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NZTBA Auckland honours McLarens & Jane Bunbury

Don & Rochelle McLaren's homebred Group One winner Calveen

Don & Rochelle McLaren's homebred Group One winner Calveen
Breeders Don and Rochelle McLaren and well-known industry professional Jane Bunbury received the major awards at a most enjoyable NZTBA Auckland Annual Awards Dinner last evening in the refurbished Ellerslie Convention Centre. The event was sponsored for the first time by New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance.

The Auckland Racing Club's Andrew Castles ensured the proceedings, spiced with good humour, went smoothly. Political realities were not forgotten with branch president Wayne Larsen and studmasters Mark Chittick and Russell Warwick all noting the importance to New Zealand racing's future of the upcoming general election.

However, it was primarily an evening to celebrate the breeding achievements of NZTBA Auckland branch members. The breeders of ten 2004-05 Group winners were honoured with plaques, as follows:

CALVEEN & MILLENNIUM
Don & Rochelle McLaren

MAGNETISM
Terry Jarvis

OUR EGYPTIAN RAINE
Kenny Rae & partners

SEDECREM
Peter Newsom

EBONY HONOR
Haunui Farm

OPIKI
Josette Hemingway & Carey Pearce

PACIFIC DANCER
Haunui Farm, Bruce & Ivy Hutton

WALTERMITTY
Cheval Bloodstock

PRAISE THE PRINCE
Thoroughbred Investments

Two shuttle stallions won the Champion Auckland Sire titles. Generous (formerly at Glenmorgan Farm and Westbury Stud) headed the combined Australian and New Zealand earnings list for 2004-05, and Soviet Star (formerly at Ra Ora Stud) topped the domestic New Zealand earnings table. Haunui Farm's Mark Chitty noted that Generous and single season shuttlers Tale of the Cat and Soviet Star all arrived in New Zealand in 1999, and all have made significant contributions to our industry.

Peter Newsom's mare Real Trier, dam of Sedecrem and Mount Street, won the Sybil Hayward Trophy for Auckland Broodmare of the Year. Real Trier died in December 2003 and is one of only two mares so far accorded the honour of burial at Westbury Stud. (The other is Tweed View, dam of Group 2 winner Skoozi).

The branch's Breeder of the Year title went to Don and Rochelle McLaren who had a tremendous 2004-05 season, as owner-breeders of Calveen (2005 Mercedes Champion Sprinter-Miler and winner of five Group races including the ARC Easter H. G1) and Millennium (BoPRC Thames Valley S. G3, CRC Jim & John Evans Metric Mile LR), and breeders of G1-placed three-year-olds Prized Lady and Kamsky. The McLarens were also finalists, for the second time, for the Mercedes New Zealand Breeder of the Year award.

The last award of the evening was made to a stunned Jane Bunbury for her Outstanding Contribution to the Thoroughbred Industry. Irish-born Jane – more formally known as the Honourable Jane McClintock Bunbury – worked for many years in the pedigree department of Wrightson Bloodstock and is now employed by agent and former colleague Michael Otto. Her knowledge of pedigrees, passion for thoroughbred horses and personal involvement as an owner and breeder has won her much affection and respect from New Zealand racing people. Jane's enthusiasm remains as warm and infectious as ever, and she continues to be an appreciated host and welcome guest at racetracks and sale-rings.

Guest speaker was Michael Wallace recipient of the 2005 NZTBA Auckland Management Scholarship which is funded by the Sunline Trust established by the branch in 2002. He gave an informative account of his visits to Vinery, Kentucky; Dalham Hall Stud, England; and Coolmore, Ireland, and said that he is constantly applying what he learned to his new job as Stallion Manager at Rich Hill Stud, Matamata. Michael also has a Commerce degree from Otago University majoring in Finance and Management.

A silent auction, and the live auction of an entry to the 2006 NZ National Yearling Sales (donated by New Zealand Bloodstock) raised the healthy total of approximately $9000 for the NZTBA Auckland branch.

- Susan Archer