4 October 2022

Vale Colin Pike - Temora mourns the loss of legend who raced immortal pacer Paleface Adios

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Man and horse

A young Colin Pike with Paleface Adios, who combined to put Temora on the map with a stellar harness racing record. Photo: Supplied.

Temora trotting legend Colin Nesbit Pike, the trainer and driver of the Phar Lap of harness racing, Paleface Adios, has died at the age of 90.

The former Citizen of the Year died on Wednesday, 29 September, at Narraburra Lodge Nursing Home in Temora.

Colin was the trainer-driver and his wife, Shirley, was the owner of legendary trotting pacer Paleface Adios, who put Temora on the map.

Out of 240 starts, Colin and Paleface Adios won 108 races and recorded 43 seconds and 26 thirds.

They had huge success, winning the Miracle Mile Pace in 1976. Paleface was the only horse in trotting that was in seven Miracle Miles and the first Australian three-year-old to break two minutes.

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Both Colin and Paleface, also known as the Temora Tornado, have been immortalised in a statue on Hoskin Street in Temora.

Born and bred in Temora, Colin and Shirley met while playing tennis and married on Valentine’s Day in 1953. They had five children, 18 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren.

Temora Shire Mayor Rick Firman said the town had lost one of its treasures.

“Mr Pike means a great deal to our community. He was a humble, successful, quiet achiever and a gentleman to whom Temora will always be indebted,” Cr Firman said.

“He will live on through his beautiful family and sitting in his sulky behind his best mate Paleface Adios in the heart of our Temora township.

“He’ll sit behind his best mate at Paleface Park for generations to come. He used to call Paleface his best mate.”

Cr Firman said he had immense respect for Colin, who, despite his tremendous success, always gave so much back to the community.

“He gave a tremendous amount back by serving on the Temora Trotting Club board, was very generous and donated a lot of money.

“In an interview with Ray Hadley, he was asked if he would have another Paleface, and Mr Pike said, ‘No, we will never get another Paleface, but it doesn’t mean you stop trying’. I loved that quote of his,” Cr Firman said. “I thought it was a beauty.”

Man and woman

Colin Pike with his wife, Shirley. Photo: The Temora Independent.

Cr Firman, who served with Colin at Temora Trotting Club as a secretary, said everyone was blessed to know people like Colin.

“As a younger fellow, you look up to people like Mr Pike, listen and learn so much from them,” he said.

“What I liked most about him is that he would do anything for you, and if you tried to do something for him, he would just carry on.”

Temora Trotting Club president Matt New said the club was lucky to have had Colin and Paleface, who put Temora on the map.

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“Colin was always there for the working bees and kept the club going over the years,” Mr New said.

“Colin and his wife were the pioneers of the Temora Trotting Club.”

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack shared on his social media that the sporting world would mourn the loss of Colin.

Colin’s funeral service will be held on Wednesday, 5 October, at 2:30 pm at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Temora.

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