Ferg Speakman started as a trainer in 1932 and had immediate success, winning the Gift with Roy Barker. He followed this success up with further victories to Mal Durant 1958, John Bell 1963, Barry McLeod 1969 and Paul Young in 1985.
A talent for bringing his athletes up to their peak for the Gift enabled him to train a record five Stawell Gift winners, as well as numerous other successes in other events.
Since 1991, the trophy for the trainer of the winner of the Stawell Gift Men’s Open has been named the Ferg Speakman Trophy.
Awarded legend status to the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame, Ferg did compete throughout the 1920’s making a few Gift finals. He won the first heat of the 1929 Stawell Gift beating pre-race favourite Bert Hyde, but was later run out in the semi-final.
His best Stawell carnival as a trainer was in 1963 when he coached four winners – the winner of the Gift (John Bell), 440 yards with Des Cooke and the 660 yards/880 yards double with Malcolm Durant.