Terang's Elizabeth Clarke is always thinking of others.
The harness racing stalwart has received the honour of having the prestigious Mares' Triple Crown named after her.
While humbled to receive the recognition, her hope is to see people benefit from the three-race series; especially because the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sport.
"If it was possible for people to get some financial pleasure and comfort from this series that would be so pleasing for me," she said.
"In the end, the people, participants and horses are what make the industry and we must never forget that.
"Their generosity of spirit must not be underestimated."
The Elizabeth Clarke Mares' Triple Crown will launch with the Make Mine Cullen Pace on August 22.
The Angelique Club Pace is on August 29 before finishing with the $100,000 group one Queen of the Pacific on September 5.
There's an extra $20,000 up for grabs if a mare wins all three races.
Clarke originally declined the honour of having her name to a race but Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) chairman Dale Monteith insisted it go ahead.
The stalwart said she had initially knocked it back "because there are so many other people in the industry that are hard working and passionate, and who are really decent people, and they deserve acknowledgment too".
Monteith heaped praise on Clarke.
"Elizabeth has given a lifetime of service to this industry and we're pleased to unveil the Elizabeth Clarke Mares' Triple Crown," Monteith told HRV.
"Elizabeth was a fantastic HRV Board member with a strong focus on corporate governance principles, financial management and integrity functions. As I have stated previously her empathy for the participants and business acumen was second to none."
Clarke didn't come from a harness racing background but has been an integral part of the industry for many years.
Her family moved to Terang when she was a teenager.
She was 17 when Terang Harness Racing Club secretary, the late Dan O'Grady, asked her if she would take shorthand for the stewards at each race meeting.
Clarke didn't have a driver's licence so her father drove her to each meet.
She became the club's secretary in 1995 and held that position for 15 years.
But she also held many other roles with HRV during that time.
She joined the racing appeals tribunal for HRV in the state's county court in 2001 after former Minister for Racing Rob Hulls selected her for the role.
Clarke, who served for 11 years, was one of two industry representatives working alongside four judges.
She would also become the first female on the Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board and hold that position for two years.
Former Premier Denis Napthine, who was Minister for Racing from 2010-14, appointed Clarke to the HRV board in 2012.
She served as deputy chair for seven years until she resigned from her role as director in 2019 because she was selected to join the Victorian Racing Integrity Board (VRIB).
Former Supreme Court judge Jack Forrest is chairman of the board which was formed in 2019.
Current Minister for Racing Martin Pakula selected Clarke for that role and she is the deputy chair representing HRV.
Clarke said she found her current position "extremely interesting" because the VRIB covers all three racing codes - harness, thoroughbred and greyhound.
The board has a number of important functions including considering proposed amendments to the rules of racing.
She has also been the chairwoman of the Harness Racing Advisory Council (2016-19) among her other roles.
The respected figure is also proud to have mentored plenty of people, teaching them administrative roles, how to manage conflict and how to deal with matters of integrity in racing.
In particular, she's helped people understand the expectations of the rules of the sport.
Clarke said working to get Terang's new track was among her treasured memories.
"That was my greatest delight," she said.
Clarke said the project was a "collaborative effort of committee, board and state government working together".
She was club secretary while Neil Busse was HRV board chairman at the time.
The project started in October 2000 and finished in February 2001.
"We finished below budget and finished the project ahead of time," she said.
Clarke, who still lives at Terang, has seen plenty of changes in the industry since she first got involved but she said the advancement in technology was the standout.
"When I commenced taking shorthand for the stewards at the race meets, I would never have thought that I would be involved in the use of drones (today)," she said.
"Technology has just come so far."
Clarke said she didn't use computers and mobile phones when she started in the industry.
She added drones were now one of the resources available to integrity departments.
HRV is preparing for a July 1 return of metropolitan and feature racing.
It recently released its July-August feature race program.
The rest of the feature racing calendar is expected to be revealed in the next fortnight.
HRV has been operating under a region-based model since early April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It has increased stakemoney at its June 19-20 and 26-27 meets as a way to thank the industry for embracing the regional model. There'll be $100,000 up for grabs at each of the four meets.
Currently south-west trainers can take runners to Terang, Stawell, Ballarat and Melton.
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