Emotional farewell for veteran trainer

After 35 years of training horses Steve Lock had an emotional farewell at Addington last night.

The 70-year-old announced he's retiring from the sport after producing 80 wins from 3377 starters dating back to 1987. He also had one win as a driver, Latelastnight in Invercargill in 2009 (see video).

"I've had a lot of fun ..but it's also a sad night for me," Lock told Harness Racing Unhinged's Nigel Armstrong after his horse Honour Scroll finished eighth in race 2.

At times Lock got choked up as he talked about his involvement in the sport including a Greymouth Cup win with Eb's Fella in 1997, and the success of Snow Fella. He won ten overall including six while trained by Lock before going to trainer Tim Butt

Around 15 years ago he estimates he was working "about 25" horses.

Lock blamed diminishing returns and the rising costs of things like fuel and feed as two of the reasons behind his decision to call it quits. He has already found new homes for his horses.

"It's tough for the small guy in the industry and it's the old story - if you can't handle the heat you have to get out of the kitchen."

"I will miss it, but I can't afford to carry on."

Lock has been a bit of a nomad in the last year or so, most recently basing himself in Ashbuton. He will now gradually make his way back home to Invercargill.

As someone who raced stockcars back in the day Lock also has a big interest in motorsport, and expects to spend more time at the local speedway.

"I will miss it," he says of harness racing, "especially the circuits , like the Coast."

And there was another poignant moment in the very next race at Addington last night when Emily (Tim Williams) and Ha'penny Bridge (Kerry Hadfield) produced a quinella for trainer Murray Edmonds, who's only recently been diagnosed as having a brain tumour.

He's said to be "doing well and in good spirits", and was no doubt buoyed by his success on-track.

Harness Racing New Zealand would like to join everyone else in the sport in wishing Murray all the best in his recovery.


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