One of the most recognisable voices of greyhound racing, race caller Rob Testa, has been recognised at the 2021 Victorian Greyhound Awards with the Ken Carr Medal.
Rob has been calling the races for 40 years, since being influenced by another legend of the sport, the late Bill Collins.
“I wanted to be a race caller since the first time I heard Bill Collins call a race,” Rob said.
“He used to be on World of Sport on Sunday mornings, and I always wanted to be like him.
“Then, there were guys I used to hang around with growing up in Colac and they were involved with the greyhounds, so I think I went to my first race meeting in about 1975.”
Rob’s passion for calling hasn’t waned, despite the long hours.
“I love the sport, and I’ve never lost the passion for race calling,” Rob added.
“There’s a lot of long hours on the road, but it never really feels like ‘going to work’.
“It’s the race itself which is the essence of the listener or viewer, and essentially they’re our customers.
“I had a few weeks off and since I’ve been back I’ve done eight meetings in nine days and clocked up 3000 kms. You need to love what you do – and driving.”
WATCH: Rob Testa’s call of Pororoca’s devastating track record run in the 2006 Cranbourne Cup remains one of his lasting memories.
With 40 years of calling all three codes there are many highlights, but Rob says there’s one he’ll never forget: the 2006 Cranbourne Cup.
“Pororoca winning that race was the best performance I’ve ever seen, in any code. It was almost impossible to break 30 seconds at Cranbourne, I think only one other dog had done it. Pororoca did it in 29.68sec and beat multiple group winner Vapour Whirl by 14 lengths. I reckon there was no other dog born that could have beaten Pororoca that night. It was unbelievable.”
“I think calling any group one race is a thrill. I’ve called them in all three codes, but I also like to think I treat every race the same, whether it’s a maiden or a group one final. Every dog deserves the same respect.”
Rob’s also keen on sharing his experiences as a mentor to emerging race callers.
“I was lucky enough to fall into the job. I didn’t get a lot of favours given to me in my formative years, and if you’ve got the guts to get up there behind a microphone, I’m quite happy to let you do it.”
The significance of the Ken Carr Medal is well appreciated by Rob.
“It’s a pleasure to accept it. I’ve been on the panel that actually picked Ken Carr medals in the past, so I know how much thought and effort goes into choosing this medal winner, and to have it named after someone who is an icon the game is an absolute pleasure. I can’t believe they’ve given it me, but I certainly accept it with great honour.”
RSN race caller Rob Testa was recognised at the ‘virtual’ 2021 Victorian Greyhound Awards for special or outstanding contribution to greyhound racing in Victoria.
“It’s the race itself which is the essence of the listener or viewer, and essentially they’re our customers.”
The late Ken Carr is regarded as one of Victorian greyhound racing’s all-time great administrators. The Ken Carr Medal is recognition of an individual’s special or outstanding contribution to greyhound racing in Victoria.
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