Far from the glamour NSW tracks of Randwick or Rosehill, Col Hodges has been bringing NSW bush racing to city punters for almost 50 years, a feat that has been recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
A race caller and journalist since 1970, Hodges is the instantly-identifiable voice of racing from central and western NSW via Sky Racing.
While his colleagues in town enjoy modern facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, Hodges, who called his first race from the back of a truck, makes do with whatever is available at Coonamble, Gilgandra and other places near the back of Bourke.
For many years he combined his broadcasting and writing career with shearing sheep but horses remained his passion.
He also had a short-lived stint as a bookmaker.
Hodges’ dedication to country racing has him in great demand as a public speaker and commentator and he is the publicity officer for both the Central Districts and Western Racing associations.
His columns in country newspapers also serve local communities well as he retains and communicates his love for outback racing.