Most years the Spey Bridge Panel makes a few Special Awards and for 2014/15 Casten Bakasa received one of them.
He began working at Belvedere Racecourse in 1951 for a trainer called Coffin Grey, and when Borrowdale opened in 1959 he moved there and looked after the first horse to win at the new course. This was Tower Bridge, ridden by Stanley Eyden, owned by Boss Lilford, and trained by Coffin Grey.
Casten left the racecourse for a while in order to work for Ray Wright in trotting – drove in some races and won four.
Next he worked for Murray Lindley at Clouds End and Mogambo. Then back to the racecourse to join Michael Clements and later Vic Moore for a short while.
Casten was with the Noelene Peech yard for a number of years looking after a good filly called Peppermint, and when Noelene moved to Durban for a while he joined the Kirk Swanson yard, where he still is. He was the winner of the Champion Groom Award in 2004.
Casten is renowned for his grooming abilities and he takes great pride in his horses. He is also a keen photographer.
Photograph: Rosie Dorward