Racing has lost one of it’s true gentleman with the passing of Trevor Smith. He was aged 85.
Born into the industry, Smith enjoyed success initially as an amateur rider and then as a trainer, following in the footsteps of his father E.A. Smith.
E.A. was a prominent trainer in the area and instilled in his son a passion for racing from an early age – one that has carried on through generations of the family.
“Horses were his life, and they are with his family and even in his great grandchildren,” said Smith’s daughter Vicki Barwick.
Christened Trevor John Smith, he spent 80 years of his life on the same property at Barraba – Conda, where, like his father, he worked and trained horses until his latter years.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years Marie, his daughter Vicki and her husband Terry, and his son Greg and his wife Cathy. He was also a much-loved grandfather to Mathew and Anna, Jamie, Lachlan, Ethan and Claudia, and a great grandfather to Evie and William.
Vicki described her father as “one of the most easy going, caring people I knew”.
“He was a mate to everyone he knew and always had a smile and time for a yarn,” she said in a post on Facebook.
“Will miss our chats and your kind smile, although I know where you are now, sharing a yarn and a laugh with all your old mates at the great racecourse in the sky.”
Aside from his family, he enjoyed nothing more than a day at the races, she said, whether that be as a jockey, a trainer or a spectator, and he was regarded as “a true gentleman of racing”.
Those thoughts were echoed through the tributes to him on Vicki’s Facebook page.
Tamworth trainer Sue Grills said: “So sorry to hear about Trev, nature’s gentleman & a wonderful trainer.”
Fellow Tamworth trainer Lesley Jeffriess said: “An absolute gentleman will be sadly missed love to all.”
And from Theresa Stair: “We have sadly lost another true gentleman and racing legend. RIP Trevor.”
Smith began his racing career as an amateur, or “picnic” jockey, and twice won the Corinthian Handicap, which was a traditional event for amateur riders at Randwick for many years – doing so in 1952 aboard Damascene and eight years later on Dare Say.
“He’s one of the few people who have got a 100 per cent riding record at Randwick,” Vicki said.
He also enjoyed considerable success around the region, before a fall from a horse during track work ended his career in the saddle.
Sustaining life threatening injuries, Smith fortunately recovered and in 1972 obtained his trainers licence.
He had almost immediate success, winning the 1972 Armidale Cup with Bells Ben and the West Tamworth Cup with Marie’s Choice.
Over the ensuing four decades he twice had success in his home cup – with Miss Benessa and Maple Syrup, and he also won a Bingara Cup and a Warialda Cup with Pietentious, and a Gunnedah Cup with Lady Bendina. Lady Bendina also won a race at Randwick in 1981.
Smith will be farewelled at St Laurence’s Anglican Church in Barraba at 10.30am on Friday.