TASMANIA’S racing industry is in mourning this week following the death of two of the thoroughbred codes most influential characters.
Bill Shields O.A.M and Clarrie Johnson both made quite an impact on the industry with Shields shining in administration while Johnson was a prominent owner. They both shared a lot of success with Tasmanian Hall of Fame trainer Neil Richardson over a period spanning more than five decades.
Shields was chairman of the Tasmanian Racing Club from 1994-97 and helped guide the club through some tough times as well as contributing to its growth for which he was offered life membership of the club.
Shields’ passion was racehorses and he enjoyed a lot of success with a number of talented gallopers of which Lady Avenger was one of his better-performed gallopers.
Johnson raced some of Tasmania’s best-performed horses including Knock On Wood who won multiple feature races in Tasmania and interstate but his best was arguably Kubla Khan that won the Devonport, Deloraine and Hobart cups in 1979 when trained by Richardson.
Johnson was 93 and Shields 87 when they passed away peacefully last Sunday and both will be sorely missed.