For many racing fans, the dulcet tones and cultured voice of Jack Styring and his famously colourful calls added excitement to the country tracks. (Reg Ryan)

For many racing fans, the dulcet tones and cultured voice of Jack Styring and his famously colourful calls added excitement to the country tracks. (Reg Ryan)

The voice of country racing

For many racing fans, Jack Styring’s voice is a familiar one, his famous calls adding to the excitement of a race. 

Race-goers have long flocked to Hanging Rock for the Australia Day and New Year’s Day race meetings.

The appeal was not only for quality racing. No, it was the dulcet tones of Jack Styring and his colourful calls that had attendances at the tiny rural track swell.

Phrases describing a horse, “racing with its mouth open like a cod fish calling to its young” and a free-wheeling thoroughbred reefing for rein as, “baring its molars to the breeze” are part of his vernacular.

“I think I’ve done most things in racing and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it ... this industry has given me so much for so long,” 

Only stepping away from the field glasses at the age of 82, Styring’s first venture into race broadcasting was at Essendon’s Napier Park greyhounds in 1947. He turned his hand to gallops in 1950, at Kaniva, South Australian.

Now aged 92, Styring left a legacy in the racing world with his calls, but it wasn’t only this that tied him to the country tracks. He was renowned for lending a hand whenever needed, from working bees to committee meetings. 

Styring has mentored journalists, callers, even aspiring stud masters. He bred a horse named She’s A Doll. He wrote columns on breeding in the Sporting Globe and the Weekly Times. He also sold advertising space in the two mastheads.

“I think I’ve done most things in racing and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it ... this industry has given me so much for so long,” he said.