Former Randwick-based racehorse trainer and later steward, Mr John Haigh, passed away aged 90 on Saturday, 4 August 2018.
John was a trainer based at Bowral St, Randwick, through the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. He was born into a racing family being the son of well-known trainer, Les Haigh, who prepared the champion racehorse Rogilla.
John’s best horse was Electro which won the Sydney Cup in 1956.
John moved away from racing for a short period in the 1970s but was lured back to the sport after a short stint as an official in the Philippines before moving to the role of Steward with the Newcastle, Hunter & Central Coast Racing Association in the late 1970s.
John was appointed as Chairman of Stewards for that region in the early 1980s and held the position until he retired from full-time stewarding in 1993.
Once retired, John moved to the Gold Coast and was immediately seconded to the Stewards Panel of the Queensland Turf Club, later to become Queensland Racing, and worked as a casual Steward for many years on the panel at the Gold Coast race meetings.
One lasting legacy left by John Haigh on NSW racing is the deferment of suspension rule now in use for jockeys.
John was the major proponent for the implementation of this rule not only to assist jockeys but also owners and trainers who were grossly disadvantaged seeking replacement jockeys at race meetings to replace those that had been suspended on the previous day.
John is survived by his wife June and sons Steven, Leslie and Mark.
- Michael Beattie