Episode 260: Kevin Langby


Manage episode 278413089 series 2379704
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How lovely it is to catch up with a bloke I called on hundreds of winners during his golden years in the saddle. Kevin Langby spent six full seasons as stable rider for T.J.Smith, during which time he bagged four Sydney premierships.

Kev takes us back to his childhood days in Orange and to his initial apprenticeship to Max Wardle. He later transferred to leading central western trainer Dick Cornish.

He looks back on his father’s insistence that he should transfer to a Sydney trainer. He says he was lucky to find a spot with astute horseman Fred Hood.

Kevin remembers the early winners and the first top class horse he got to ride.

The former champion jockey reflects on his time as stable jockey to Arthur Ward and the retainer he was offered by Sir Frank Packer.

Kevin says his association with Tommy Smith just evolved. Not once did the legendary trainer verbally confirm the partnership.

He talks of Smith’s attitude to his jockeys and his acceptance of defeat.

The seventy four year old looks back on the trauma of losing his father in an industrial accident.

Kevin reflects on his Golden Slipper trilogy.

He talks of his much publicised battle with Peter Cook for premiership honours in 1972/73, and the reaction of racing bosses to his trademark shoulder length hair.

Kev speaks affectionately of Sharon, his daughter from his first marriage to Patti. He pays tribute to Sharon’s achievements as a trainer, and to his granddaughter Tiffany a respected jockey in the Central West of NSW.

He reflects on his second marriage to Lyn with whom he had daughters Christie and Candice, and his only son Jason who was born with a heart defect. Kevin says doctors gave him only months to live.The little trooper confounded medical science by getting close to his tenth birthday.

He looks back on two years as a stipendiary steward, and a short stint as Gordon Benson’s stable foreman at Gosford.

Older racing fans will love Kevin’s reminiscences about three wonderful horses- Imagele, Gunsynd and Rising Prince.

He talks of his stint as a bus driver, and the cancer scare he received eleven years ago. He’s got some advice for men who don’t like doctors.

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