BENDIGO racing historian Noel Ridge's dedication to celebrating and preserving harness racing history has earned him dual success at the 2021 Joseph Coulter Media Awards.
A year after gaining a special commendation at the same awards, Ridge claimed the Graham Goffin Memorial Award for best historical feature and award for best book or publication.
The awards are named after legendary journalist Joseph Coulter, who wrote under the pen name 'Tuxedo' for over 50 years.
They are presented and judged by Harness Racing Australia.
Published on Harness Racing Victoria's website - thetrots.com.au - Ridge won best feature for his work titled 'How the Allen's from Glenloth reshaped the Trots' on night trotting at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.
The feature-length article describes the incredible influence of the Allen family on Victorian harness racing.
Ridge's Ebook 'The Six American Stallions of Adelaide Hill Stud', published on the Harness Breeders Victoria website in September last year, won best publication or book.
The book tells the story of the Adelaide Hill Stud at Huntly, which was established in 1903.
It's the second time Ridge has won the Graham Goffin Award for best historical feature.
He previously won in 2019 for his work titled 'Bendigo Memorabilia, a gateway to John Phyland's story, From Sheep to Stallions'.
Ridge, the co-curator of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club's history and memorabilia collection at Lord's Raceway, was quietly proud of his awards success.
"Shocked is the word I'd use - and humbled," he said.
"Both works were lockdown projects, especially the Ebook on Adelaide Hill, which was on the go for three or four months.
"The big thing for me was I couldn't go the library during lockdown and I enjoy going to the library to write.
"You are there on your own and you can find a quiet spot and off you go.
"But I do enjoy writing. I was always a teacher, it's part of what I've always done."
Ridge paid plenty of credit to Desiree Pettit-Keating, from Harness Breeders Victoria and the Bendigo Regional Archives Centre, for her assistance with formatting the Ebook.
He further thanked the support of the various family history groups across Bendigo and the region.
"With their help, I'm really enjoying finding out the people connected with the history of racing," he said.
"That's the really interesting thing for me, how many well known Bendigonians were involved in the early days of the jockey club, trotting club and the show society.
"All this information is there, it's getting support from people to know where to look."
With life slowly returning to normal following the COVID pandemic, Ridge is looking forward to devoting plenty of his energy and time to the history and memorabilia collection at Lord's Raceway after having to stay away for large periods of 2020 and '21.
That's the really interesting thing for me, how many well known Bendigonians were involved in the early days of the jockey club, trotting club and the show society.- Noel Ridge
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