The Castlemaine/Bendigo  District are mourning the sudden passing of long time owner/trainer and industry participant Keith Semmens in Bendigo last Thursday.

I first got to know Keith and wife Margaret many years ago after purchasing a horse by the name of Tuddy from them when they were living in Harcourt, having earlier been residents of Bagshot.

Tuddy was tried in a couple of stables without success and Keith rang me to ask if he could have him back to train as he feared that he was fretting away from home, he won two races after being returned and was eventually sold to Queensland.

Having pottered around with some ordinary steeds, Keith’s big break came when a Bar Adios filly by the name of Shady Glade came along and was successful in winning the 1979 Youthful Stakes at Moonee Valley when driven by Keith giving him and Margaret a huge thrill as she came from well back with a barnstorming finish. Easy Find was to leave a handy mare in La Poem

But it was the trotters which Keith really excelled at after very smart trotter Con’s Poem (Toliver Bay-Easy Find) came along in the eighties going from maiden to open class.

It was after this that the majority of the Semmens horses carried the “Poem” name in some form and the majority all won their share of races

Downunder Barkers (Downunder Muscles-La Poem) is racing at the moment.

Sincere thoughts and sympathy are extended to Margaret, Jon, David, Wendy and Robyn and their respective families.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in coming days.