By Wendy Laing
TERRY ROLES has never found the time to lead a boring life. The youngest of eight children, he was born and raised in Deloraine.
As a child, he always wanted a horse and would ride around on a broomstick, pretending to be a jockey.
However, his first job after leaving school was at the Deloraine Savings Bank of Tasmania, but every weekend was spent at the pony club riding or training horses.
Terry left the bank after five years and accepted the position of a stable foreman with Alan Stubbs at Osmaston. At the age of 23 he received his first licence as a horse trainer.
Terry started training racehorses for flat racing but with a passion for jump racing this became his focus both locally and interstate. Over the years, he had many prestigious wins, including five Grand National steeple chases at Deloraine, where this record still stands today.
His favourite horse, Inchgower, won 19 races. He started as a galloper, turned to hurdles and continued on to become a successful showjumper. ‘Inchgower, nicknamed Jimbob, became a well-loved member of our family,’ Terry said, ‘and was the first horse my daughter, Erin rode after a life-threatening fall in 2006.’
Erin’s accident triggered a change in direction for Terry Roles. He decided to resign from his job as a horse trainer and began work as a cleaner, then a carer at Grenoch Home Aged Care in Deloraine. Six years ago, Terry obtained a Diploma of Nursing. He now holds a management position at the Kanangra Aged Care Hostel in Deloraine and finds it very rewarding.
Although Terry still loves to follow and watch horse racing, he has no regrets about leaving his career as a horse trainer where he had received several serious injuries, including fracturing his neck. ‘Over the years, I met many amazing people in the industry who are still loyal friends,’ he said.
Terry has always had a fascination with mountains. In March this year, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Terry, along with friends and his daughter Sophie climbed Quamby Bluff for the first time. ‘Reaching the top, I gazed around at the fantastic views while drinking a can of Guinness,’ he said.
Terry continues in his role at the Deloraine football club as a trainer and manages players’ injuries. ‘Both my father and uncle were trainers at the club,’ he said.
During Terry’s 34 years as a registered horse trainer, he had over 600 career wins, earning prize money of over one hundred and fifty million dollars.