Scone Race Club has a new CEO who is due to take up his post in mid-January.
Heath Courtney, the operations manager of Toowoomba Race Club, asked for his start to be delayed because of that club’s big New Year’s Eve meeting.
“Heath is heavily involved in the organization of that event so it only fair we allow him to complete his commitment before coming to us,” Scone Race Club’s chairman Noel Leckie said.
“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in racing and administration which will help take the club to the next level in its growth.”
Courtney, his wife Amy and their four children Taelor (20), Mitchell (16), Harper (9) and Fallon (7) hope to be in Scone and ready to step into the new role by January 16.
“I am really looking forward to the move,” Courtney said.
“I have only been to Scone once, for the interview but I was impressed with what I saw and, of course, we are moving into the heart of the breeding industry.
“We have dabbled in breeding and we have a mare that has been down there for a few years.”
Courtney, whose background is in construction and is a licensed builder, went into his present role partly by accident.
“I am from Gladstone and we had a business there but we also had a couple of horses with Tony Gollan at Toowoomba,” Courtney said.
“We went down to have a look at them and loved the city and later Amy and I decided to move the family there.
“I did not have a job but landed a contract to renovate the offices at Toowoomba Turf Club.
“Later I was asked to take over the maintenance then my present role evolved.
“We have bred a few horses and one, Frilly Curtain, ran fourth in a Listed race at Doomben.”
Frilly Curtain, by Mossman, won four races, two at Doomben, one at Eagle Farm and one at Ipswich but has since been retired.
Amy’s training is as a teacher’s aid and she hopes to continue that career path in Scone.
Taelor has just completed a degree in animal science at Queensland University’s Gladstone campus and she is moving south with the family while the other three are still at school.
Courtney’s appointment comes after an extensive search to replace Sarah Wills, who has returned to New Zealand to look after her elderly father.
Wills held the position for five years prior to her departure.
The club’s assistant secretary, Donna McKinnon, has stepped into a caretaker role in the interim.
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