Strapping In Style

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6th December 2005

Strapping in Style - by Alison Aphrys
 
If you have noticed how stylish the strappers and their horses look in the parade ring before Group 1 races at Royal Randwick and various Country Cups, then it's a fair bet that Bob Logan, managing director of Logan Livestock Insurance Agency, is on the course to present a Logan's Strapper's Horse Excellence Award.

Together with Peter Klein, author of A Strappers Tale; Recollections of Kingston Town's Strapper, Bob carefully appraises each strapper and horse as they parade the mounting yard, looking at the duo from top to toe and hoof to tail.

“It's about the whole package”, says Bob. “We are looking for a really well-presented strapper and the extra effort that they have put into presenting themselves and their horse”, he said.

The winning strapper is then formally presented with a plaque, $200 cash and an autographed copy of A Strapper's Tale.

“We wanted to recognise these unsung heroes of the racing industry”, agrees Bob. “Strappers work very hard and are an integral part of a horse's success and it's important they know we appreciate the efforts they make”.

As a former strapper, Peter reckons the award is a terrific idea.

“When I was strapping we didn't have these prizes and Bob is to be commended for providing an incentive through the Logan's Horse Excellence Award which recognises these often forgotten workers”, he said.

“In the glamour surrounding jockeys, trainers and owners, the strappers are often neglected, so this is a great way to encourage them and reward their efforts.”

Fleur Blanche of Tulloch Lodge, who won the award with a beautifully turned out Cross Bar (who came second in the 99th Tooheys New Newcastle Gold Cup), was over the moon with her award and couldn't stop smiling as her employer, Gai Waterhouse, declared her delight: “Fleur works very, very hard and it is marvellous that she has won this recognition”, said Gai.

Tulloch Lodge has a history of previous winners as Melbourne trainer Peter Moody can attest: “I worked for Gai when I won the award about 20 years ago”, he recalled. “It's good encouragement to the strappers who work very hard to present themselves and their horses well.”

Over the last 20 years, the award has been presented at diverse racecourses including Royal Randwick, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Scone, Muswellbrook, Doomben, Seymour in Victoria and Beaudesert in Queensland.

Past judges include former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, legendary British jockey Lester Piggott and veteran racing journalist and RNSW Magazine contributor, Bill Whittaker.
 
With thanks to Breeding & Racing Magazine Dec 05 
Photo: Peter Klein & Bob Logan award Fleur Wood with her Strapper's Award in Newcastle   © Alison Aprhys 2005