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Racing loses a true gentleman

A widely-respected champion jockey who continued his involvement with the industry for many years after his retirement has passed away.

Norman (Norm) Bannerman Holland, OBE, died on Sunday at the age of 90.

Holland's family moved from Lancashire, England, to New Zealand when he was four and settled in Taranaki.

He left school as a 13-year-old and served his apprenticeship with Oney Cox at Hawera and began race riding in 1940.

Holland graduated to win three jockeys' premierships in 1945-46, 1947-48 and in 1951-52 before he retired from the saddle in 1974.

He rode more than 900 winners and was associated with many top-class gallopers, including the champion three-year-old Syntax and the outstanding front-runner Gene.

He remained heavily involved in the industry and in 1977 his service to racing was acknowledged with an OBE.

Holland was a former president of the jockeys' association and the Auckland Racing Club's jockeys' liaison officer.

The Riding Master at the Auckland Apprentice School for 17 years, he was made a life member of the ARC in 2005 and was an inaugural Ellerslie Legends inductee.

In 2010, Holland was also honoured with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's the outstanding contribution to racing award.


- NZ Racing Desk