Waikato trio honoured at Matamata
From left to right Richard Seabrook, Tom Brown, Roger Blake and Dr Alan Jackson (NZTR Chairman) Photo: Trish Dunell
A Waikato trio who have provided the decades of commitment to the racing industry were acknowledged at Matamata on Saturday.
Roger Blake, Tom Brown and Richard Seabrook were the latest recipients of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Service Awards.
The awards were introduced this season, with the aim of thanking and acknowledging people who have given lengthy and distinguished service to racing, in a variety of roles, and usually with little reward or acknowledgement from the wider racing community.
Blake and Brown, who are brothers-in-law, have been stalwarts of the Matamata Racing Club (MRC) and Seabrook has had a long association with the Cambridge Jockey Club.
In addition, all three made significant contributions outside their club commitments. Seabrook and Brown have had a lengthy involvement with the racing judicial system and Blake was a long-time chair of Northern Raceday Services.
Brown became a member of the MRC committee in 1974 and served as president from 1995-1998. He had a 25-year involvement with the judicial system and became a valued panellist at all levels. He first made a mark in racing as an amateur rider and was the leading amateur in New Zealand for two successive seasons in the mid-1960s.
Blake, who was also an amateur rider, became a MRC steward n 1979 and eventually succeeded Brown as president. He was chairman of Northern Raceday Services for 15 years and also served as president of the Putaruru Point-to-Point. Northern Raceday Services, a non-profit organisation, is responsible for the supply of starting gates and staff to race and trial meetings throughout the northern region.
Seabrook was a Cambridge Jockey Club committee member for 25 years and president for six years. He has been involved in the racing judicial system for more than 40 years and still acts as a Judicial Control Authority (JCA) appeal panellist. His experience in the judicial system began when clubs provided the raceday panels and extended to the era of the JCA and he was widely respected for his expertise and knowledge in the integrity field.