Harness racing honours more headline acts

BARRY LICHTER
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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Five drivers, six trainers and four long-time industry high flyers were inducted into the NZ Trotting Hall Of Fame.

Nearly 100 leading harness players gathered at a special ceremony at the purpose built Hall Of Fame at Alexandra Park last week to honour the high achievers.

Four Canterbury drivers, Jim Curtin (1427), Dexter Dunn (1232 wins), David Butt (1100) and Ken Barron (1024) were inducted after reaching the 1000-win threshold, and northerner Maurice McKendry was admitted after joining Tony Herlihy as only the second driver to notch 3000 winners.

Herlihy achieved the driving and training double after registering more than 500 training wins, his tally now standing at 670.

He was joined on the trainers' board by Tim Butt (583), Doug Gale (524), John Hay (529), and the partnerships of Grant Payne and Mark Purdon (558) and David and Catherine Butt (673).

Four of harness racing's best known names were inducted for outstanding contributions over many years.

Vet, breeder, studmaster and owner Charlie Roberts, who races Christen Me and Adore Me, was recognised for his achievements over more than 60 years in the racing and breeding industry.

Canterbury breeder Bob McArdle, a founding owner of Nevele R Stud and now Bromac Lodge, accepted his honour for helping change the way the breeding industry operated.

Now retired race commentator Alby Gain, who became the ''Voice of Alexandra Park'' was honoured for his 35 years in racing broadcasting.

Long-time trainer, owner, administrator and former Harness Racing New Zealand chairman Pat O'Brien received his gong for his many years of service in the code. 

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