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PROTRACK » Pro Running HISTORY » The Day the Handicapper's Gun Backfired!

The Day the Handicapper's Gun Backfired!

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1 The Day the Handicapper's Gun Backfired! on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:36 am


Doing a little bit research on the Daylesford Gift and came across this item in the Age from December 1951. Imagine having no gun available and having to resort to a metal gong...and then using live ammunition that backfires on the handicapper acting as a substitute starter.

I wonder how many runners of the day showed concern for the poor handicapper who nearly had his blown off!

Planning at Meet Back-fired!
The Age
31 December 1951

When the Daylesford Gift programme was due to start on Saturday, the Victorian Athletic League starter and other league officials had not arrived. Then the trouble began......

The meeting eventually began 45 minutes late, with the starter missing and league handicapper Mr. F Prince - who had arrived with fellow officials, Messrs Storan and Kent - acting as a substitute.

The handicappers were delayed when a steam train replaced the normal diesel train which could not accommodate the additional gift traffic.

But the troubles were not yet over, as supplies of cartridges for the single-barrelled shot gun being used as a starting pistol ran out, and the substitution of a metal gong proved too confusing for runners.

Makeshift blanks made from "deloused" live cartridges came into use but did not make enough noise.

Using live cartridges fired into sand bags proved disastrous when one back-fired and smashed handicapper Prince's hand.

He was rushed to hospital for treatment.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

2 Re: The Day the Handicapper's Gun Backfired! on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:49 am


The first train could not accommodate the gift traffic? Must have been some crowds going to the meets in those days. be like going to the footy!

3 Re: The Day the Handicapper's Gun Backfired! on Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:22 pm


who carries a single barrel shot gun to a running meet? did the handicapper have it in his kit bag? Laughing

should use one with live ammo more often, that would make the bastards run!! Twisted Evil

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