Bill Whittaker Book
Prize Past Winners
The Bill Whittaker Book
Prize is awarded every two years to the author of what is adjudged
to be the best book about horse racing published in the preceding
Shared between Jessica Owers for her book "Shannon" and
John Adams for his book "Over The Hurdles"
Jessica Owers for her work "Peter Pan: The Forgotten Story Of
Phar Lap's Successor"
Keith Patterson "The Master's Touch"
Which is all very well but who was Bill
Bill Whittaker was born in 1929 in Malanda
in Queensland and spent 40 years (from 1959) as a reporter / writer
for the Sydney Morning Herald focussing on racing and harness racing
though until 2004 and was honoured with an Order Of Australia for
his contributions as a racing journalist.
He was Australian Sportswriter Of The
Year in 1984 and in 1987 was Racing Writer Of The Year.
He was honoured as a "Living Legend"
by Harness racing New South Wales and in 2007 he received a special
"Chairman's Medal" for his contributions to the Australian
Racing Hall Of Fame.
When interviewed in 2008 by Bluebloods
magazine, he recalled as a young lad having lost the two pounds he
had saved up by backing Ajax in the St George Stakes in 1940 when
it was beaten by High Caste. "When I confessed to my mother Marie
that I had lost the money she grimaced but recovered to predict that
it wasn't all bad because it would cure me from betting. Well, mothers
are usually right but not this time."
Bill rated the three best horses he ever
saw as Bernborough, Tulloch and Kingston Town.
Bill passed away in 2009 but the Bill
Whittaker Book Prize commemorates his contribution to the industry.