A TRUE Rutherglen local has been remembered as a “fine horseman” and “real character” who could always bring out the best in people.
Ken Buscall died on Wednesday, on the eve of his 80th birthday, after a battle with cancer.
His youngest son Trent yesterday paid tribute to the man who wore many hats over the years — successful horse trainer, Rutherglen CFA member for 60 years, and captain for 25.
But none fit quite so well as that of Rutherglen family man, with 52 years spent in the same home.
“Dad travelled to most parts of Australia and always said this was the best spot,” Trent said.
“He loved the area.”
Born in 1933, Mr Buscall met his wife Margaret in 1953 and they married two years later, enjoying 58 years together, raising seven children.
He began training horses in the late 1950s and quickly eked out a reputation as having success with the more difficult animals.
“He got a lot of the horses that had been mistreated or hard to handle, they seemed to end up with him,” his son-in-law Phillip Bryant said.
One of his first horses was the appropriately named Big Win, which had 50 starts for him — something “pretty much unheard of today”, Mr Bryant said.
Mr Buscall enjoyed many successes locally including wins in the 1975 Wagga Gold Cup with Arctic Island, the 1975 Wagga 2-year-old Stakes with Coronary, and the 1987 Wagga Town Plate with Galactic Star.
He was a regular winner at Towong, Jerilderie, Berrigan and Corowa.
Mr Buscall retired about 16 years ago, at which time he bought two Clydesdales and a replica Cobb & Co coach to take tourists around the Rutherglen area, which he did until five years ago.
In between, he remained a dedicated member of the Rutherglen CFA, and was brigade captain for 25 years.
First Lieutenant Milton Thompson described his colleague and friend as “a brilliant captain”.
“He had a very good understanding of fire ... and had this way of being able to get the very best out of people,” he said.
“He was very encouraging and in the way he ran the brigade, everyone was able to have their say.
“He gave it his all ... he’s going to leave a big hole.”
Mr Buscall is survived by his wife Margaret; children Christina, Kerryn, Ross, Michelle, Jackie and Trent; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
His funeral will be held on Monday at 2pm.
Appropriately it will be held at the Rutherglen Fire Station.