Tributes flow for popular WA country racing identity and bush poet Dixie Solly

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Dixie Solly after being awarded life membership of the Albany Racing Club in 2020.
Camera IconDixie Solly after being awarded life membership of the Albany Racing Club in 2020. Credit: Cameron Newbold

Revered country trainer and dedicated racing administrator Dixie Solly died yesterday, losing his lengthy battle with illness.

Tributes are flowing for Solly, who was a popular member of the WA racing industry and trained more than 200 winners in a decorated career.

After an ongoing battle with illness, the 81-year-old passed away on Thursday, the same day his beloved Albany Racing Club held a race meeting.

Solly spent 23 years as the Country Racing Association president and in 2020 was recognised with life membership of the Albany Racing Club.

Albany horse trainer Dixie Solly.
Camera IconAlbany horse trainer Dixie Solly.

He prepared 217 winners in total and his biggest thrill came in the 2008 when winning the listed Cyril Flower Stakes with Noble Steed.

Solly took horses to the races for the final time in May 15 last year and his last victory came with Force Element on March 27, 2020 in Albany.

He will long be remembered for his invaluable contribution to country racing, as a passionate and dedicated advocate for racing at country tracks, and for the small scale people involved in the industry.

The Dixie Solly-trained Force Element wins at Percy Spencer Racecourse.
Camera IconThe Dixie Solly-trained Force Element wins at Percy Spencer Racecourse. Credit: Laurie Benson

He was also a talented bush poet, who recited poetry at events across WA.

In January last year when presented with his ARC life membership in front of family and friends, a humble Solly said it was an honour to be recognised.

“It’s a great honour and as I said on the day when you receive something like this you’ve got to pay tribute to those that you’ve been with in your racing life,” Solly told the Advertiser.

Link Robertson gets Noble Steed up to win at Ascot in 2008.
Camera IconLink Robertson gets Noble Steed up to win at Ascot in 2008. Credit: Iain Gillespie

“These things can’t be achieved without the support of so many great people both in the Country Racing Association and in Albany.

“I won’t be remembered for the number of Group 1 races I’ve won, but I’ve been involved in the administration side of things for as long as I can remember and hopefully somewhere along the line I have made a difference.

“I don’t wear my life membership badges, I don’t like to promote these things because so many other people deserve this but it means a lot to me and the numerous people that have called to congratulate me.”

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