Region mourns loss of racing/farming identity
CENTRAL Queensland lost an icon on Thursday with the passing of veteran horse and cattle identity Doyle Porter.
Born in central west Queensland, Doyle lived and worked on various cattle properties before settling in Rockhampton in the 1960s.
He was at one time head stockman on the enormous Waverley Station near St Lawrence and instrumental in the care and handling of Brahman and Zebu cattle following their successful introduction to Australia.
For many years he worked the famous Cherokee Brahman Stud near Emu Park and at the Tucker families' beef cattle breeding properties.
A true horseman, and one time amateur jockey, Doyle had a love of all things horse related, a passion he maintained throughout his life breeding Arabs at his home in North Rockhampton.
He was also well known for his many years associated with the horse racing industry in Rockhampton.
As clerk of the course at Callaghan Park, perched up high on his part Percheron called "Percy", Doyle was a mentor who encouraged and assisted young jockeys while ensuring the care of horses in race events.
For several years he was also official starter at the Rockhampton Harness Racing Club.
Doyle was a long-time volunteer at Rockhampton Heritage Village, assisting with animal care and providing demonstrations of sheep shearing and the care and grooming of animals.
He also drove visitors around the exhibits in a stagecoach pulled by his own horse "Baldy".
Former long-serving Rockhampton councillor Rose Swadling said Doyle was one of the Heritage Village's first volunteers.
"He was a true gentleman," Ms Swadling said.
"Quite a character really.
"A lot of people had a lot of respect for Doyle.
"You know you meet a lot of people in your life, and some people really do leave a little space, and Doyle was one of those people.
"He had a beautiful quality about him and he will be sorely missed."
Mel Slade, who was president of the Rockhampton Harness Racing Club for 14 years, said Doyle was a valued member of that organisation for more than two decades.
"He was a very easy going bloke who did his job well," Mr Slade said.
"He was a very likeable chap. I cannot remember anyone having a disagreement with him.
"If something had to be done, Doyle just went and did it.
If he didn't like doing it, he still did it and didn't argue with it."
Doyle died peacefully in hospital a few months short of his 90th birthday, survived by his wife of 65 years Del, his three daughters Susan, Vicky and Karen and four grandchildren. A small private funeral will be held for the family.