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Bill Broughton

Champion jockey - the horseman's horseman ...more

Bill Broughton, based at Awapuni through his long career, was “the horseman’s horseman.” He was never, as he himself said, regularly associated with a champion. Yet he won 11 premierships (a New Zealand record until overhauled in the last couple of years by Lance O’Sullivan); he was in the top three jockeys on the ladder throughout a 20-year period; his sojourn at the top level actually spanned three decades (1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s) and his lifetime tally of 1446 winners was a record at the time of his retirement. Like David Peake 30 years behind him, Broughton was renowned not so much for individual talents or flair but for all-round professionalism and fitness. He was known as a patient rider, very strong in a finish, and most of New Zealand’s big races came his way.

Bill Broughton was a Manawatu identity and therefore it is fitting that the best stud in the lower North Island - Fairdale Stud be the inductee sponsor for Bill. Fairdale was the home of the Champion sire - Pakistan and is presently standing Champion 2004/05 First Season stallion - Howbadouwantit and new sire - Riveria. For further information please call 06-357-3686.

Bill Skelton

Champion Jockey who started a racing dynasty ...more

The oldest of five jockey brothers from Greymouth, Bill Skelton began his successful career in the South Island, moved to Levin in 1964 and continued to pump out the winners at just as high a rate. He won seven premierships spread across three decades – four in the 1950s, two in the ‘60s and one more in the ‘70s – and was either first or second leading rider in each of those three decades. His winning tally of 124 in the 1967-68 was a record until headed by David Peake, with 127, in 1982-83. Skelton was the first New Zealand jockey to ride 2000 winners and retired with a then record tally of 2156. He rode successfully as well in Australia, where his best win was the VRC Derby on Daryl’s Joy.

Bill Skelton is sponsored by Bloodstock PR Ltd a company associated with NZRHF director - Phillip Quay. Phillip is an internationally acclaimed independent journalist and can be contacted at 07-846-4507.

Bob Skelton

Melbourne Cup winning champion jockey ...more

Going into a racing stable behind older brothers Bill and Frank, Bob Skelton won his first premiership in 1955-56, three years behind Bill’s first, and wound up his career with nine titles to his credit, the last in 1975-76. He also topped the 2000 mark for career wins. Taller than his stocky oldest brother, Bob had a different riding style; high in the saddle and, often, with a loop on the rein. Horses “went” for him and he was a great judge of pace, notching more two-mile (3200m) wins than any other rider in Australasian history that we’ve been able to discover. He was derided for his awkward-looking style on early visits to Australia, but got the last laugh when he won the 1976 Melbourne Cup on Van Der Hum.

Bob Skelton is sponsored by Northern Ceilings NZ Ltd - a company associated with racing enthusiast Nick Rodokal of Auckland. Northern Ceilings is one of the largest specialty ceiling companies and can be contacted at 09-416-9227.

Brent Thomson

An International Jockey Star ...more

Brent Thomson showed remarkable maturity as leading apprentice of his time.

He won the 1976 Auckland Cup on Perhaps when only 17, and finished third on Kythera in the Melbourne Cup in the same year.

Brent moved to Colin Hayes' stable in Australia and, over the next eight years, won just about every major Australian race except the Melbourne Cup.

Based in England for the next seven years (and then in Hong Kong for four), Thomson wound up his international career the winner of more than 3000 races, 53 of them at Group One level.

Sponsor: Swettenham Stud

Brian Anderton

All the Racing Hats - a master all rounder. ...more

Brian Anderton was a successful jockey on the flat and over fences, starting at age 13 and riding 398 winners – but is even more successful as a trainer, his winning tally now close to 1300.

Brian is a one-time riding master for the Otago Apprentice School, and a past president of the Otago Racing Club and Otago branch of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

In 1956 founded national icon stud White Robe Lodge, where he stood champion sires Mellay and Noble Bijou.

In recent years, White Robe Lodge helped to under pin South Island breeders with Stallions, and has continues through sponsorship and racing to supporting racing in the South.

Sponsor: White Robe Lodge Clients

David Peake

The ultimate professional over 40 years in the saddle ...more

David Peake first appeared on winning jockeys' list 1962-63, retired 40 years later as the winner of 2,085 races in New Zealand, the third biggest-winning jockey in New Zealand history.

David won six NZ Jockey Premierships, rode the most winners of any jockey in the 1970s (794) and held the course record for winners at Ellerslie (392) until topped by champion jockey Lance O'Sullivan.

Renowned as a rider of stayers David regularly rode track work over the years – every bit the professional.

Grenville Hughes

Winner of 1270 races over 35 seasons - a rider with outstanding technique ...more

Other jockeys bettered Grenville's lifetime tally of 1,278 wins, but none equalled his popularity with the public. Grenville had charisma. Twenty years after Grenville Hughes retired from race riding, he was a guest on Radio Pacific. The switchboard was jammed with calls all afternoon.

A master stylist and judge of pace, Grenville excelled in weight-for-age races and is especially remembered for his partnership with chestnut champion Mainbrace – another Hall of Fame inductee - on whom he won 23 races from 24 rides.

Hector Gray

Controversial champion Jockey who was an outstanding race tactician ...more

Colourful characters abound in the world of racing and Hector Gray can certainly lay claim to being one of our most notorious.

Legendary for his clashes with racing authority Gray was put out of racing on two occasions for periods of two and three years, but the most notable was his suspension for life, which was later remitted to five years.

Whatever the misdemeanours were, no-one could take away from the fact that Hector Gray was one of the most talented jockeys New Zealand has ever seen. As happens with only the rarest of champions, his name became a byword for excellence; the greatest since Hector Gray.

Sneaking away from home against his father’s wishes, Gray began riding in 1902.

Riding what was then a record of 921 winners in New Zealand, Gray was the first to ride a “century” in a season, kicking home 116 winners in 1930-31.

He won seven premierships, the first in1909-10 and the last in 1930-31.  Had he not spent so much time out of the saddle and riding overseas there is no doubt he would have won plenty more titles.

Riding in Australia, England, Belgium and France, he had the notable achievement of riding a winner in his first ride in each country and internationally rode more than 100 winners. 

When his last disqualification of five years was lifted in the 1929-30 season, Gray returned to the saddle. Now in his mid-forties, the old master wasn’t about to let his time out of the saddle and a new generation of younger horsemen, including the brilliant youngster Keith Voitre, get in his way.

In his second to last season he won the premiership with 75 wins and followed that up in his last season with his record of 116.

Hector Gray’s character led him to push the boundaries. His character was no doubt also the reason he achieved the reputation of being one of our all time greatest jockeys. 

Jim Cassidy

The Pumper is King! ...more

A record-breaking apprentice in New Zealand, where he won the 1981-82 jockeys’ premiership in just his fourth full season. After his famous 1983 Melbourne Cup win on Kiwi; moved to Australia where he was to perform at top level for the next 30 years. One of only seven jockeys to win the Australian “grand slam” (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper). On Derby Day 2013 he became one of just three Australasian jockeys to win 100 Group Ones.

L.J. (Jim) Ellis

A Jockey with patience and power ...more

The first New Zealand jockey to ride a thousand winners, the South Islander was renowned as a rider of stayers.

Ellis won two Auckland Cups, three Wellington Cups and five New Zealand Cups; five New Zealand Derbys and two Great Northern Derbys.

Ellis was the dominant rider of the 1930s, during which decade he rode 590 winners and won four premierships.

Ellis took up training while still a jockey and notably trained and rode Golden Souvenir to important wins including the 1945 New Zealand Cup.

Sponsor: Canterbury Jockey Club

Lance O'Sullivan

NZ's most successful championship winning jockey ...more

At the end of the 2002-03 season, Lance O’Sullivan retired from race riding at the top (three winners at Tauranga from his last three rides) and with every record in New Zealand flat racing safely in his saddle bags. With a New Zealand tally of 2358 he held the record of wins by a New Zealand jockey – and that was without adding the wins in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore and, yep, one in Turkey which brought his lifetime tally to 2479. In 2001-02 he rode 193 winners to reclaim the New Zealand record for wins in a season which a young Michael Walker had briefly taken from him the season before. O’Sullivan retired with 12 New Zealand premierships to his credit, having broken Bill Broughton’s long-standing record of 11 premierships. All of these records placed O’Sullivan firmly at the head of his profession at the time of his retirement. What makes them a testament to character, professionalism and determination as much to innate ability is that they were achieved – or at least completed – after a horrendous race fall at Moonee Valley in which O’Sullivan’s left leg was so badly smashed that it took three years, three operations and unguessable grinding pain before he could return to race riding in 1998-99. O’Sullivan was born on August 28 1963 into a racing family. His father Dave, a good journeyman jockey who became a champion trainer, was followed into a training partnership by Lance’s brother Paul; Lance rode 181 winners while apprenticed to his father. Over two decades the O’Sullivan trio – trainers and jockey – became the most formidable team in New Zealand’s racing history. Lance won 50 Group One races, perhaps his most memorable being the 1989 Japan Cup on Horlicks, the W.S.Cox Plate on Surfers Paradise and that remarkable third ARC Railway Handicap win on Mr Tiz, on whom he won six Group Ones. Since his retirement from the saddle, Lance O’Sullivan has seamlessly turned his talents to training.

Lance O'Sullivan is sponsored by Highview Stud. Highview Stud stands an excellent line up of stallions including exciting young sires - Johar, Align and Danbird, and well established sire - Kashani. Highview welcomes your enquiries. Please phone Brent Gillovic on 07-825-2649.

Leslie H. (Tod) Hewitt


Tod Hewitt revolutionised race riding in Australasia

Born in Victoria 1879, Hewitt relocated to Southland at young age to become a jockey winning his first race ride.

By shortening his irons and moving the saddle forward, Tod adopted the crouch style used today. Tod became the Stead-Mason (both Hall of Famers) stable jockey, winning numerous big races on both sides of the Tasman.

Hewett won the NZ jockeys premiership in 1903-04. Then he rode successfully in Europe for half of the first 20 years of the 20th Century, winning big races in England (including the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket), Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Italy.

Hewett finished his career with 765 wins.

Linda Jones

Trailblazing female jockey who rode into racings history books ...more

Linda Jones led the 1970s fight for the rights of women to be jockeys. Linda created a media sensation during in her first riding season in 1978-79; when she was equal-second in NZ Jockey's Premiership - when a race fall halted her season.

Linda was a forerunner in noth Australia and New Zealand. Her success and celebrity status took the pressure off young women who followed her into the profession.

Linda was the first female jockey in the world to ride a recognised Derby winner, first to ride winners at Ellerslie and Trentham, and against male jockeys at a registered Australian meeting.

Maurice McCarten

Up to Australia's Best ...more

A champion jockey in the 1920s and 1930s, Maurice McCarten won two NZ jockey premierships, aged 20 and 21, and moved to Sydney, where he rode three winners at his first appearance on an Australian course. He won many major races in Australia and turned to training in 1942, winning four Sydney trainers premierships and then finishing second 10 times to T.J. Smith. Delta, Todman and Wenona Girl were among the champion horses he trained.

Noel Harris


Noel Harris is a star jockey in a family of stars

Noel was born in Palmerston North in 1955, the third of four brother jockeys and son of Woodville based jockey turned trainer Jock Harris.

Noel was twice leading apprentice, the second time as Premier Jockey (equal with David Peake) in 1972-73. He also later won a Singapore Jockey Premiership. Noel’s riding career spanned 45 years and he is in top four jockeys of all-time, winning 2,163 races in New Zealand.

One of the greatest judges of pace and is the record holder for most 3200 metre big cup wins with 10 (equal with Hall of Fame jockey R.J. Skelton) – four New Zealand Cups, three Wellington Cups and three Auckland Cups. Champion horses he rode include Hall of Famer Castletown, Kingdom Bay and  Poetic Prince,

Since retiring as a jockey Noel is now successfully mentoring jockeys at NZTR Jockeys School

Shane Dye

Billy Idol of the saddle ...more

Born 1966, apprenticed to Dave and Paul O’Sullivan. Precocious talent, twice champion NZ apprentice. Flamboyant, sometimes controversial; headlines and success followed Shane “Billy Idol” to Sydney. Won two Sydney premierships, rode 90 Group Ones in Australia including Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate and four successive Golden Slippers – all by age 33! Rode for seven years in Hong Kong, where he was twice second in premiership. Inducted Australian Hall of Fame 2014.