It is with great sadness that Racing Victoria (RV) and the Australian Trainers Association (ATA) acknowledge the passing of Bendigo racing icon Allen Browell, aged 79, following a battle with illness.
Allen was a highly respected member of the Victorian racing community across more than 60 years as a pre-trainer, trainer, owner, breeder, and clerk of the course.
Beginning as a pre-trainer at the age of 16, Allen secured his trainer’s license in 1965 and trained horses for more than half a century at Bendigo. His first winner was Jodie’s Gift at Rochester in 1971.
Allen went on to find great success throughout the 1980s with Amarla, who won the 1980 Turnbull Stakes and 1981 Easter Cup, and Jet Fighter who went back-to-back in the 1987 and 1988 Victoria Handicaps at Caulfield.
The Victoria Handicap meetings were among Allen’s most cherished on the racetrack with the Bendigo horseman landing unique city doubles with siblings Jet Fighter and Quiet Sensation.
Allen trained over 350 winners since records were kept and among his other notable performers were Walk With Me – believed to be the first horse to win at all four Melbourne tracks – city winners Zale, Lapushka’s Boy, Two Hills and Hai Lil, along with Done And Dusted who won a Marong Cup at Bendigo.
It was fitting that Allen’s final victory came at Bendigo on 23 June 2019, when Star Hills saluted with his nephew Brad Rawiller in the saddle. He retired from training at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Allen’s sons Colin and Darren were both jockeys under their father’s tutelage, before Colin sadly lost his battle with leukemia at the age of just 33 in 2005. The Colin Browell Memorial is conducted annually at Bendigo Racecourse.
Darren, who continued to assist his father with his training operation until 2019, remains a licensed farrier and part-time barrier attendant in Victorian racing.
RV Chief Executive, Andrew Jones, said: “On behalf of the Victorian racing industry, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Allen’s family and friends following the sad news of his passing.
“Allen spent over 60 years as an active participant in Victorian racing and was a much-loved stalwart of the Bendigo racing community. Allen was devoted to his horses and family who have lived and shared his passion for racing.
“We know Allen will be deeply missed by his family and all in the racing community who knew him and we acknowledge the significant contribution he made to Victorian racing.”
ATA Chief Executive, Andrew Nicholl, said: “All within the training fraternity will be saddened to learn of Allen’s passing. He was a valued ATA member across his training career and contributed so much to the sport.
“Allen was a great man from a great racing family. He was passionate about the sport and a highly accomplished exponent of the art of training racehorses.
“He gave his life to Bendigo, where he was respected by all, and we know that his contribution will be long remembered by the local racing community.
“The ATA extends its condolences to Val and the Browell family on the news of Allen’s passing.”
Allen is survived by his wife Val and four children Susie, Darren, Julie and Anita.