Racing industry unites to support ill Bendigo man

Bendigo’sJohn Wood is a much-loved figure in the racing industry.

The long-time Thoroughbred Racing Productions employee has been an audio-visual Mr Fix-It for clubs across the state.

Now those clubs are banding together to help him.

Wood is seriously ill, and the resulting medical bills beyond him.

The Wodonga & District Turf Club will hold a charity race day this Tuesday to raise money for Wood, and a GoFundMe page has also attracted donations from across the racing industry.

Racing Victoria race day services manager Carl Hufer said Wood had been a reliable ally for every club in the state for more than two decades.

“Every club could rely on ‘Woody’ if there was ever an issue or a problem,” he said.

“He’s always willing to work overtime or go above and beyond the call of duty. His technical knowledge is A-1.

“A lot of the clubs’ event days were held together by Woody. Without a grizzle. Without complaint. Smile on the face, happy to help.

“That’s why everyone’s got behind this so much.”

This Tuesday at the Wodonga & District Turf Club, each of the eight races on the card will represent a donation to Wood’s cause.

Race clubs from Ararat, Ballarat, Bendigo, Hamilton, Kyneton, Sale and Wodonga, are sponsoring individual races, while Dunkeld, Terang and Camperdown combined to sponsor one, as did Coleraine and Casterton.

The race meeting was a late addition to the Wodonga calendar, only added after a Wangaratta meeting was abandoned last week due to persistent rain.

The race sponsorships will deliver thousands of dollars to Wood’s cause.

Wodonga Racing general manager Tom O’Connor said the transfer meeting presented a blank slate to do something positive.

“Obviously it gave us an opportunity to support John. It got the mind thinking,” he said.

“The other clubs were very quick to support the idea. They’ve been fantastic in coming forward and supporting it.

“The guys from TRP travel from far and wide to courses all over country Victoria. When they’re on course, they form part of your team. You get to know them.

“Woody’s always been fantastic to deal with.”

O’Connor said the club was also looking for a corporate partner for the day to match all donations.

To support Woody please click here

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