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Vale Robin Joy

Vale VHHRC committee member Robin Joy

THE Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club will pay tribute to committee member Robin Keith Joy, who passed away surrounded by friends and family last week.

Robin had a passion for horses and it was evident in any horse-related task he undertook.

For the past three years, he held the title as track curator, ensuring the Morgan Park track was maintained to a high-standard for race day.

Club president Lynton Bishop expressed his sympathies for the Joy family, and said the larger-than-life volunteer who had a heart of gold, and would be missed.

“Three years ago, I was worried about the track and concerned about who would take the job on,” Lynton said.

“As president I delegated jobs, and Robin put his hand up to take care of the track and we’ve had no complaints about the track in the past two years.”

Lynton recalled one race meet where at 5pm the night prior, Robin was still out grading the track for the following day.

However, come race day, the horses produced exceptional times, and Lynton knew he had the right man for the job.

“He was very meticulous, he would spend hours and hours on the track,” Lynton said.

“He said to me at one stage, he used to walk around as a kid picking stones off the old track.”

Robin was born on August 8, 1956, and was raised in Victor Harbor.

He was partner to Robyn, father to Tash and Shannon, was father-in-law to Dave and Steevie and poppy to Darcy, Jed and Freya. 

His love for horses and harness racing began when Robin was working and training horses while his dad worked away as a shearer. 

Robin’s favourite horse throughout his career was his father’s pacer Waitpinga Lass.

Robin has trained numerous horses in his life time but having a particular love for square gaters, his horse Alleged Interest held the track record at VHHRC for many years.

Robin, along with friend and driver Terry Hayes, trained Shade of Sport throughout Robin’s first bout of illness.

One of his highlights was seeing the mare get her first win at Gawler only a few short weeks after returning home from hospital.

She Knows How was a special mare for Robin who claimed the time trail prize in a series of exhibition nights at the Royal Adelaide show several years ago. 

She then went on to foal one of Robin’s most loved horses, that being Doctor Puckridge.

Half brother to another gelding by the name of Young Nick Faser (owned with long-time friend Dave Philps), the two horses were named in honour of doctors who were imperative in saving Robins life after numerous complicated surgeries and a long hospital stay in 2012. 

Both horses going on to be reputable contenders on the track with Doctor Puckridge winning a race at the Return to Wayville Retro Night in Oct last year. 

Robin loved his horses and as just as much, his friends within the industry. He was a man who was alwayswilling to lend a hand and always up for a good long chat.

A celebration of life will be held for Robin at the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club grounds on Friday, December 7 at 2pm. 

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