9 October 2012 – Victoria’s oldest reinsman, 85 year-old Eric Hurley who is best remembered for his partnership with the great Minuteman, a champion that raced more than four and a half decades ago will drive at Bendigo Lord’s Raceway on Saturday night.
Hurley and Minuteman outstayed the gallant mare Angelique in the Inter Dominion grand final at the Melbourne showgrounds in 1964 and had dual success in the world’s richest standing start event for pacers, Victoria’s Hunter Cup, in 1964 and 1966. Born in South Australia in 1927, Hurley won his first race at Kadina, north of Adelaide in 1952 driving Modulation. 60 years on Hurley teams with 5yo gelding Steaming, a son of Artesian which trains and owns with his son Jeffery, in the Alabar Pace. The pacer has drawn barrier one in race one at 6:22pm.
This season Steaming has raced five times placing third twice at Melton and Hurley’s wife Jeanette said today that the horse just loves Eric. “He whinny’s if Eric leaves him alone for five minutes when they are at the races together,” She said. “Horses have been Eric’s whole life, he loves them and they love him.”
Steaming, which last won for Hurley at Geelong in January this year, is one of two horses currently being trained by Eric at his Parwan stables near Bacchus Marsh. The other is a young horse not yet racing and the Hurley’s also have two broodmare’s on their lot that are ready to foal this week. “It’s been a big week, Eric had his birthday yesterday, we have the mares about to foal and we’re racing at Bendigo,” Jeanette said. Jeanette said Eric is really looking forward to Bendigo’s big race event on Saturday night 3 November. Hurley is one of 11 veteran drivers that have been invited to compete in the Veteran Drivers Challenge at Bendigo’s Anniversary Cup night. “Our industry does not acknowledge our veterans enough, we think it is terrific that Bendigo has organised this race on such a big night,” Jeanette said. - David Aldred