Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Gloria, and her now ex-husband, operated a horse-carrying business that operated throughout the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland carrying mainly for racehorse owners. While her husband operated the trucks Gloria, typical of the average owner-operator’s wife in Australia, managed the books, ran the family and organised all the loading and unloading of the animals as well as caring for horses held on adjistment.
Gloria began her working life at Morphetville, SA as a horse trainer and stayed on there for many years. She credits this period with giving her an uncanny affinity with horses which proved invaluable to her in the years to come. Initially a lot of trainers had adjisted their horses on the family property in the Adelaide Hills prior to them being sold to owners in Darwin and Alice Springs. There were too few transport choices to get them there in those days and often the horses would be adjisted for long periods before and after race day..
In 1979 the Hancocks decided to start their Bloodstock haulage business operating mainly between Adelaide and Darwin but also travelling throughout most of the other states when the need was there. They used an Acco International capable of carrying up to eleven horses in a trailer that had been previously purpose-built for Noel Buntine’s racehorses. The logistics of their operation soon saw the family centralise and relocate to Alice Springs.
Throughout that period of time Gloria worked as relief driver for thirteen years while still managing the family home, two children, looking after horses in transport, and running her other business. A typical scenario would be a trainer calling at 2am in the morning wanting eight horses loaded in Mt Isa. When the driver arrived at the yard he would find a couple of dozen horses there and not know which ones to load. The trainers would have flown out leaving no details about which horses were to be transported. Gloria soon learned to ask all about the horses’ details, height, markings, colour, distinguishing features etc so the wrong horses would not accidentally be loaded back to Alice Springs or another destination where they should not be..
Gloria’s experience in the transport industry typifies the Australian standard where the truck driver’s job is not just a career but is a life-style in which all family members, the wife particularly, must help out and participate in any way they can to make a success of their business. Gloria became a well-known personality, not only around the race tracks and turf clubs of the Northern Territory, but throughout Australia.