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Goodbye to a local racing legend

Local racing legend, Bill Ridge, passed away in Dubbo last week. Photo supplied

By Colin Hodges

Maintaining a passion for horse racing to the end, Bill Ridge at age 94, passed away last week at Dubbo.

Retired to Dubbo, he had spent the majority of his life at his grazing property “Tuncoona” at Enngonia, north of Bourke where he and his wife Robin Ridge raised their three children, Bill Jnr, Julie and Kerry.

With the help of others, Bill was instrumental in getting the Enngonia Race Club up and running again after World War II while he also raced a host of good horses including the legendary outback galloper Blazing Arrow.

Bill’s father William Ridge was elected secretary of the local race club in 1923 and Bill served as secretary of Enngonia from 1945 to 1953 and again from 1964 to 1968 before serving as president from 1969 to 1981.

From 1981 until his passing he was patron of Enngonia Race Club and overall Bill Ridge gave 75 years’ service to the club while also serving 28 years on the committee of the Western Districts and Western Racing Associations.

His brother the late Bob Ridge was also a long time secretary of Enngonia and represented the Western Racing Association on the NSW Country Racing Council.

At the Easter sales in Sydney in 1964, Bill Ridge purchased for 700 guineas, a yearling he later named Blazing Arrow and raced in partnership with his wife Robin.

During a remarkable career, Blazing Arrow had 194 starts for 47 wins, 44 seconds, 27 thirds and 14 fourth placings. Blazing Arrow won at 20 different tracks and was placed at nine other tracks with the wins including seven in Sydney.

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald. Call (02) 6872 2333 today and receive The Western Herald in your letterbox next week!

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