Ballard boys ride the Mt Isa racing card

Hoops Dan and Keith Ballard ride into racing folklore


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Father and son racing duo take winning to new heights.

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SIMPLY WICKED: Dan Ballard sprints clear on Wicked Wiki to win the race for Tanya Parry, at Mount Isa on the weekend. Picture: Derek Barry

SIMPLY WICKED: Dan Ballard sprints clear on Wicked Wiki to win the race for Tanya Parry, at Mount Isa on the weekend. Picture: Derek Barry

Father-and-son racing duo, Keith and Dan Ballard, rode themselves into racing folklore after riding the seven race program at Mt Isa, last weekend.

Keith won three and Dan claimed victory in four races.

In what is usually a five-event program, the race club received an extra two races carried over from their December 1 meeting which was cancelled due to heat. 

And while the father and son duo have ridden the five event card previously, this takes them to the next level.

The Ballards are regarded as racing royalty with dad Keith still riding winners at 65 years, while mum Denise is a horse trainer, who trains many of Dan and Keith’s mounts.

Dan was also presented Mount Isa Race Club’s Jockey of the Year. His other career highlights include being named Queensland Country’s premier jockey for the fourth time in his racing career.

In the season which ended on August 1, Dan won 54 races in 167 starts, an incredible strike rate of almost one in three that put him well ahead of the field and along with his 32 second places and 25 third place finishes earned $391,075 in prize money for the year.

“Mum does a great job of not only the main stable I ride for, but she also manages my rides and she does an excellent job at working out what is going to give me the best chance of winning every race,” Dan said. 

“Dad has had an extremely successful career over 50 years, he has ridden nearly 1700 winners and ridden feature races in Darwin and Townsville.” 

Keith’s three wins were all on the Tanya Parry trained runners including Will She Appeal, Eynhallow, and Denlago.

Keith said he is pretty stoked to be still riding winners with passion at his age.

“I ride every horse like it can win, and it doesn’t matter to me what it’s form reads,” Keith said. 

Dan gave Tanya Parry her fourth winner on the day astride Wicked Wiki. 

His other wins include winning on Deadly Choices and Slithering Suzie, for Damien Finter, and on Good Job Bro, for Robert Burow. 

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