It is with great sadness that Racing Victoria (RV) acknowledges today’s passing of highly respected media personality, equine commentator, and educator Rob Gaylard.
Rob, who passed away suddenly this morning at his property near Geelong, had worked with RV’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program (AJTP) since 2002.
He played an important role in the development of young riders as professional athletes providing valuable media and communication training as part of the AJTP.
Rob, 70, was a well-known face across the racing and equestrian communities where he worked as an MC and commentator on the biggest days for both equine pursuits.
He was the voice and face of the Flemington Mounting Yard conducting presentations and interviews for much of the past 20 years, a role he also undertook at numerous Victorian country racetracks for their feature racedays.
A racehorse owner, Rob also hosted a plethora of events and award ceremonies on behalf of RV, Clubs and stakeholder groups across the Victorian racing industry.
Rob was also an active member of the equestrian community and was passionate about horse welfare. He was the commentator and ring announcer for many equestrian events across Australia, including the Royal Melbourne Show, and took pleasure in promoting the retired racehorses who were showcasing their skills in a second career to his audiences.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “On behalf of the Victorian racing industry, I would like to extend our prayers and heartfelt condolences to Karen, Casey and the family on the passing of a wonderful person and true friend to many.
“Rob was a highly respected member of both the Victorian racing and equestrian communities and his passing today will shock and sadden. He was indeed a friendly and welcoming face trackside to all who knew him, and his professionalism as an MC shone through at all times.
“We take great pride in our Apprentice Jockey Training Program and the role it plays in delivering well-rounded, professional athletes who are great ambassadors for our sport. Rob has played an integral role in our Program enhancing the communication skills of young riders and teaching them about the importance of their presentation and personal brand.
“He derived great enjoyment from supporting and educating others, imparting the knowledge he’d gained from a long career in the media industry. He was a respected mentor of many.
“Rob loved horses, be it racehorses or show horses, and the industry has benefited from his knowledge and passion for both, particularly in his role as an equestrian commentator where he has told the story and championed the deeds of Off the Track racehorses.
“Together with Casey, Rob had in recent times taken on the challenge of retraining cult hero Chautauqua for a career in the show ring, a task he assumed with an immense deal of pride and responsibility on behalf of the racing industry and the horse’s legion of fans.”