Hall of Fame spe­cial for Lance O’Sul­li­van

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

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

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