Geoff Torney, pictured with wife Janet (Image: Supplied)

Geoff Torney, pictured with wife Janet (Image: Supplied)

Racing community mourns Geoff Torney

Racing Victoria has lost one of its founding directors with the death of Geoff Torney AM at the age of 82.

Torney was the Moonee Valley Racing Club's nominee on the inaugural RV Board in December 2001 where he served as a director for three years.

Torney's four decades of service as an industry administrator included a term as chairman of the then Country Racing Council, known today as Country Racing Victoria.

He joined the Moonee Valley Racing Club committee in 1988 and stayed for the next 14 years, serving as chairman from 1997 to 2002.

The Torney Night Cup, a listed race named in his honour, is conducted under lights at Moonee Valley each February.

A litigation specialist who was recognised as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2005, Torney was a prominent member of Victoria's horse racing community and a much-loved figure in Ballarat, where he was born and raised. 

RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson, paid tribute to Torney, saying, "It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Geoff Torney.

"As one of the founding directors of Racing Victoria, we owe Geoff a great debt of gratitude for his commitment to, and passion for, thoroughbred racing in this State.

"Whether in his various roles at Ballarat and Moonee Valley or as a keen racegoer, Geoff was a popular fixture at racetracks across Victoria and he will be fondly remembered by many people within the industry.

"His loss will be keenly felt, especially by his wife Janet and their family, and on behalf of the Victorian racing community I would like to offer our sincere condolences to them."

CRV Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman, recognised Torney as an enthusiastic supporter of country racing who will be sadly missed.

"Geoff was a wonderful leader and a terrific person who made a tremendous contribution to country racing over many years," Whiteman said.

"He will be sadly missed by the country racing community whom he supported passionately, particularly in Ballarat where he provided amazing service.

"On behalf of CRV and country clubs across the State, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Janet and the Torney family on their loss."

As well as a Member of the Order of Australia, Torney was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his services to thoroughbred racing.