Sunline ScholarshipScholarshipNew Zealand BloodstockBreeders' BulletinCambridge StudBelardoCovid-19Haunui FarmRich HillWaikato StudIrish National StudCheveley Park StudBreeders BulletinCoolmoreGavelhouse PlusPearl SeriesBrighthill FarmBruce SladeLittle Avondale StudRITATaylor MadeBruce's BlogBulletinMatt's BlogMatthew ScownTrelawney StudWeanling SaleWindsor Park StudAlmanzorIffraajJamie RichardsMapperley StudMatt ScownNational Breeding AwardsOcean ParkRobert DennisThe Oaks StudBevan SmithDavid Morris BlogFirst Crop Sire FocusHighden ParkNovara ParkNZTRSavabeelTavistockWentwood GrangeWestbury Stud2020 New SiresBevan's BlogEminentHolly RossHolly's BlogJamie's BlogKiwi BredLance Forbes BlogRaise The FlagRobert's BlogValachi DownsWellfield LodgeWhite Robe LodgeBenji KingBenji's BlogCameron Ring BlogDanielle Southey BlogGavelhouseHannah AireyHannah MeeMelody BelleNZB Pearl SeriesPer IncantoSatono AladdinSweynesseTime TestCharm SpiritCurraghmoreDylan TreweekDylan's BlogEmbellishGrangewilliam StudHannah's BlogHello YoumzainInglewood StudKeith and Faith Taylor Equine ScholarshipKoldingLaura McNabNZB South Island SaleReliable ManSam BergersonSouth Island SaleVadamosVespaWyndspelleAce HighAide MemoireBagalolliesBeyond the BarriersCameron RingChris LuoniCoronavirusDalgharDarci BrahmaDavid ArcherEtah JamesGordon CunninghamJon SnowLance ForbesMarie LeicesterMilan ParkNewmarketOcean EmperorPrefermentRichard WrightRoad to RockSacred FallsShamexpressShockingShowcasingSir Patrick HoganStaphanosSuper SethTurn Me LooseWaikato Stallion WeekendWeigh InWelfareWroteYearling SalesAlamosaAtlanteAuckland Breeder AwardsBeauty GenerationBLOODSTOCK TAXATIONBradbury ParkBreeding AwardsCatalystCEO BlogChief Executive's BlogContributerCoolmore IrelandDean McKenzieDennis BrothersFalkirkFasttrack Breeders ProfileFoster FoalFrankelGerry HarveyGingernutsHall of FameHealthy RiversHighviewIgraineJennifer EcclesJoan EganJohnny Get AngryJomara BloodstockKaraka 2021Karaka MillionLisa LattaLloyd MonehanMare ReturnsMark ChittyMark LuptonMembershipNearco StudNick KingNZB InsuranceNZTBA Waikato BranchOceanexPattern CommitteePear Tree FarmPinsPolly GreyRacing Industry BillRangitikei Gold CupReady To Run SaleRibchesterRoaring LionRock 'n' PopRyan StaceyShannon TaylorSneaking To WinStallion paradeStallion parade 2019Surprise BabyTarzinoTe AkauTe Aroha Breeders DayTen SovereignsThe Chosen OneTheileria equiTivaciToffee TongueTony PikeTony RiderVanbrughVerry ElleegantWar DecreeWarren PeggWinston PetersYearnZed2015/16 Handicaps2017 Waikato Stallion Parade2020 Service fees30 Day Foal NotificationAblazeACC ForumACC LEVIESAdvantageAegonAerovelocityAl Basti EquiworldAlan GrovesAlan WindleAllan SharrockAllureAlphastarAndrew SeabrookAndrew StewartAnne-Marie KingAnother DollarArrivederciArthur AvisAternatinAuckland Stallion ParadeAuckland Stallion Parade 2017AvonalloAzamourBaggy GreenBansha House StablesBarbara PerryBelle familyBernard SaundryBessBohemian BluesBonnevalBonniegirlBostonianBoticaBRANCH CAPITATIONBred To WinBreeder of The YearBreeder Of The Year 2016Breeder ProfileBreeders Bulletin Winter 2016Breeders' Bulletin Summer 2016/17Breeders' StakesBrent and Cherry TaylorBrian CollinsBroodmare Of The Year 2016Broodmare of the year 2020Bruce HarveyBruce PerryBryerley ParkBuckinghamBurgundyCallsign MavCancer SocietyCareers DayCarol MarshallCathay PacificCatWalkCelia CrawshawCharles RobertsCharmontCherry TaylorCheveley ParkChiantiChocanteChris GraceChristopher GraceClearview ParkClyde BuckinghamColdplayComplacentCoolmore AmericaCouleeCount ZeroCountofmontecristoCovCoventinaCrosshavenCylinder BeachDan MyersDaniel NakhleDanny RolstonDavid EllisDavid GreeneDavid MillerDavid MorrisDavid WalshDawn PatrolDe GruchyDeloitte ReportDerrynDezDijon BleuDivine ProphetDolcettoDon GoodwinDormello StudDr Frances PeatDunstan FeedsDunstan Feeds Stayers ChampionshipDunstan Feeds Under The RadarDunstan Horse FeedsDylan JohnsonEducationElusive BoxersEmblemEmma EvansEnglandEnvironmentEpisode OneEquibreed Seminar 28th AugustEquifibreEquine Property OwnersEvent StarsExplosive BreedingExportsFabulousFanaticFarriersFasig-TiptonFastrack Breeder ProfileFasttrackFerlaxFerrandoFiona BassettFirst Season Sire ReviewFive to MidnightFlemmington FarmFlying MontyFlyingflynnFoal NZFoalsFormidableFoxbridgeFrank ConwayFree Handicaps 2016-17Full of BeautyG1 DinnerGalloping GerteGary WallaceGermanicusGift Of PowerGilltown StudGina ShickGoffsGore GuineasGraham de GruchyGreg TomlinsonGus WigleyGuy LowryGypsy FairHappy StarHard MerchandizeHe's Our RokkiiHe's RemarkableHEALTH & SAFETY ACTHeniHigh ChaparralHighview StudHiyaamHoney RiderHorse ambulanceHoward Be Thy NameHumidorI Am A StarIain RentonImmigrationImperatrizImposing LassImposinglyInfantryInside AgentIrelandIts Time For MagicJakkalberryJanine DunlopJeanette BroomeJen CampinJericho CupJezabeelJimmy ChouxJohn BergerJohn FokerdJohn Messara Report Release Date 30 August 2018John ThompsonJohn WoodJulian CorbanJust Got HomeJustamaizKawiKay HoodKaye SandersKeanoKeenelandKevin GrayKevin HickmanKevin PrattKhalesKick BackKinaneKoru ThoroughbredsKyla RobbKyla Robb BlogKylie FawcettKylin 500 ClubLa DiosaLa RomaneeLasarlaLegless VeuveLet Her RipLib PetagnaLibby BleakleyLifesaverLightning StakesLincoln BlueLincoln FarmsLion's RoarLiz AllenLloch-Haven ThoroughbredsLondon ExpressLong Acres StudLorna MooreLuigi MuolloMajor TomMakfiMakfi StakesMangaroa Flo JoMansfield FarmMarch 2016Mark CorcoranMark TreweekMaster PaintonMay SaleMcQuadeMeeska MooskaMegan LieftingMeleka BelleMembersMiami boundMichael MoranMichael O'KeefeMichael SheridanMichelle SabaMick PrestonMiss Three StarsMiss VistaMiss WilsonMongolian khanMonovaleMonovale FarmMontoyas SecretMonty RobertsMPINahkleNathan TrumperNeedle and ThreadNew zealand racing hall of fameNight's WatchNitrogenNot An OptionNurse KitchenNZ Bred G1 WinnersNZ Breeder of the YearNZ First season sires 2018NZ HOTYNZ Racing AwardsNZ Racing Hall of FameNZ Racing StructureNZB AirfreightNZB Yearling SalesNZERFNZRBNZTBA Breeders Bulletin Autumn 2018NZTBA OfficeNZTBA RestructureNZTBA Te Aroha Breeders DayNZTROF March 2017OctapussyOctasongOn The RocksOne One TwoOnly WordsOur AbbadeanOWNERS FEDERATIONPaisley ParkPark Hill StablesPaul GollanPaul MoroneyPaul YesbergPencarrowPencarrow StudPentirePerfect FitPerfectly ReadyPeter and Heather CrofskeyPeter and Sue WestendPeter NewsomPeter SmithPeter WalkerPhilamorPhilip SmythPhill CataldoPiaggioPlatinum InvadorPlusvitalPour MoiPRIMARY ITOPrince Of BrooklynPrincess JenniProisirProisir FoalsProm QueenPucciniPure ChampionPurple SectorQuiz NightRace Fields LegislationRaceFormRacing hall of fameRacing MinisterRacing Reform BillRageeseRaise You TenRavelston StudRaven DarkholmeRed GiantRedwoodRemindRichard CollettRick WilliamsRide To TimeRip Van WinkleRiva CapriRoad ShowsRobin ArcherRobt DaweRock OnRodger VarianRodmor Trust Lecture SeriesRomancerRon LaddRose of TraleeSacred DaySacred ElixirSaracinoSaratogaSavigneSavile RowSavy yong blonkScorpzScott BaseSeabrookSeagramSean HawkinsSeason 5SeawayShadwellShane KennedyShoshoneShout the BarShoworosesSleeping BeautySophie's ChoiceSouth Island Foster FoalSpanish WhisperSpecial MemoriesSpiethSpyglass Hill SyndicateStakesStallion Parades 2016Stallion Register 2018Start WonderingSteel StilettosStephen AutridgeStranglesSue and Peter WestendSummer PassageSunlineSunset PassSuper EasySupergiantSupreme HeightsSusan ArcherSusan WalkerSweet LeaderSweet TreatTaranaki Breeders' StakesTattersallsTattyboglerTe ArohaTelperionThe Bold OneThe BostonianThe InformantThe KingThe Sunlight TrustTivaci ShuttleTofaneTom LaneTomsTrain The Trainer WorkshipTravelling LightTravimyfriendTrevor LukeTrue EnoughTurrettTutta La ClasseUnderthemoonlightUnusual SuspectUpper CutUS Navy FlagVamos BebeVerdiVern TrilloVernanmeVicki PikeVisasVolatile MixWaikato BranchWaikato Regional Council ReportWait A SecWally O'HearnWarwick JeffriesWayne DarlingWayne PikeWeanling educationWeanling WalkWell DoneWellington BranchWertherWhat's The StoryWhite Robe Lodge HandicapWho Shot ThebarmanWilliam FellWillie and Karen CalderWinstarWinxWTBAXpressionXpressmymindXtravagantYogiZabeelZacintoZebrowskiZennistaZigwig
TAGS

TRIBUTE: Ken Browne, time-defying NZ jumps legend

Champion New Zealand jumps owner, trainer, jockey, mentor and international horse trader Ken Browne, MBE, died on Tuesday morning, 20 June, at his home near Cambridge, with his wife Ann at his bedside. He was 72.

The fifty-year career of Francis Kenneth Stewart Browne is one of the most remarkable in New Zealand turf history. From 1951 to 2001 he rode 156 winners (54 hurdles, 102 steeplechases) over fences from a total of 1482 rides. What lifts this record into the realm of the extraordinary is that Ken's activity and success in the saddle increased as he grew older, with his peak coming during the 1978-1993 period, that is between the ages of forty-four and fifty-nine.

Ken's major race wins as a jockey included the Great Northern Steeplechase (1977, 1979 & 1990), the McGregor Grant Steeplechase (1998) and the Pakuranga Hunt Cup Steeplechase (1991), Grand National Hurdles (1981) and Grand National Steeplechase (1978, 1981, 1985 & 1986). He was New Zealand's leading jumps jockey in the calendar years 1981 and 1984, and in the 1986-87 racing season.

As an owner and trainer Ken was even more successful, preparing more than 500 winners over jumps, initially in his own right and then, from 1983, in partnership with Ann. Together they won most of New Zealand's major jumping races, many of them several times. Those victories include:

  • Great Northern Hurdles - three times: Salezaar, Gold Story, Smart Hunter
  • Great Northern Steeplechase – a record nine times: Ascona (twice), Ardri, Brother Bart, Lord Tennyson, Sydney Jones (twice), Smart Hunter (dead-heat), Wanderlust
  • Pakuranga Hunt Cup – eight times: Ardri, Kutati Power, Extra Time, Sydney Jones (twice), Drops O'Rain, Wanderlust (twice)
  • McGregor Grant Steeplechase – eight times: Civil Rights, Extra Time, Sydney Jones (twice), Bwana, All Rhythm, Kia King, Primo Canera
  • Riddiford Steeplechase – six times: Choc Wallace, The Operator, Crown Star, Ardri, Injun Joe, Mossy Ridge
  • Grand National Steeplechase – four times: Regal Mink, Charlestown, Crown Star (twice)
  • Wellington Steeplechase – twice: Royal Hush, Flash Hunter
  • Waikato Steeplechase – three times: Crown Star, Trelay Boy, Drops O'Rain
  • Grand National Hurdles – twice: Dark Purple, Crown Star
Highlight achievements of the Browne stable partnership include:

  • Four New Zealand Jumper of the Year titles: Ascona (1979), Crown Star (1986 & 1987) and Sydney Jones (1997).
  • Ken & Ann were the 1995 BMW New Zealand Owners of the Year.
  • Sydney Jones is the only horse to win the major Ellerslie steeplechase treble (Great Northern, McGregor Grant and Pakuranga Hunt Cup Steeplechases) in the same year.
  • Crown Star is one of only eight horses to win the Grand National Hurdles- Steeplechase double, and the only one of those to win the Waikato Steeplechase as well.
  • Fittingly, the Brownes also owned and trained Snuggle to win the first running of the Auckland International Airport Steeplechase, held to mark the new millennium, at Ellerslie on 1 January 2000.
Ken served a three-year term on the executive of the New Zealand Racing Conference and from 1984 to 1987 was president of the Waikato Racing Club, which later made him a Life Member. The NZTBA is another organisation which benefited from his support. Ken was one of the original Gold Badge Members who provided foundation funding for the construction of the Association's offices at Ellerslie Racecourse. He was also awarded an MBE for services to horse racing in 1991.

One of the appealing aspects of life in New Zealand is that our true heroes live among us: we see them in the supermarket and at the bank too often for them to assume air-brushed unreality. For years Ken Browne was a familiar sight at winter race-meetings, usually wearing the famous brown and red colours as he prepared to ride yet another superbly fit stable runner to victory. For my generation at least, Ken Browne epitomised jumps racing in New Zealand.

In April 2001 a fall from a horse at home left Ken a quadriplegic. It was an abrupt end to his active career, but Ken remained a powerful presence in the sport thanks to his extraordinary wife Ann, devoted caregivers, friends and the many young horsemen and horsewomen he mentored over the years. His death leaves us treasuring our memories of a master horseman, a consummate professional and a humble man.

The first event at Racing Tauranga's meeting at Rotorua on Saturday has been renamed the K.S. Browne Tribute Steeplechase, while the Auckland Racing Club has scheduled the K.S. Browne Hurdle at its annual Queen's Birthday meeting. Ken saw his own horse Waikiki Star win the first running of that race earlier this month, on the same day that another stable runner, Primo Canera, ridden by his grand-daughter Missy Browne, won the McGregor Grant Steeplechase. Missy is currently third on this season's national jumps jockeys' premiership. On the Saturday before his death, Leica Guv, trained by Emma-Lee Browne, wife of his grandson David, won at Ellerslie.

My own enduring memory of Ken is the 1990 Great Northern Steeplechase, in which he rode Ardri. It was a beyond-belief test of strength, stamina and courage on very heavy ground, and on the Ellerslie hill for the last time, Ardri was ready to give up. Ken, however, was not, and, knowing exactly how fit and well-prepared the horse was, began to urge him forward in that untidy, vigorous and instantly recognisable Browne style.

Ken later said that he and Ardri argued the toss for much of the last part of the race but it was Ken's unflinching determination that prevailed, and the pair won the race by three-and-a-half lengths. Ardri returned to scale, quite un-distressed, steam rising off him as Ann greeted him and her husband, and led them into the winner's circle.

And the winner's circle is where I hope Ken Browne is now, standing up and smiling, looking back over a tough course and a great race, well and truly won.


Grateful acknowledgement is made to Chris McQuaid, New Zealand Jumping Association, for all the statistical information in this article; and to Thoroughbred News for additional material.


- Susan Archer; with Chris McQuaid, NZ Jumping Association


 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT