Local racing stalwart recognised for service
By Steve Spinks
For 20 years, Stan Hayes has been at the forefront of country racing administration.
And now the Lennox Head-based race-lover has been recognised by NSW Country Racing for his service.
Hayes was recently awarded the Simon Nivisson Award for achievement at an awards night in Sydney.
The award is the pinnacle service award of NSW Country Racing and goes to a person, club or organisation who has contributed to the betterment of country racing.
The award is named after Simon Nivisson, who was a highly-respected administrator and identity within country racing circles. He died in the mid-1990s.
The fact Hayes was great mates with Nivisson made receiving the award even more special.
"It probably added to it a bit and put a bit more emotion to it," Hayes said.
"I knew Simon really well and we were good friends and we worked well together.
"I'd known him for years and he was from a great racing and rural dynasty."
Hayes' list of administrative duties is impressive.
He was the first chairman of the Country Racing Council and held the position up until last year.
He spent 14 years on the Clarence Jockey Club and has been on the Northern Rivers Racing Association board for 16 years, including four years as treasurer and 12 years as chairman.
Hayes relinquished the role as chairman of the NRRRA only at the annual general meeting the day before the Lismore Cup last month.
But don't think the former Kyogle boy is cutting his ties with the sport that has dominated his life.
"I'm going to put my hand up for the Ballina committee, which should keep me off the streets," Hayes chuckled.
"And I still own a couple of horses (including She Nags, which won the Lismore Big Maiden in 2004)."
Hayes has been associated with racing all his life and one of his fondest memories is when his family-owned horse Four Runner won the Taree Cup in 1974.
As an administrator, Hayes believes the reaction of his board during privatisation of racing in 1998 was his best achievement.
"When privatisation came in I think the Country Council really grabbed the bull by the horns," Hayes said.
"We didn't fight it, we swam with it and tried to maximise the benefits for Country Racing."
So what is it that makes racing so special to Hayes?
"I just love the racing industry," he said.
"You meet a lot of people who are all different and I suppose, from my point of view, there weren't too many people who went on ego trips.
"I just love it. I have a passion for it and when you have a passion for it, it makes putting in the time easier."