before his recent illness prevent him from continuing his participation in racing, Pocock committed his energy and passion to training one or two pacers and breeding from a small band of broodmares. - David Aldred