It would take a lot of research that I’m not willing to delve into, to find out if any horse trainer of any code in any Country, has prepared the winner of the same Group One race twice, with a gap of 42 years in between. If it has happened, it would certainly be extremely rare, and would probably involve someone from a high-profile family, like the Purdon’s. So, for a guy from humble beginnings and a place like Kerrytown (that someone I spoke to the other day who knew the man, but didn’t know where the town was) to do it, makes Richard Brosnan’s achievement the other day even more remarkable.
I feel privileged to have known Richard back in his heyday in New Zealand, in fact, the first time I met him was thirty odd years ago, when he was on the selection panel for a job that selected me for a position with an ill-fated harness racing organisation, and ultimately led to me being the secretary of this outfit. When, due to politics that I won’t get into, the said organisation folded, I recall Richard coming up to me at Methven one day, and reassuring me, saying that one of the individuals who led to me being made redundant, would be out of harness racing (or trotting as it was then) in ten years, but I would still be involved. I’ve never forgotten that, and it not only meant a lot to me at the time, but he was right on the money!
Anyway, enough of my personal nostalgia, it means so much to so many people for a man whose values and morals were always beyond question, the quintessential gentleman, to have more success, when he could have simply disappeared into the Australian outback, and particularly when he has had some little publicised health issues along the way.
I have sent my congratulations, along with those of the Association and the large number of people who salute Richard in arguably his finest hour.