THEY have ploughed countless hours into supporting harness racing.
And no doubt they have spent along their journey.
So it was a fitting reward for Peter and Marie Neil to be afforded the ultimate tribute by Bathurst Harness Racing Club by being named the Gold Crown honourees for 2018.
According to club President Wayne Barker, Peter and Marie’s long association is not just with the Bathurst Gold Crown, but with the industry in general.
“Peter and Marie have successfully operated a breeding establishment at Goulburn for a number of years with a band of 25 broodmares,” Barker said.
“Adding to this, Peter and Marie also run a very successful training operation of 30 horses based near Bathurst, under the watchful eye of long-time trainer Peter Bullock.”
These horses always carry the Shannon name and it is not unusual for the Neils to have multiple runners in a race on their home track at Bathurst.
“Peter and Marie would one day love to win a Gold Crown or a Gold Tiara and I am sure that win is not too far away,” Barker said. “They have been runners-up three times.
“You can only keep breeding quality horses, which Peter and Marie do to give yourself a chance.
“So you would like to think a Crown or Tiara win is just around the corner.
“The board was unanimous with their selection of Peter and Marie to be this year’s honourees, and personally, I couldn’t think of a more fitting choice.”
Peter and Marie will be welcomed into the list of Gold Crown Honourees at the Honouree Dinner on Tuesday, March 27 at the Bathurst RSL Club from 7pm.
Previous Bathurst Gold Crown Honourees
1990 – Jimmy Caffyn
1991 – Kevin Newman
1992 – George Gath
1993 – Jack Honan, Bill Wise and Noel Simpson
1994 – Tony Turnbull
1995 – Don Clough
1996 – Brian Hancock
1997 – Ken Dyer
1998 – Harry Pearce
1999 – Mick Lombardo
2000 – John Tapp
2001 – Wayne and Anne Lamb
2002 – Dennis Wilson
2003 – Ken Brown AM
2004 – Bob McArdle
2005 – The Jack family
2006 – The Manning family
2007 – The Dumesny family
2008 – Chris Gray
2009 – Steve Turnbull
2010 – The Fitzpatrick family
2011 – Jayne Davies and Noel Alexander
2012 – The Hando Family
2013 – Doug and Janet Moore
2014 – John Coffey
2015 – Chris Alford
2016 – The McCarthy family
2017 – Kevin Thompson
2018 – Peter and Marie Neil.