Weighing in the scales for racing

Former jockey and now race starter Andrew Bloomfield was one of many riders that Dot Fox has weighed in over the years.

THERE are many people other than the horse trainers, jockeys and owners that go into making a successful race meeting.

Behind the scenes and leading into the race day dozens of volunteers, dedicated committee members give their time and energy into running a successful race day.

But there are also people who may not be connected to the individual turf club but have to also line up for jobs that are just as important.

One such person at the race track last Saturday at Tumut was the Weigh in Scales steward Dot Fox.

Dot’s position is to weigh the jockeys before and after each race, keep strict records of these weights and ensure they are correct. 

“It took me one year to learn,” Dot said.

Dot and her daughter live in Wangaratta but travel the race circuit in the North East and Southern New South Wales carrying out her job with diligence. 

“I started doing Albury – but now I do the southern NSW district; it is something I love to do, we skip around all over the country to the races.

“I’ve been doing this for more than 32 years and also come up here (Tumut),” she said.

“I started when my eldest daughter, Elaine, was a jockey and she rode for many years.

“I was at Albury one day and from over the loud speaker I heard the announcement would I report to the stewards please.

“I thought there was something to do with my daughter but instead they asked me to do the scales as their steward had not turned up and they knew that I would know how to do it and that’s how my job started.”

Dot went on to tell how she now travels all over the southern part of NSW doing this job and has met some incredible people and jockeys. 

One such jockey she weighed in many times was Andrew Bloomfield who rode the country circuit and is now one of the starters at the Tumut Turf Club on Saturday, he is now from Wagga Wagga.

“I love this job and it keeps my interest in racing,” Dot said.

It is obvious that Dot is also loved by the racing fraternity as many kept coming up to her and talking to her and the jockeys have got to know her well and treat her with great respect.

Watching Dot work was a pleasure as she sits quietly most of the time keeping an eye on what is going on around her recording weights for each race against the jockey’s name and details she knows whose riding for which trainer and on what horse and behind her is the place for trainers to drop off the colours for the jockeys as they come for their next ride.

It is often the people behind the scenes that make a day like the Tumut Cup meeting run smoothly.

For Dot keeping the weights right is just as important as any other job on the track and as she said she will keep on doing this job for a few years to come “I love it”, she repeated.

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