Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame inducts two giants of the sport

On the evening when harness racing’s crown jewel returned to the Sunshine State, it was fitting that two of Queensland’s great contributors to Inter Dominion series’ were formally recognised.

The late Ron Pointer and Sir Clive Uhr were both officially inducted into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame for their service to the sport.

In different ways both Pointer and Sir Clive were instrumental in past Inter Dominion series’ in the state.

Pointer bred the great four-time Inter Dominion champion Blacks A Fake as well as being key in the establishment of Egmont Park Stud, which has produced many standardbreds that have gone on to compete for ID honours.

Sir Clive was the founding Chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and was in the role when the famous track hosted its first Inter Dominion series back in 1972.

Pointer and Sir Clive have both long passed away and were represented by friends and family at the induction ceremony.

Mark Lichtwark – also a Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame member – helped set-up the breeding powerhouse of Egmont Park Stud with Pointer, Mark Aiken and leading harness owners Kevin and Kay Seymour back in 1984.

The Seymours claimed the ID pacing crown on Saturday night with star Leap To Fame.

Kiwi Lichtwark relocated to Australia just over 50 years ago.

He worked and trained horses for Pointer for decades.

Pointer wore several hats in the sport: owner, breeder and administrator.

Kevin Seymour.

“He was one of those guys that loved getting other people into the industry,” Lichtwark said of Pointer.

“He used to breed his horses and would sell them to different people just so they could get involved in the game and he would give them away at any price virtually.

“He looked after me all his life and he gave me a start in harness racing – he did that for so many people.

“He is one of those people that you could not find anyone to say a bad word about him.”

To this day, Egmont Park Stud remains as a key pillar in the code in Queensland.

Pointer bred champion pacer Blacks A Fake and the legendary standardbred became a four-time Inter Dominion champion, being the only pacer ever to do so, as well as winning numerous other marquee honours.

Pointer’s son Trevor accepted his Hall of Fame trophy on his behalf.

“Ron’s family was overwhelmed, he has two girls and a boy – the girls were very emotional about it all and appreciated it so much,” Lichtwark said.

“I do not think you could name anybody more fitting to go into the Hall of Fame if I am being honest.”

Like Pointer, Sir Clive’s family was on hand to celebrate his achievement to the sport.

Sir Clive got his start in the thoroughbreds before eventually getting involved in harness racing and his son Frank says Hall of Fame recognition would have been meaningful to his late father.

Sir Clive Uhr with Bernborough's trainer Harry Plant.

”He would have been absolutely thrilled with this,” Frank said.

“He was more into the gallops than the trots but the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club had the facilities and they were racing people.

“The opportunity arose and they picked it up and went with it. He thoroughly enjoyed it. It was only a short harness racing career for him but he did enjoy it.”

Sir Clive was influential in the deal being done for night harness racing to be established inside the old Albion Park gallops track.

Without the decisions in 1967 of Sir Clive and his committee at the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club – the then-owner of Albion Park – the current home of harness racing in the Sunshine State as we know it today may not have come to fruition.

Sir Clive remained as the Chairman of the club in 1972 when the first ID series was held at the track before he passed away two years later.

Frank recalls attending the 1972 Inter Dominion series.

“It was a great carnival and we had a lot of fun,” Frank said.

“We have a trophy here at home that was presented to Clive Uhr as the Chairman of the Albion Park Trotting Club for the 31st Inter Dominion Championship in 1972 in Brisbane. It is a nice gold Cup.”

Frank and his eldest son attended the induction ceremony on Saturday.

Sir Clive Uhr in the Brisbane Telegraph back in 1968.

“We were thrilled to be there and see how it all works,” Frank said.

“I had not been to Albion Park to the harness races since the middle of the 1980s. It was a great night.”

Sir Clive was also inducted into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame for the thoroughbred code in 2022.

While Pointer had an affinity with breeding and the Inter Dominion series, he was also heavily involved with the Redcliffe track in Queensland.

He was a committee member at the Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing and Sporting Club for many years and his name will be forever displayed at ‘The Triangle’ track.

The stable complex at Redcliffe is named in his honour after he led the charge in building the facilities himself.

“They were just dirt, the stables before Ron stepped in,” Lichtwark said.

“And, he got down on his hip – which he had issues with for a long time – and he levelled that ground over the stable are and he laid every paver with his bare hands, on his hands and knees. It took him a couple of months.

“To this day, those pavers have never moved and they named that complex in his honour.”

As well as champion Blacks A Fake, Pointer also raced many good horses including Aquagold – who won 26 races from 40 starts – and Colada Hanover, who went on to be the dam of Blacks A Fake.

Pointer passed away almost two decades ago.

By Jordan Gerrans