MEMORIES OF HARRY

Ian Fortune

It wasn’t long after the obituary of Harry Seery went up yesterday that the phone rang.

On the other end of the phone was Derby winning trainer Owen McKenna and the chat quickly moved to the sad passing of Harry.

Owen spoke of Harry and told the story of how he once led up one of Ger McKenna’s greatest greyhounds on the very biggest stage. Said Owen, “Poor Harry. He was a great character. You might not know this but he led up Parkdown Jet to win the English Derby at White City. 

“I was only a young lad so I wasn’t allowed and Harry was given the job. It nearly didn’t end well. Harry was so nervous that he put the dog into boxes with the lead and all on. Parkdown had broken the record in the semis and was expected to win but it could have been so different. We often laughed about it after.”

Not long after speaking with Owen, Tanya Gardner was in touch. Tanya was a great friend of Harry and it was clear from her words that she will miss him terribly.

Said Tanya of Harry, “I first met him about 15/16 years ago. At first I didn't know what to make of him. He was blunt and to the point. I race graders and enjoy every win be it A9 or A1. He would often casually tell me to move them on if not good enough. I soon learned to not take offence by his forwardness. That was Harry. He meant no harm. 

“The real Harry was what I witnessed when I visited him in his kennels and home. I often sat for hours drinking tea by his stove listening to his many tales of gambles landed. He was a gentleman who relished company even more so if you shared his love of greyhounds. He was polite, well-mannered and an old school gentleman. 

“He knew I loved the dogs no matter their ability and when my homebred Liltuc Sucre won a couple of graded stakes in Shelbourne last year, the results hadn't reached the website when my phone was ringing. Harry calling. "Ah you kept that quiet, is my money not good enough for a bet?" he would say followed by "I'm only pulling your leg, I'm delighted, well done" 

“That was Harry. Brutally honest and totally mischievous but with a heart of gold who would do anything for his friends. I will certainly miss him.”

It was lovely to hear stories of Harry. He certainly made an impression during his time in the sport.

May He Rest In Peace.