Gordon Rothacker Medal recipient for 2016 Carl O'Dwyer.
Long-time industry all-rounder Carl O’Dwyer was the recipient of the 2016 Gordon Rothacker Medal last night at a packed Crown Palladium.
The famed farrier and administrator was acknowledged for his involvement in the Victorian industry over almost 60 years in which time he’s had several roles.
On the track he drove Fiery Luck to win the 1975 E.B. Cochran Cup and twice won the Kilmore Trotters Cup behind the same horse in 1975 and 1976.
As a trainer he put the polish on 1977 V.L. Dullard Cup winner Albey Logan and 1979 A.G. Hunter Cup winner Hanna’s Boy.
As an administrator Mr O’Dwyer spent time on several committees and boards, most notably on the Harness Racing Victoria Board between 2001 and 2011. Mr O’Dwyer also served his local club at Kilmore on the committee from 1975 to 2001, as committeeman, vice-president and president.
Also a member of the Rural Research Development Committee (1997 to 2001) and the Victorian Country Clubs Association as president in 2001, Mr O’Dwyer has never shirked at the opportunity to give his time to his passions.
But despite all his successes and many roles within the sport at an administrative level Mr O’Dwyer is most notably known as a master farrier.
In 1971 Mr O’Dwyer formed O’Dwyer Horseshoe Sales Australia because he saw a need for mechanically produced horseshoes. He specialises in problem horseshoeing of performance horses and shoeing standardbreds, both pacers and trotters.
“I’ve been involved in the industry since I was 15 … I think I drove my first winner at 16,” Mr O’Dwyer said when interviewed after receiving the Victorian trots’ highest individual honour.
“He used to flog his knees so I got into shoeing horses and, hopefully, I’ve learnt a little bit from that.”
Mr O’Dwyer in fact spoke of his relationship with the master horseman whose name adorns the medal, Gordon Rothacker, and how he used to shoe horses for Rothacker.
“I’m extremely grateful,” he added.
“You don’t do these things for rewards, you do it because you enjoy the industry."
Mr O’Dwyer thanked his wife and made special mention of his daughter and son-in-law, who “didn’t let me know this was happening tonight”. He also thanked the HRV Board for the honour.
Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
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