Horrie Pethybridge

Horrie Pethybridge was born in Tamworth, N.S.W in 1909 and was a member of the Marrickville Club.
Pethybridge managed to win his first race at the age of 10 years from the half limit mark and the following years would become one of Australia’s best champion riders.
As an amateur in 1929 he won four scratch races on successive occasions at the Sydney Velodrome and then established a record over the new road from Newcastle to Sydney, the fastest time for the 113-mile event in 1931.
Pethybridge was on fire, claiming consistent wins from his starts however in 1932 according to a Sydney paper, Pethybridge was said to be disappointed at his failure to be selected for the Olympic Games and his bike was declared to be for sale.
Pethybridge was reported as saying that the Olympic time trial in Brisbane was not a fair test and that as there was no notification of the race before he arrived in Brisbane he was quite unprepared for it.
Sensationally defeating Duncan Gray in 1933, the Australian Olympic representative and world’s record holder in two straight heats in a special match race at the Velodrome, Pethybridge was the now the current Australian 5 and 10-mile title champion.
Peaking at his racing career, Pethybridge in 1934 raced the 5-mile scratch race in the startling time of 9m, 58s to retain his title.
Pethybridge was selected with champion cyclist Dunc Gray competed in the British Empire Games, Pethybridge finished 2nd in the 1000 yards and in the 10-mile race Pethybridge with Dunc Gray unfortunately punctured.
Horrie Pethybridge showed great form in 1935, the Henson Park Open Carnival (N.S.W) producing a track record for the 5-mile scratch and as an already Empire Games representative, he was in line for Olympic selections, following his wins with the 1, 5 and 10-mile N.S.W track championships however some bad luck followed in 1937 as he took a fall and was badly injured at the Canterbury Velodrome.
Pethybridge considered retirement as the expected three weeks off the bike was too much lay off the bike and was disappointed that he would not be at his best form to be defending his 5-mile state  and Australian title.
Three stitches were inserted into his knee with the previous night having two more, in addition he dislocated his shoulder and suffered abrasions in his arms, legs and face.
In 1938 Pethybridge considered that he received harsh treatment from the amateur body when he objected to the treatment meted out when he was told to abide by the rulings of the officials or turn Pro, Pethybridge in fact did turn professional.
In the same year a sensation for the crowd with Pethybridge and Ernie Grieg staged the best motor-paced match race for years at the Sydney Arena, the distance of 3-miles in the time of 5min; 2-5secs claimed a wonderful effort by with cheering crowd.
Each rider held a slight lead on occasion but Pethybridge got the inside running with three laps to go and the advantage held him in good position over the final 50 yards. Grieg’s pacer opened the throttle but the rider lost the roller. A return match was scheduled.
Horrie Pethybridge was the brother of Tom Pethybridge, the airman who was lost with Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

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