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Garrard reflects on record breaking first year as a driver

0D4A5794.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

Described as one of the most humble and talented drivers to come through the Queensland ranks in years, teenager Angus Garrard is only just getting started in the harness racing industry.

Still just 17 years of age and not able to have an adult drink to enjoy his spoils, Garrard was one of the stars of the show on Sunday night at the 2020 TAB Queensland Harness Awards.

In a big night for the up-and-coming driver, Garrard, received the Concession Driver of the Year on top of becoming the youngest driver in Queensland to notch up 100 winners in a single season.

He also shared the Kevin and Kay Seymour Queensland Young Achiever Award with Chloe Butler, the pair taking out the male and female divisions respectively. 

He did all that over the last year while juggling school commitments, receiving his driver’s licence as well as getting out and fishing every once in a while.

“It is really special,” Garrard said on Sunday night after accepting his awards.

“It has been surreal the last 12 months; it has all sort of come together really good, so it is really nice to pick up these awards.”

Brittany Graham, who doubles as a SKY Racing presenter and harness racing trainer and driver, thinks Garrard has what it takes to be a mainstay in the industry for many years to come.

“Angus is one of the most humble kids I know for the success that he has achieved already,” Graham said.

“He just wants to work hard and wants to succeed.

“With that attitude and the talent to go with it, it is a lethal combination.”

On top of Sunday evening’s gongs, Garrard has also claimed the 2019/20 Queensland Junior Driver's premiership.

With a last name like Garrard, the emerging driver was always destined to be in the harness game, with his family involved going back generations.

His grandfather Chris Garrard OAM, a former trainer-reinsman, is still heavily involved in the owning and breeding side of the code to this day.

“It is really good to have that support from them and to get some success in that first 18 months,” Angus said.

“I was probably destined to be involved in the harness racing industry in that capacity.”

After cracking the ton over the last season, Garrard, who came through the mini trot ranks, has set his sights on bettering that again in his sophomore campaign.

“I have not looked too far ahead but I would love to again drive 100 winners in the coming season,” Garrard said.

“That would be really good and I will look towards that.”Harness-Racing-Awards-Night-2021-094.jpeg

Garrard is a graduate of the Queensland Junior Harness racing ranks and the respected Graham (right) believes he is just one of many in the Sunshine State who are making a name for themselves.

“Our young talent here in Queensland is unbelievable,” Graham said.

“We have got so many coming through from the mini trotting ranks that make their way through.

“They are really young and passionate and keen to succeed with Angus and Chloe Butler, with those two taking out the young achiever awards.”