Champion jockey Rodney Kemp had his name etched into the annuls of Western Australia’s rich racing history when he was inducted into the Western Australian Racing Industry Hall Of Fame on Thursday night.
Kemp was one of 12 inductees selected from 33 nominees across thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing that was bestowed their sports highest honour at an induction ceremony held at Crown Casino.
Kalgoorlie born Kemp, affectionately known as ‘Rocket’ by thousands of his supporters, was champion apprentice in 1971-72 and Perth’s Leading Jockey for four consecutive seasons between 1983 and 1987.
He booted home 11 Group One winners including dual Australian Derby’s with Sanatate (1982) and Importune (1984), the Railway Stakes with Eastern Temple (1984) and the Perth Cup on Phizam (1985).
Kemp’s career was tragically and prematurely cut short when he fell from Cheridge at Belmont Park in 1987, the horror fall leaving the then 33 year-old with severe neck injuries that left him partially paralysed.
Modern day hero Im Themightyquinn retired from racing just two years ago, but in a star-studded 111 start career that netted almost $5 million in prizemoney, he made a quick transition to Hall Of Fame status.
Im Themightyquinn won 14 races at the elite level, including three WA Pacing Cups (2011-12-13), but arguably the race that ensconced him into Australian harness racing folklore was his third Inter Dominion victory at Menangle Park when he came from last in a stirring finish.
In 2015 Im Themightyquinn, a three-time winner of Australian Harness Horse of the Year (2011-12-13), was retired after sustaining an injury while preparing for a fourth consecutive Inter Dominion title.
Bright Idea was the standard-bearer of WA greyhound racing in the formative years, his size and courage attracting mainstream media coverage for the fledgling sport.
One of the smallest dogs to race in his era, Bright Idea was renowned as a ‘big race specialist’ performing when it mattered most in the major races. He was crowned WA’s first Greyhound of the Year in 1975.
The Western Australian Racing Industry Hall of Fame continues to celebrate the most acclaimed icons in Western Australian racing, pacing and chasing. Tonight’s inductees join 58 other horses, trainers, jockeys, drivers and associates that have been inducted since 2007.
2017 WA Racing Hall of Fame Inductees:
|Thoroughbred Inductees||Harness Inductees||Greyhound Inductees|
|Raconteur||Frosty Nelson||Bright Idea|
|Rodney Kemp||Im Themightyquinn||Keith Harding|
|Len Pike||Lyle Lindau|
|Sir Ernest Lee Steere Snr||Harold Richter|
|Max Simmonds||Sir Frank Ledger|