Gladstone race starter Bobby Lysle moves the barriers from the 1000m mark at Ferguson Park between races.
Gladstone race starter Bobby Lysle moves the barriers from the 1000m mark at Ferguson Park between races. Jake Jones

Starter lives and loves the racing game at Ferguson Park

BOBBY Lysle lives the racing game and has done ever since he became an apprentice jockey at age 15.

Most punters at Ferguson Park on any given race day probably wouldn't recognise Lysle or know what he does.

But as the starter for the past 12 years, his role is vital when it comes to ensuring the punters' money is riding on a race where every horse gets a fair start.

"I was a barrier attendant and when the starter left I just took over," Lysle said of how he got into the role all those years ago.

He's down to earth about his job and philosophical about its low profile as far as the average punter is concerned.

"I just make sure they are all in their barriers and get them away in a line," he says, matter-of-factly.

The winner of the Rockhampton Newmarket in 1969 as an apprentice jockey, Lysle has been in and around the barriers long enough to just enjoy the job he does and he has no plans to change jobs.

"There is no pressure any more," he said. "My idea is to keep going for as long as I can.

"The only bad moments are when we see the ambulance pull up.

"Every time, no matter how serious, it is not good. I know all the jockeys well."



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