Terry Lowe – A Lifetime Of Experience

A catch up with the 2002 Met winning trainer

A veteran of the South African turf, Terry Lowe trained Polo Classic to win the Met in 2002 in the hands of Barend Vorster.

After an illustrious career spanning forty years, the top horseman retired three years ago but is very keen to stay involved in a game he loves and knows backwards.

Barend Vorster gets Polo Classic home ahead of Grand Jete (Karl Neisius). (Pic- Form Organisation)

Off a slow pace – the Cape Crawl has been around forever– Vorster rode a cracker on Terry Lowe’s Polo Classic to beat Grande Jete, Angus and Free My Heart.

A 5yo son of Freedom Land, Polo Classic was raced by Phil Galasso, the late Louis  Kirsten and the trainer, and was bred by Lionel Cohen. Polo Classic’s winning time of 125,60 secs was 4,60 secs slower than Divine Master’s record at the time.

History suggests that Terry Lowe was born to train racehorses – both his Grandfather and Father were trainers.

After acting as an assistant trainer in Durban he changed direction temporarily and was licenced as a Stipendiary Steward – the youngest in the world at the time – for three ‘interesting’ years under the likes of Jock Sproule, Frank McGrath, Mike Tillett, and Dudley Feldman.

Another angle on the Polo Classic win (Pic – Form Organisation)

Terry then went back to the stable and as South Africa’s youngest conditioner, trained his first winner in 1979. Red Panther was owned by the Liquorish brothers, bred by the Orfords and ridden by present day Summerveld trainer, Gavin van Zyl.

The Lowe name would be seen in the winner’s enclosure over the years, including multiple Gr1’s, Champion 2yo’s,3yo’s and older horses.

He was crowned Highveld Champion Trainer in 1993 and was runner-up in 1994.

He is a straightshooting man of impeccable principles.

“I have a clean record as far as doping transgressions are concerned. I spent six months in the USA at Hollywood Park, Los Angeles having taken over four South African horses, who did well and made me proud. I was always of the opinion that a good horse is a good horse no matter where they were born – a fact that has since been proven many times,” he tells the Sporting Post as he reflects back.

“I have bought horses, attended sales, seen stud farms, attended racemeetings in many countries all over the world. Although I was not a jockey, I had 3 apprentices indentured to me, all of which became Champions and I understand race riding. I have always tried to be objective and fair.”

Terry sold his farm and retired three years ago.

“I have been helping out at Heversham Park Stud as a consultant in an advisory capacity. Having been a trainer for 40 years, and having owned and bred many, if not most of my runners, I believe I intimately understand the game and it’s problems as well as most,” he smiles.

Flashback to a younger Terry Lowe.

He is keen to get involved with assisting owners.

“Having been on both sides of the fence, I also understand the frustrations of both the trainers and the owners. The owners fund this game and if they didn’t have the passion that they have, racing would not exist. I know of many owners that feel that they are not always kept up to date about the progress of their horses and often the only time they are notified is just before race day – or if the horse has had a problem. Apart from complaints from friends, I know that this is the case as I was guilty of it, myself!” he adds with a smile.

As a trainer with a fairly big string Terry says he didn’t always have the time to chat with his client about his horse – especially if the horse wasn’t one that was currently racing or it was being given time off.

“Time is always a problem. We need to prioritise and manage it. Over the years, I developed my own process and honed it. I believe that I could add great value in a Racing Manager type capacity, as the educated liaison between owner and trainer. I have no intention of going back to training so I will not be a potential threat to the trainer but rather a knowledgeable colleague that is taking what can be a tedious task off his hands, and adding value in a chain that often breaks!”

  • Terry Lowe is happy to chat to anybody requiring assistance – please call him on 0834063281.

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