Bill Dixon - one of two recipients of the 2012 Distinguished National Service Award
The 2012 Annual General Meeting of Harness Racing Australia (HRA) unanimously ratified recommendations from the HRA Executive to present a number of national Merit Awards in recognition of outstanding service and industry contributions.
The Distinguished National Service Award recognises important achievement, substantive effort, enterprise, endeavour, creativity and professional excellence on a national basis over a long period of time.
“Both of the two winners of these awards epitomise the true spirit of Harness Racing and the broader industry and are worthy winners of this award” Chairman of HRA, Mr. Geoff Want said.
Bill Dixon is a name well known to all involved in the sport. As the winner of the JD Watts Award for the leading Australian trainer for the period of 2008 – 2011 inclusive, he retired from training at the end of the 2011 season, handing over the reins to his son, Grant. Bill Dixon was also the leading driver in 1978, showing his longevity and versatility in the sport. Born in Charters Towers, he was the dominant trainer in North Queensland until making the move to Brisbane to further enhance his reputation as a horseman of great renown. Whilst retired from training he maintains his heavy involvement with the industry as the President of BOTRA Queensland.
Gavin Lang has long been acknowledged as one of the premier drivers in Australasia and is the first reinsperson in the Southern Hemisphere to drive 5,000 winners, reaching the achievement in August 2012 at a race meeting in Warragul. Fittingly, Warragul is also his place of birth.
Gavin is the son of legendary horse man Graeme Lang and drove his first winner in 1975. Gavin has continued to clock up winners on a regular basis and has earned the reputation of being cool in a crisis. Dubbed the ice-man, he has been associated with many group winning horses during his time in the sulky, but his favourite was the war horse, Persistency.
"These awards are a well deserved acknowledgement by everyone in the industry for the exceptional contribution of these two horsemen” Mr Want said.
For more information, contact Gary Kairn on 03 9227 3003.