Sport

Big-hearted Danny Bowen farewelled

FAREWELL, DANNY: Family and friends (above and below) attend the funeral of local horse trainer, Danny Bowen, at the Ballina Turf Club.
FAREWELL, DANNY: Family and friends (above and below) attend the funeral of local horse trainer, Danny Bowen, at the Ballina Turf Club. Marc Stapelberg

DANIEL "Danny" Patrick Bowen was a man with a heart bigger than Phar Lap's.

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of the long-time horse trainer, held at the Ballina racecourse yesterday.

He died in Lismore Base Hospital on June 20.

Brooke Bowen, Danny's eldest daughter, said her father would be remembered as the happy, funny, caring man he was.

"You, dad, were an inspiration and a truly amazing man," she said.

"He would stop to help anyone, no matter what they were going through or what little you had.

"I will cherish many memories that I shared with you and always remember what a kind-hearted person you were."

"You were the life of any party, you would make everybody laugh."

Danny was born on St Patrick's Day 1953 in Sydney.

From a young age, he was keenly interested in horses, and would regularly go the sale yards to watch horses and, occasionally, ride one home.

From working in stables, to jockey, to trainer, Danny worked his way up to become a well-respected trainer and mentor of apprentice riders.

The first speech at his funeral was made by friend Troy Cameron.

"Over the last few days I've heard many words to describe Danny," he said.

"A character, larger than life, a good friend, genuine, fair dinkum, a mate, someone you could depend on.

"The way most people will remember Danny is as a true friend.

"Danny's undying love and dedication to his family was there for everyone to see."

On October 4, 1980, Danny married sweetheart Michelle and had two daughters, Brooke and Leanne, and a son, Daniel. Danny's family grew until he had eight grandchildren.

Daniel Bowen described his dad as someone who valued friends, family and hard work.

"To dad, you were a mate no matter what," he said.

"He had that powerful quality of getting the best out of people or his horses."