The Tommy Woodcock (The Strapper)
A strapper is employed to look after a horse and often has a very close relationship with the horse. A strapper’s duties range from cleaning horse stables, feeding and brushing the horse and preparing a horse for track work and racing. This includes fitting the saddle and adjusting it as the horse’s fitness increases and body shape changes. Strappers lead race contenders from the horse stalls to the mounting yard before passing them over to the riding jockeys. After their arduous run, strappers are there to greet the horses, feed and care for them, and hose them down to help them relax and regain their normal breathing rate. Each year the strapper of the winning horse in the Melbourne Cup is awarded the Tommy Woodcock trophy named after Phar Lap’s strapper.