MR AND MRS RAC­ING: THE O’SUL­LI­VAN FILE

NZ Life & Leisure - - That’s The Spirit -

Where it started: Twenty- eight years ago when he saw her prac­tis­ing waltz steps at the race course. She says: “He laughed, but he told his brother he would marry me some day.” He says: “I thought it was funny see­ing her dance. I also thought she was dif­fer­ent from other girls I had dated.” High times: In 2006, Lance was part of the in­au­gu­ral class in­ducted into the Rac­ing Hall of Fame. Brid­gette was the am­bas­sador for Eller­slie Race­course. Lance was later also in­ducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2002 was awarded an ONZM for ser­vices to thor­ough­bred rac­ing. Tough times: In a fall at Moonee Val­ley in Aus­tralia, Lance broke his fe­mur. He was told he would never ride again and would walk with a limp. Brid­gette was preg­nant with their sec­ond daugh­ter. He was back in the sad­dle within 18 months. Lit­tle known facts: He played ju­nior rugby at Mata­mata Col­lege for three years be­cause he could never pass the grade weight. She has a pho­to­graphic mem­ory, which helped them win Trea­sure Is­land: Cou­ples at War in 2005. Lance’s thoughts on the rac­ing in­dus­try: “It’s not the same to­day. Top horses and jock­eys are head­ing over­seas. To­day 60 per cent of horses rac­ing in Hong Kong are New-Zealand bred, but in the top tier, only 10 per cent are from New Zealand. How­ever, I’m an op­ti­mist. If the in­dus­try does ev­ery­thing rec­om­mended in the re­port by Aus­tralian rac­ing ex­pert John Mes­sara, things could be turned around.”

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