Popular Rockhampton racecaller Tony McMahon looks back at a lifetime of memories at Callaghan Park yesterday.
Popular Rockhampton racecaller Tony McMahon looks back at a lifetime of memories at Callaghan Park yesterday.

Jockey club ends career



SHATTERED Rockhampton racecaller Tony McMahon is taking solace in having learned in years in the racing industry that the best horse doesn't always win the race.

McMahon was told yesterday his services were no longer required at Callaghan Park.

Rockhampton Jockey Club has backed Rockhampton's Russell Leonard as its new racecaller/promotions officer over McMahon who has served the industry in Central Queensland for 16 years.

RJC chairman Justin Doyle said the position, which attracted nationwide interest, came down to a two-horse race at Tuesday night's special meeting.

"In the end the committee decided to focus on the two local applicants mainly due to their profiles in town,'' Doyle said.

"It's a big call from us and it's not something we've enjoyed doing but it's purely a business decision.''

For McMahon, who became Australia's youngest racecaller at the age of 16 on the Northern Rivers circuit in 1968, racecalling is his passion.

"Racecalling was one of the loves of my life and I'm sad it's ended this way,'' said McMahon, The Morning Bulletin's awardwinning racing writer.

"I've always believed in loyalty but after this decision I don't know what to believe anymore.

"I want to thank the people of Central Queensland for all of their support.''

Sitting back in his "office'' at Callaghan Park's racecallers box yesterday, McMahon was also disappointed to find out he will not get a farewell appearance at the RJC's final race meeting of 2005 next Thursday, with Leonard starting in his new position immediately.

With RJC executive manager Bruce Slattery set to retire in the next two years, Doyle said Leonard's role would also involve working closely with sponsors and the club's new sponsorship package, which includes the naming rights deal for next year's Rockhampton Cup.



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