Vic Frost rewarded for decades of service to harness racing

It was the quiet word following his induction into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame that spoke volumes about the influence of the great Vic Frost.

The 82-year-old legend of the harness game was rewarded for his decades of service on Sunday night at the 2022 Queensland Harness Awards in Brisbane.

And, following his official induction on stage in front of the harness-loving people in attendance, Frost was quickly whisked away to complete some media commitments outside.

Just minutes before, top Queensland driver Matt Elkins helped introduce Frost to the podium, detailing the guidance and advice that the veteran participant had provided him across his fledgling career.

Also, waiting quietly outside the venue for Frost to finish his interviews and have his pictures taken was fellow top Sunshine State reinsman Trent Dawson.

Dawson had exited the main room where the guests were to ensure he could be one of the first to speak to Frost and also thank him for all his help and opportunities he gave him over the years.

Vic Frost and his wife Gail Geeson.

It was just a quiet word between Dawson and Frost, but it was obvious just how impactful the gesture was for the evergreen harness man.

Frost has won a Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion during his harness tenure, but his greatest legacy might be his mentorship of other participants.

Some of the great drivers in Australia at the moment learned their craft under Frost, with Elkins the next generation coming through the ranks aiming to also reach those heights.

“In particular when Vic stepped down from race driving, he really helped mould and shape the careers of several outstanding young drivers, Luke McCarthy comes to mind, Shane Graham as well and Matty Elkins,” respected harness voice Chris Barsby said.

“Elkins had a personal best season last season and he was another one who had been under the tutelage of Vic and getting opportunities to drive his horses.”

Elkins was on stage to help induct Frost into the Hall of Fame – alongside presenter Brittany Graham – and he was chuffed to have the 26-year-old by his side as he was inducted.

“Matt is a great driver and has been our driver for quite a while now, driving a lot of winners for us,” Frost said.

“After a race, he is great with his feedback on how our horses have performed.

“We always take it on board and try and correct that.

“Then, he has a better chance of getting a winner for us next time.

“That is what it is all about, communicating with your driver and listening to them.”

Champion pacer Henry Luca was also inducted into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday night alongside Frost.

Frost has prepared over 1,000 winners since data was collated, with half of those registered during his time racing on Queensland tracks.

The multiple Group 1 winner took home a raft of titles including the 1970 Miracle Mile, Australian Derby, Australian and Queensland Pacing Championships, as well as the 1992 Inter Dominion on superstar Westburn Grant.

Matt Elkins was on stage to help induct Vic Frost into the Hall of Fame alongside presenter Brittany Graham.

“There are no more deserving Hall of Fame inductees than both Vic Frost and Henry Luca,” Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.

“Now at 82 years of age, Vic is still training winners with his partner Gail Geeson and will forever be remembered as the man behind champions like Westburn Grant, Lucky Creed and Chandon.

“Importantly, he has also played a huge role in developing many young drivers including the likes of Luke McCarthy, Shane Graham, and Matt Elkins.”

Westburn Grant stands out above the rest of the greatest standardbred Frost has ever been associated with, he says.

Westburn Grant won feature races in numerous states all over Australian and New Zealand as well as living a long and healthy life after retiring from the racetrack, as well.

“He is my favourite horse,” Frost said of Westburn Grant. 

“He died two years ago at 34 years old, which is a long age for a standardbred.

“All the horses he raced against, they probably died many years ago.

“We looked after him, he was a great horse and just one of the family for us. We loved him forever.”

Barsby – the voice of harness racing in the Sunshine State – pushed for Frost to be included in the Hall of Fame, putting together a document to detail his achievements and worthiness.

Frost has been based in Northern NSW, just south of Tweed border, since the middle of 1994 and raced his horses predominately in Queensland, achieving great success at the old Gold Coast facility.

“He adds class to any Hall Of Fame that he is going to be inducted into,” Barsby said.

“I think over time, he has done more than enough for the Queensland harness racing industry.

“He is a worthy recipient and I was absolutely thrilled to see Vic inducted.

‘He has had some wonderful success in Queensland and he has had some great horses here as well.

“He is probably best known for driving Lucky Creed – a Miracle Mile winner – and Westburn Grant, an Inter Dominion winner and absolute superstar in his own right.”

Frost was flanked by his wife, Gail Geeson, and family on Sunday night when he was confirmed as a Hall of Fame member.

He described his emotions as “absolutely stoked” as he went to the awards ceremony with no knowledge of the honour he was about to receive.  

“It is fantastic really as we love what we do, we are horse people,” Frost said.

Vic Frost and Brittany Graham.

By Jordan Gerrans