Race on 26 September remembers Jeff Scott

15 September 2021

At our September meeting we will run a race in honour of the late Jeff Scott. We’d like to thank Jeff’s family for providing the following account.

From the time Jeff knew about racing he loved it. He would go with his father to the races and then when his father died when he was 12, he worked at Gill Shirley’s stable in Invercargill to stay connected to the industry. While still at high school he started writing articles just for fun. It was Gill Shirley that encouraged Jeff to submit his articles and he had a few accepted by the Southland Times while he was still at high school.

At the age of 16yrs Jeff was accepted as a cadet Journalist by the Southland Times under Don Wright. Southland was a great grounding in the racing industry and he was always grateful for the start that both the Southland Times and the Southland Racing Industry gave him.

Jeff was offered a position as Harness Racing Journalist at the Press which he accepted in 1982. He worked at the Press for 24yrs rising to Harness Racing Editor before he left. He edited the Harness Racing Annual for four years before two little boys who wanted their dad meant he had to stop. Over this time he got to know many passionate and incredibly hard working people in the Harness Racing Industry and had a lot of respect for the people behind racing.

The racing industry and the print industry changed significantly over this time ,but Jeff’s passion for racing and the people involved in the industry never changed.  He won many awards during his time at the press and twice received the TAB racing journalist of the year.

Unfortunately Jeff could see the writing on the wall for print based news (excuse the pun!), so in 2006 he accepted voluntary redundancy and instead put his efforts into web-based racing coverage.  His work for Cran Dalgety rekindled his love of writing as Cran gave him free rein to do any editorial pieces he desired as well as the day to day reporting on Kentuckiana Stud’s hugely successful team of horses. Other racing websites he contributed to were for Mark Jones and the late Bob McArdle.

Even after his diagnosis in 2019, as soon as he was able he tried to get back to this work.  Unfortunately it was not to be and he handed over completely to the capable hands of Stu Bailey.

We, his family will forever be grateful to the incredible people involved in the Harness Racing Industry. Your support and messages have given us so many good memories and have helped us get through the past year. As Jeff used to say “that’s racing for ya!”