Whisper it ? farrier keeps his feet on the ground

By Nerida Blok nblok@northernstar.com.au FORMER Ballina boy Dustin Clare has a new trophy to add to his cabinet ? a pretty little thing called a Logie. The star of the popular television drama McLeod's Daughters took out Best New Male Talent, voted by the public, at the 49th annual Logie Awards in Melbourne on Sunday night, for his role as Riley Ward, a handsome farrier. Recovering from post-award celebrations, it took some time for Clare, 24, to resurface yesterday, but when he did he was as humble as he was making his acceptance speech. "It's nice," he said of his win. "It's good because you are part of a team, so in a sense the team wins and that's nice." Clare, who attended Ballina High School and later studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, began his stint on the show in January last year. Since then he seems to have mastered the art of horse riding. In an interview with The Star in July last year, Clare laughed at the irony of him playing a 'horse whisperer' when he hadn't ridden a horse since he was a kid, let alone shod one. He does, however, have a tenuous link to the rural industry having spent a year after school at Wollongbar's Department of Primary Industry working as a trainee laboratory assistant. DPI's Geoff Griffith was yesterday chuffed with his former employee's Logie win. "You could tell the minute he lobbed in here he was destined for something else," recalled Griffith. Clare's time on McLeod's Daughters will come to an end in June when he heads to Los Angeles to pursue 'some interests over there'. Asked how Riley would leave the show, Clare was tight-lipped. "No, can't say," he said. Looks like we'll have to watch and see.

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