Gladstone owner's horse helps him blaze a way to honours
DENIS Schultz may have moved to Gladstone as a bricklayer in 1971, but it's his work with horses that is making a mark on the region.
Although he's always been involved with horses, since retiring the 66-year-old has been able to dedicate his time to his passion.
Now he handles 15 race horses and has five quality mares for breeding.
But it's Mr Schultz's hard work with six-year-old Blaze to Fortune, this year's Gladstone Turf Club Horse of the Year, that's paying off as he'll be presented with the award for leading owner for the Gladstone racing season at the upcoming Gladstone Turf Club Race Ball.
Blaze to Fortune will be racing in Gympie this weekend.
"If he wins another one on Saturday he gets Queensland horse of the year," Mr Schultz said.
Blaze for Fortune has won eight races, placed second five times, and placed third three times for the 20 starts he's had this year.
"If he wins too many more he'll have to go to Brisbane or somewhere like that, because weight-wise he's carrying 62kg now," Mr Schultz said.
"He's a good race horse, he likes to win."
The Gladstone Turf Club Race Ball will be held on August 9, the eve of the Gladstone Cup, at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre Marina Marquee, bringing together the region's racing enthusiasts with some of Queensland's biggest names in the sport.
Confirmed special guests include leading trainer Tony Gollan, who has achieved more than 400 winners in his emerging career, as well as the manager of Glenlogan Park Stud Steve Morley.
Darryl Gardiner from Bundaberg and Adrian Coome from the Sunshine Coast (originally Rockhampton) will also be recognised for their performance over the Gladstone racing season, awarded leading trainer and leading jockey respectively.
Mr Schultz enjoyed the ball last year and said he was looking forward to meeting more people involved in racing at this year's event.
"We don't get to go out too much because we're up at 4 o'clock every morning," he said.
Mr Schultz said the competitiveness in the fields had improved lately in Gladstone and was likely to continue improving.
"There's more better bred horses coming here now," he said.
With more people filling the crowds on race days, Mr Schultz said there was also an extra chance that it would attract others to get into horses, although he warned that "it's not all beer and skittles".
The ticket price of $150 a head to the Gladstone Turf Club Race Ball is all-inclusive of canapes on arrival, beer and wine for the evening, as well as a two-course meal.
Tickets are available on the Gladstone Turf Club website.