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New Councillor for Central Region

The new Central region Councillor for the NZTBA Murray Brenton-Rule is looking forward to representing his region on the council and being involved with Council matters in the industry.

"There is a fair bit going on just now in the racing and breeding industry, and I believe it is important to keep people involved and motivated. Nothing is easy in a world wide recession, but we have to ride the ups and downs. I enjoy being a part of this industry and I want to see it go forward," he enthused.

Brenton- Rule joined the Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay branch of the NZTBA shortly after his interest in racing and breeding was ignited when, as a first time owner, he became a shareholder in the Group One winner Just Call Me Sir.

Being an individual who likes to be committed and involved, it was a natural progression for him to join the Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay Branch Committee and then become Vice- President five years ago before going on to become President three years ago.

"You kind of get thrown in the deep end when you are first involved, but you graft away and begin to enjoy the camaraderie. Our branch covers a wide area so that makes it a little more difficult, but it's a great branch. We have a fabulous awards evening each year, and this month we have a VIP day at the Hawkes Bay races, and in a couple of weeks, a weanling walk.

A beef farmer in Dannevirke, Brenton-Rule is also a committeeman on the Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club, and he believes that his racing club involvement compliments his role on the NZTBA Council.

"The Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club has now become a member of the East Coast Racing Incorporated consortium and that will help our little club progress. We are all working for a common goal," he said.

His introduction to racing reads like a fairytale. Along with a few friends who were already involved in horses, Murray and his wife Phillipa took a quarter share in a Clay Hero yearling named Just Call Me Sir and embarked on a thrill of a life time.

"Laurie Laxon is a superb trainer, and he had a master plan with this horse that he executed to perfection when Just Call Me Sir became the first and only three-year-old to win the Group One Kelt Capital Stakes. Along with our friends Margaret and Peter Hales, Veronica and John Dobson, and Paul Brosnahan, Phillipa and I had a ball and we were sold on this game forever.

"Just Call Me Sir won six races including the Kelt, the Avondale Guineas, the Wanganui Guineas, and the Hawkes Bay Challenge Stakes, before he was tried in Singapore. We bought him back to New Zealand and gave him a few races, but now he spends his days on the farm here in Dannevirke.

"We were sold on the game then, and we went out and bought a Deputy Governor filly. As Lonestar Lady she won the Desert Gold Stakes and three other races, before injuring herself, and we have retained her as a broodmare. Her mother My Good Omen won the Group Two Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha as well as two other listed events. She won seven races in total and left six winners.

"At stud Lonestar Lady has a two-year-old Hawkeye filly in the paddock at home, and is currently in foal to Perfectly Ready. The filly will probably go over to Stewart Mitchell at Bulls as he trained Lonestar Lady and is our right hand man when it comes to weaning, breaking in and anything that involves handling horses.

"We have five mares now and various other aged horses on the property and my wife Phillipa looks after them on a day to day basis. She enjoys that. These days I am involved fattening cattle and running a small livestock business looking after a few clients' needs in selling and supplying stock. It keeps me involved in the community.

Brenton Rule started his working life as a stock and station agent and then went on to be a buyer for the meat works. Up until about 10 years ago he was involved with Richmond Meats in Hawkes Bay. He has also dabbled in a little auctioneering.

"Livestock is virtually all I know, and the same principle for raising good livestock can be applied to bloodstock, and that is to ensure that they are well looked after and well fed, and that they are always on a rising plain and going forward all the time.

"The one thing I love about the bloodstock industry is that champions can come from anywhere and the little guy the hobby breeder has as much chance of breeding a group one winner as a big stud operation does. That is what gets people into this game and keeps them there."

"I am going to enjoy being involved on the Council and will make the most of my time there and I hope that I can be of help to others," he concluded.

- Michelle Saba