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Tribute to Jane McClintock Bunbury 11 Aug 1943 - 1 June 2011

Pictured above at the Auckland Branch NZTBA Awards Dinner, Jane Bunbury, her husband Callam McLeod, and Michelle Saba.  Jane had just received a special award, recognising her achievements and her contribution to the Thoroughbred Industry.
Pictured above at the Auckland Branch NZTBA Awards Dinner, Jane Bunbury, her husband Callam McLeod, and Michelle Saba. Jane had just received a special award, recognising her achievements and her contribution to the Thoroughbred Industry.

Jane McClintock Bunbury11 Aug 1943 - 1 June 2011
The NZTBA lost one of its stalwart members with the passing of Jane Bunbury in Auckland recently. After a short battle with cancer, fought with her indelible tenacity, Jane died peacefully surrounded by her husband Callum MacLeod and members of her extended family from Ireland. Jane was born in Ireland on August 11th 1943 into a family steeped in racing history. She was passionate about and had an unwavering enthusiasm and commitment for the thoroughbred and her knowledge of the industry, both internationally and locally, was truly amazing right up until the end. Jane's love of fun and adventure was evident when she came to New Zealand in 1962 after working her way to Sydney as a groom. She joined the staff of Wright Stephenson's in Auckland and eventually found herself in the pedigree department in Wellington where she remained until she returned back to the United Kingdom in 1965. After working for various bloodstock agents, and as a groom in the United Kingdom, she returned to Wellington and back to the pedigree department of Wrightson Bloodstock in the early 70's. It was about this time that she assisted the late Rod McKinnon to import a mare from England to send to his new sire Regalis II. That mare was Stuka and went on to be the dam of that stallion's top performers Dive Bomber and Heidelberg. In her honour McKinnon named Stuka's last foal Lady Jane. Later she was to relocate with Wrightson Bloodstock to Auckland where she continued to run the pedigree department for a number of years, before assisting her former colleague, Michael Otto in Michael Otto Bloodstock. As a long term active member of the Auckland branch of the NZTBA for well over 25 years, Jane has attended nearly all the social activities, seminars, expos and tours we have promoted, with enthusiasm and a willing smile. A true stayer and real stalwart, thoroughbred racing and breeding was her passion. In that time as a NZTBA member she has given freely and frankly her advice and time and her advice on pedigrees, performance, and conformation could always be relied upon. Friends and associates of Jane remember her as one of the most trustworthy and non judgemental people you could ever meet. As a breeder she experienced the highs and lows of owning broodmares and up until recently was still selling yearlings. During the 90's she had great success breeding two stakes winners from the same line, Mr Bond who won eight races including the Marton Metric Mile and the group two winner My Quota who also won eight races. These stakeswinners were by stallions that were never commercial and appealed mainly on their physical type, as she believed that this physical influence was what these mares needed. Deep in concentration Jane could always be found leaning on the rail analysing the bloodstock at every New Zealand Bloodstock sale and could update you on the state of the market and the best looking lots, before adjourning for a well earned drink to discuss the out come of that day's sale. Racing was a true passion for Jane and she was an active member of the Avondale Jockey Club and Counties Racing Club, and over the years was an enthusiastic participant at all the major carnivals throughout the country. As an owner she had shares in numerous horses over the last 30 years, without actually ever owning a stand out performer, but she would always follow them with great anticipation and excitement. Jane will be remembered by many for many things, but most importantly for her joie de vivre, her presence and warm smile, knowledge, wisdom and wit, and for being a true lady. She will be fare welled by friends and family at a service at the Te Mahurehure Marae in Point Chevalier, Auckland on Wednesday June 8th, at 11.am.

- Michelle Saba


 

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