Australian racing is in mourning over the passing of legendary jockey Bill Camer on the weekend, aged 92.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Racing NSW confirmed Camer’s death from Saturday.
“Bill was highly respected, not just by his former colleagues in the jockeys’ room, but by all those in the racing industry that had the pleasure of meeting this gentleman of the turf,” Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys said.
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“Bill had a long and distinguished career competing in a golden era of jockeys and will be greatly missed.
“We pass on our sincere condolences to his wife Barbara and their family.”
Camer was the oldest living Cox Plate winner, having saluted at Moonee Valley’s showpiece race aboard Kingster in 1954.
Bill Camer was a legend of the sport. Credit: Racenet
He was one of the country’s greatest lightweight jockeys, famous for his extra small frame.
He said a job delivering papers as a 14-year-old kid sparked his racing career.
“I was 14 and that was towards the end of my school days, and being so small I delivered the papers on a pony,” Camer said before his passing.
“I had a split bag over the front of horse and carried the papers in that.
“A trainer’s son noticed me riding past and asked if I would like to be a jockey. Mum and dad agreed to move to Townsville, and I eventually ended up at Randwick with trainer Pat Murray.”
At that age, Camer stood just 1.24 metres and weighed just 26 kilograms.
Bill Camer was a legend of racing. Credit: X
He also took out the Doncaster Mile and Stradbroke Handicaps during his decorated career.
Sky Racing expert Ron Dufficy, who himself was a jockey at the latter stages of Camer’s career, said he was one of a kind.
“Billy was a character, a real larrikin,” Dufficy said.
“When I was an apprentice, he was still riding and was the fittest, old bloke you could ever imagine.
“He was as hard as nails.”
Camer is survived by his wife Barbara, son Bradley and daughter Tina.