Remembering the great Bart Cummings
REMEMBER those you meet on the way up, you may need them on the way down.
These are the words of horse trainer Bart Cummings which Federal MP Kevin Hogan reflects on fondly.
Many Australians will remember the man who led 12 racehorses to Melbourne Cup victory as a great sporting legend, but Mr Hogan has a more personal story to tell.
Cummings was Mr Hogan's second cousin, and his mum's first.
Although the Member for Page said he hadn't spent much time with him in the past 10 years, he described Cummings as a man of great humour and fun to be around.
"He survived in a ruthless industry so he was very smart," Mr Hogan said.
"He had a wit and humour about him that endeared him to everyone.
"If you were around Bart at some stage you were laughing.
"He was very much about enjoying life and doing the best you can and was a very lovely energy to be around."
Mr Hogan also said Cummings was a very self-deprecating man, noting one of his favourite quotes: "I'm just an ordinary working fella having a bit of luck".
"As a kid when visiting Glenelg, I have great memories of walking around his stables filled with Melbourne Cup winners," Mr Hogan said.
"We used to spend a lot of Christmases with him growing up. I took it for granted when I was a kid, but you'd be walking around these famous racehorses.
"While he was allergic to horses, he loved them. He was actually advised as a young man to stay away from them by a doctor - thank god he didn't listen to them.
"He is a great sporting legend of our country."
Mr Hogan said his thoughts and prayers were with Mr Cummings' wife Val, and his children Anthony, Margaret, Sharon, Anne-Marie, John and their families.
"My children didn't know him very well at all and so it has been nice to share stories about him that I remembered," he said.
"It's been nice to share the great character that he was."