Charlie Prow has been training horses since the late 1950’s and now at 76 years of age, he has no plans to retire yet.
Charlie lives at Glenora on the Barcoo River outside Blackall with his wife Gail, and makes the trip into town three times a day to his stables near the racecourse, where he has eight horses in work.
A natural born horseman, Charlie’s racing career has spanned more than 60 years as an amateur and professional jockey, horse breeder and horse trainer and said it doesn’t take long to sum up a horse.
And Charlie reckons that while he still has his health he will keep training, although he no longer rides trackwork.
“I get our local jockey Jason Babarovich to ride track work for me these days,” Charlie said
And Charlie hasn’t been without health problems as he suffered and recovered from a stroke earlier this year, following on from a heart attack seven years ago, when he had a defibrillator inserted.
He is very self-disciplined and instills a sense of discipline in his horses.
In the past racing season he trained 20 winners and stable favourite Northern Magic won 13 wins.
Charlie bought Northern Magic as a tried horse from the Magic Millions tried horse sale and he owns him in partnership with a group of mates including Billy Rogers, Neil McDonald, Todd Richardson and Jimmy Rosella.
Northern Magic is a seven year old bay gelding by Kheleyf and he is out of the dam Miss Stone.
Charlie enjoyed his first taste of Birdsville Races in 1984, when he trained and rode six winners including the Cup winner, Young Aloe, owned by Kevin Hauff.
However this year was the first Birdsville meeting he has not attended for 33 years, although he did send two horses in the care of another trainer to achieve two fourth placings.
Charlie started riding as amateur jockey aged 15 years, and some of his success included six Rockampton Amateur Cups, and seven Rockhampton Amateur Bracelets.
Over the years he was one few dual licensed trainer/jockeys in the state and is one of the most successful owner/trainers in country Queensland.
Charlie believes the increased prizemoney in country racing has been good for the central-west.
“Our races are very competitive and the fields at strong,” he said.
“We still have four horse trainers here (in Blackall) with 40 horses in work between us all.”
Charlie wrote himself into the bush folklore in the late 1980’s as the jockey and trainer of Miss Petty who won 22 consecutive wins in the central western Queensland. Charlie had earlier ridden Miss Petty for 16 straight wins.
In 2013 the Tambo Blackall Regional Council built a new pavilion at the Blackall Racecourse and it was named the ‘Charlie Prow Pavilion’.
Charlie said the pavilion is an excellent facility at his home race track.
"It is great that they've named it after me. I've been involved in racing for more than 60 years and I still enjoy doing it."
Since the start of October Charlie has received a welcome 60mm falling over Glenora.
“The rain has fallen at the right time as we will get a green pick through the country, and I will be able to spell the horses at home and not send them south to the Darling Downs for a rest,” he said.