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Racing couple goes east

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016

Brendan Orr and Kasey Hocking are moving to Parkes this week. Brendan Orr and Kasey Hocking are moving to Parkes this week.

By Patrick Reincke

The city will say goodbye to a popular harness racing driver and trainer this week.

Kasey Hocking, and her partner Brendan Orr, two familiar faces of Broken Hill Harness Racing, are moving to Parkes to start the next stage of their life.

Born and raised in Broken Hill, Kasey said that she and Brendan had planned to move for quite some time.

“It’s been in the pipeline for about two-and-a-half years,” she said.

“The idea of it was that we would buy a house and property outside of Broken Hill and Brendan at the time, with his job, he was working from Broken Hill to Parkes, and he really liked the place.

“It just happened that one weekend we set off down there looking around, he just wanted me there to have a look, we didn’t actually find anything suitable straight up but then we sort of found this house that recently came off the market.

“The owners weren’t too sure about keeping it on the market but we made them an offer and they accepted.

“But then, things didn’t go to plan and Brendan couldn’t get work down there straight away and two-and-a-half years later, he now does have a position there and we’re heading off now,” she said.

Kasey said that the property is 32 acres and has stables, yards and a track which makes life so much easier than driving across Broken Hill to several different places every day.

Now 23, Kasey has spent 10 years involved in Broken Hill Harness Racing and said her biggest inspiration came from her grandfather.

“I first started getting interested in horses when I was ten,” she said.

“I’ve been sort of more involved with working with horses since I was 13.

“My pop was a big inspiration for me, he had horses of his own.

“I remember as a little kid, always wanting to go to the trots and watch him race, mum would take me over there, I loved it, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

“It used to be awesome when pop won because we would go onto the track and get our photos.

“I was just in awe of how much success he had and the horses that he had at the time.”

Kasey reached a point when she wanted to make a go of harness racing just as her pop was looking to get out of it.

So she started her TAFE course through the help of trainer Raymond “Raz” Slater to get licensed.

“I spent a season in his stable and I got all my driving side ticked off.

“From there I started my trials, I had to do ten trials and I did them all here.

“I think it took me over two seasons, it was a long process.”

“I had my first drive when I was 17 and it was toward the end of the season, so I got a little taste of what to expect and then I was fully-fledged and ready to go in the next season after that.”

As soon as Kasey turned 18, she applied for her trainer’s licence.

From there, she has trained her own horses and driven them over the past five years.

Her stable consists of Eye Carly, Double Standards, Majestic Art and Casino Evil but not all of them will be moving to Parkes with her and Brendan.

“We are taking Eye Carly and Double Standards with us. They’ve come from over where we are moving to so we know that their ability is going to be more beneficial over there than the other two we have.

“I’m retiring Casino Evil now. He’ll become a riding horse and Majestic Art is going to be catching a transport to Cessnock where he’ll get a new trainer.”

Kasey said she had many great memories of all of her horses including her second ever, Cato’s View, which she had her first ever drive on.

Her second ever start with Eye Carly saw her win at Globe Derby Park.

“She looked like she was going to lose by 50m, but then stormed home to win by 15,” she said.

“She’s different to my other horses because you can only sort of race her one way.

“She just missed out on Horse of the Year last year, she’s been great.”

Double Standards got Kasey her first cup win last year when she took out the Maltese Cup.

“He’s had good wins for us, he’s a very talented little horse,” she said.

“There’s some promise there for us when we move.

“There are countless numbers of places to race over there.”

Kasey said that her time in Broken Hill has seen her make a lot of friends that she is going to miss.

“I’ll miss everybody; whether they miss me or not is a different question!”

“The trots community has been really great to me and given us lots of support.

“They are always willing to help you out no matter what.

“All those people just make the club what it is and even though we’re not going to be there next year, I just hope that the club can keep going.

“We will all stay in touch and stay up to date.

“We would love to come back for the Carnival of Cups meetings, it would be really, really good.”

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