Popular NSW racing administrator Don Hopkins has died aged 75 after a long illness.
Hopkins served as deputy chairman of the board of Racing NSW from 2002 to 2008 and was also a director of the Australian Racing Board from 2004 to 2008.
He was awarded life membership of Racing NSW Country in 2008 having served as a director on the NSW Country Racing Council/Racing NSW Country from 1998 until this year.
Hopkins had also been president and a committee member of Taree-Wingham Race Club for 13 years, treasurer of Mid North Coast Racing Association from 1979 to 1981, and was a member of NSW Government Senior Executive Services (1989-1997).
In 2008, Hopkins was awarded a Medal to the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to horse racing in NSW through executive roles in industry organisations and to the community of Taree.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'Landys said Hopkins was a warrior for country racing.
"In my time at Racing New South Wales I have never met a person who was more dedicated and passionate about country racing," V'Landys said.
"An extremely intelligent man, Don was as good a racing administrator as I have met and was highly respected and very popular with his peers. Don's passing is a great loss not only to his family, but for the racing industry.
"People like Don come along once in a generation and he will be impossible to replace.
"Our deepest sympathies are extended to Don's wife Trish and the family."
Funeral details have not yet been announced.