KEITH THOMSON MEMORIAL
PARKES HARNESS RACING CLUB
KEITH THOMSON MEMORIAL
The Keith Thomson Memorial is in its 9th year of running in 2019. The Thomson family sponsors the race in Keith's honor by making the condition for horses that are trained within 125km of Parkes, something that was close to Keith's heart to support local trainers.
Keith Thomson was not born into harness racing but after leaving school at age 12 to help support his widowed mother, he got his first job delivering bread by horse & sulky around the Granville area in Sydney, and his love of horses began.
Along his delivery route he came in contact with several trotting trainers and he was hooked by the sport.
Keith Started a horse transport business after his marriage to June and that took him from far North Queensland to Victoria. He also trained a few pacers at the same time.
In 1972, Keith & June decided to head west with their family and settled in Manildra. With them came Keith's pride & joy, a beautiful black stallion named Waitakian, and while he was no champion on the race track, his looks certainly were admired.
Keith would travel his horses to Malcolm Cunningham's property to fast work them and would trial each Tuesday night at Parkes.
They moved to Parkes in 2001.
Although fame and fortune from harness racing eluded Keith, he was considered one of the true characters of the sport and he did train his share of winners including Portellis Gift, Irata Boy, Glendon Miss, Spell Me, Brehanna Kate to name a few.
On February 15, 2008, whilst track working one of his horses on the Parkes Showground, Keith had a bad fall that left him a quadraplegic. He spent months in Sydneys Royal North Shore Hospital. When doctors gave an approval for Keith to return to Parkes, the Harness Racing community held a fundraising dinner to help support the Thomson family with on going costs for treatment and travel.
After Keith's accident, local trainers helped out the family by looking after & training the horses. Wendy Turnbull and Brett Hutchings were the major contributors.
Keith's wife June and their 5 children have never forgot the help and generosity of the Parkes Harness Racing Club people and by running this race each year not only pays tribute to Keith but says thank you for everything people have done for them.
Keith passed away 2 April 2010.