Ross Wilson was left beaming with pride when he notched up his 100th win as atrainer of harness horses at his home track on Saturday.
Wilson, of Whiterig, achieved the milestone when Bridesdale Robyn, driven by Craig Ferguson, won a maiden race at the Gore Harness Racing Club’s meeting at Gore.
It had taken 38 years for Wilson to reach triple digits but said it had always been in the back of his mind.
“It’s always been the big aim for me. I’ve always wanted to get here,” Wilson said.
“It may have taken me 30-odd years but I’ve made it.”
His first win, at Roxburgh in 1980, was with Mister Majestic who was bred by the late Eric Butler.
The two horses shared a connection as Bridesdale Robyn was bred by Judy Dillon, Mr Butler’s daughter.
“It is quite ironic that that mare is my 100th winner because I bought my first winner, Mister Majestic, off Judy’s father,” Wilson said.
His training career had been sprinkled with highlights but winning the Three-Year-Old Fillies Series-New Zealand Oaks double at Addington in 1994 was chief among them.
“Winning that back in the ’90s was a pretty special moment for me. It was great.”
Training horses started out as a hobby for Wilson but it had taken over his life in recent times.
“I have about 12 horses at the moment. It’s supposed to be a wee hobby for me but I’m retired now so I’ve got the extra time. I usually only have about one or two.”
His passion for training horses had become a family affair.
“Both of my boys have started up so they get out there and help me, which is good.”
Wilson had trained hundreds of horses but said he could not pick a favourite.
“They’re all your favourite at the time really, aren’t they,” he said.
Alongside his 100 winners, Wilson’s horses had run second 107 times and third 127 times.