Hall of Fame special for Lance O’Sullivan
Of all the many accolades Lance O’Sullivan has received over the years, he rates his induction to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame as the most humbling.
Last Thursday at the annual Halberg Sportsman of the Year Awards, Lance joined fellow jockeys Bill Broughton, Jimmy Ellis, Linda jones and the brothers Bill and Bob Skelton on the elite list of high achieving New Zealand sports-people.
Awards for his exploits as a 12-time champion jockey with a total of 2,479 wins at home and overseas have been almost common-place for Matamata’s most famous horseman.
The first was Matamata-Piako Sportsman of the Year, followed by Waikato Sportsman of the Year and nomination to the national award.
In 2003 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, while in 2006 he was an inaugural inductee to the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame.
But of them all, this latest award has a special ring to it.
‘‘It was very humbling to join so many great sports-people in our national Hall of Fame,’’ he told the Chronicle.
‘‘The jockeys before me were all greats in their own right and now to be counted amongst them means a lot to me personally.
‘‘It’s something else though and even if it sounds like a bit of a cliche´, it’s great for racing to be recognised.
‘‘I haven’t done it by myself, it’s been with the support of my family and many other people