THE Bathurst Harness Racing Club has named Marie and Peter Neil as this year’s Gold Crown Carnival honourees.
The Neils join a long list of highly respected and influential harness racing figures on the honourees list, and they too have made a substantial impact on the industry.
The couple run a successful breeding establishment and have forged a strong training partnership with Bathurst’s Peter Bullock.
“Peter and Marie have had a long association with not only the Bathurst Gold Crown but harness racing in general.” Bathurst Harness Racing Club president Wayne Barker said.
“Both, Peter and Marie have successfully operated a breeding establishment at Goulburn, for a number of years with a band of 25 broodmares.
“Adding to this, Peter and Marie also run a very successful training operation of 30 horses based near Bathurst, under the watch full eye of long time trainer Peter Bullock.
“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, after being runner up on three previous occasions.
“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.”
Bathurst Harness Racing Club CEO Danny Dwyer said selecting Peter and Marie Neil for the honour was a quick and easy decision for the board.
“Each year we have a list of the people put forward to consideration and you often see some of the same names coming up each year. Peter and Marie, I believe, were nominated for the first time though,” he said.
“On the back of not just their contributions to harness racing here in Bathurst but in the broader community of harness racing they were an easy choice.
“You only have to look at the quality of the broodmares they have … and the foals that are reared at Goulburn. They’re broken in by Peter Bullock and it’s an operation that has worked very well for them.”
The Neils join the likes of Chris Alford, the McCarthy Family and Kevin Thompson, who were the three most recent honourees on a distinguished list.
“It’s a very special list of people who have contributed a lot to harness racing,” Dwyer said.
“They have both been continually involved with the industry for such a long time and their breeding operation has helped ensure our quality of racing stays high.
“Their work means we can continue to have strong numbers at race meetings.”
Peter and Marie Neil will be welcomed into the list of Gold Crown Honourees at the Honouree Dinner on March 27 at the Bathurst RSL Club.