The man behind the voice calling local race meets from Coonabarabran to Cobar, Col Hodges, has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List.
Mr Hodges has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), for service to the horse racing industry as a radio broadcaster.
Based in Forbes, Mr Hodges commenced his career as a race broadcaster and journalist in 1970.
Almost 50 years later, his voice has become synomymous with country racing.
Mr Hodges said the OAM honour came as a huge surprise.
“Like a 100/1 winner at the races,” Mr Hodges said.
In addition to his role as a race broadcaster, Mr Hodges has been a contributor to newspapers and journals across the region through his regular racing round- up column, “Over the Odds”, including the Coonabarabran Times.
He frequently serves as a phantom race caller and MC for community fund-raising events, including the Forbes Street Christmas Carnival and Coona Cup Calcutta.
He currently holds the position of publicity officer for the Central Districts Racing Association and Western Racing Association, but has also been a volunteer of the Forbes Jockey Club “for many years” and is a life member of the Bedgerebong Picnic Race Club.
Coonabarabran Jockey Club president, Stewart Rodgers, said Mr Hodges had been calling TAB meets in Coonabarabran for the past decade.
“He is a great supporter of smaller clubs and bends over backwards to help in any capacity,” Mr Rodgers said.
“It is a well-deserved accolade.
“The Coonabarabran Jockey Club congratulates Col on his achievements and we are very appreciateive of the help he gives us every year.”
Popular race broadcaster and journalist, Col Hodges, has been recognished in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Photo courtesy Jenny Kingham - Parkes Champion Post.