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Tom Burn ends 20 years as NZTBA Wellington President

The word "stalwart" is a 14th century Scottish variant of an Old English compound of two words meaning "foundation, support" and "good, excellent, worthy". That etymology perfectly describes the contribution of Tom Burn to the NZTBA at branch and national level over the past two decades.

Tom Burn, NZTBA Wellington president,
1986-2006, & national councillor, 1997-2003

PHOTO: Susan Archer
Tom stepped down as NZTBA Wellington president at the branch AGM last night, exactly 20 years after he took office in 1986. He joined the Association in 1979 becoming vice president in 1985, and later serving seven years as national councillor, from 1997 to 2003.

NZTBA chief executive Michael Martin says, "Wellington doesn't have a big branch, but with Tom at the helm it has always had a strong and constructive voice on behalf of the private breeder and the small investor."
NZTBA Wellington also has a fine history of funding initiatives that benefit the industry as a whole, including sponsorship of the NSW Rookie Journalist of the Year award, and bringing noted American turf writer Jim Bolus to New Zealand in 1987.

Chief among Tom's achievements is the establishment of the NZTBA Wellington Overseas Training Scholarships in 1991. Recognising the importance of quality education of young people seeking careers in our industry, the branch funded two scholarships to the Irish and English National Studs until this year. The scholarships, worth a total of approximately $15,000 each year, were funded largely by a stallion tender scheme. Tom's work in securing stallion nominations from studs was essential to the scheme's success and his departure co-incides with its conclusion, and the consequent need to find other funding sources.

Fortunately, the NZTBA Wellington branch has another generous supporter in the K.I.A. Taylor Charitable Trust, which sponsored the 2006 English Scholarship and will share, with the branch, the sponsorship of 2007 winner Michelle Foster to the Irish National Stud. This scholarship also honours former NZTBA national and Wellington branch president, the late Ted Howarth.

This is a very fitting collaboration and commemoration, because Tom, Keith and Ted worked together on the Wellington branch and shared a strong dedication to the thoroughbred industry's development.

Tom has extensive racing interests and achieved fame as co-owner of 1996 New Zealand Horse of the Year Our Maizcay. His departure from an official NZTBA role certainly does not signal any reduction of his involvement in racing and breeding thoroughbreds.

Tom has been succeeded as Wellington branch president by Darryl Burrow.

- Susan Archer


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