Tony Turnbull OAM Turns 90

22 January 2020


By John Tapp

The Bathurst Harness Racing Club hosted a magnificent birthday bash on Sunday 19th January for one of its favourite sons. Family and friends gathered to honour the legendary A.D. “Tony” Turnbull on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Master Of Ceremonies Chris Gray conducted an interview with the legendary horseman which was warmly received by guests.

I doubt Tony himself could tell you how many horses passed through his hands in a career embracing six decades. He trained enough horses to win eight NSW premierships, and was leading Australian trainer six times.

In 1976 he won his first NSW Drivers Premiership, a feat he repeated ten times in the following twelve years. Between 1978 and 1991, he drove more than 100 winners in a season on twelve occasions. He was the first driver to reach 2000 wins on his way to a career tally of 2884.

He is the most highly decorated NSW horseman in the history of the sport. Perhaps the greatest acknowledgement of his amazing life is the brilliant biography “ A Legendary Reinsman” completed in 2000 by eminent trotting journalist Harry Pearce.  Due recognition is given to his long list of honours and achievements, in a tribute video prepared especially for last Sunday’s birthday celebrations.

Tony never puts his hand on a horse these days, preparing to potter around with a few head of cattle and a million memories. As a trainer he had few peers. As a race driver he was unfailingly competitive and his services to the sport of harness racing were immeasurable.

By way of a special tribute to a master horseman,  we are delighted to present the video screened for the first time at A.D’s 90th birthday bash.


WATCH the tribute here: