Harness Obituaries



Alex Hastie

Longtime Ashburton horseman Alex Hastie died in his hometown on Monday, aged 71.

Hastie was perhaps best known for naming his horses with the surnames of famous New Zealand sports people.

The supremely-talented Loader was one of the best of them, winning four of his seven career starts in 1999 before going amiss after injuring himself at Forbury Park in 2000.

He reared up at the start and injured an ankle, never to race again.

Timu (6 wins), Moller (4) and Anton Oliver (4) were all good winners while Davu, McCaw, Devoy, Amon, Van Dyk, Chisnall, Tuuta, Mains and Corlett were other examples of his penchant for Kiwi sporting surnames.

Loader’s older half-brother, Anton Oliver, was a horse Hastie regarded as the best he trained, but a number of leg injuries saw him only race for two seasons here – as a six-year-old and eight-year-old.

He won four races from 20 starts before Hastie, wife Pam and longtime friend and client Bill Eade sent the horse to Perth to race in 2015.

Eade was one a number of close associations Hastie forged with breeders, owners and fellow horsemen in a training career that started in 1980.

One of those was with Waikouaiti trainer Denis O’Connell, with whom he exchanged many horses over a long period.

“Alex was a very good man,” noted O’Connell.

“He passed me on some nice horses, including Terranium and Francis Dalrae.

“He had got Francis Dalrae from Don Cuttance as a pacer (in 1985) and then sent him to me, recommending I race him as a trotter.”

Hastie then drove horse to four of his nine career wins from O’Connell’s stable, offering advice along the way.

“Francis Dalrae’s win with Alex driving on Cup Day in 1988 was magnificent.

“Alex was a wonderful blacksmith and had a terrific knowledge about balancing up a horse.

“He used various weights to get them balanced.

“There’s a real art to it – it’s too technical for me – but he mastered it and was able to get the best possible results out of horses because of it.”

After initially spending six years as a jockey in the mid-1960s (five winners in the 1963/64 season his best), Hastie entered the harness game as a trainer in mid-1980.

His first was Taieri Lord at Ascot Park in December of that year and 57 more were to follow, the last of them being Tuuta at Oamaru in March 2015.

Alexander David Hastie was married to Pam for 51 years and together they had two sons, Rikke and Kelven, as well as eight grandchildren.

He was farewelled at the Ashburton Racecourse on Friday, May 4.


Alan Harvey

Former Christchurch trainer and studmaster Alan Harvey died on Monday, April 30, aged 76.

Harvey had modest success has a trainer after being first licensed in 1982, training six winners.

The first of those, Adadas, was at Greymouth in March 1984 and the last, Kamwood Raider, at Addington in June 2010.

Harvey stood the imported Albatross sire Sir Ten Ten at his Avon Lodge Stud in the late 80s and early 90s, the horse leaving 14 winners.

Alan Moore Harvey was married to Kathy and was father to Karen, Julie and Tony, grandfather to nine and great-grandfather to four.

He was interred at the Avonhead Park Cemetery on Thursday, May 3.


Tom Harrison

Former trainer Tom Harrison, father of prolific American-based horseman Kelvin, died in Ashburton on Monday, April 30, aged 96.

Harrison retired from training in 1998 after approximately 30 years with a license.

His first winner, Local View, came at Westport on Boxing Day 1972 and the last of his 48 career successes came with Faye’s Image on June 1, 1996.

Before taking out a trainer’s license, Harrison met with some success as an owner in the stables of Derek Jones MNZM, Jack Grant and Pat O’Reilly Snr.

As a trainer, his best horse was the Out To Win gelding In To View, who won eight races in 10 months in 1978 and 1979.

Thomas Drayton Harrison was married for 66 years to his late wife Kath and together they had four children; Graeme, Kelvin, Katrina and Lorayne as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren throughout New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

His funeral was held on Friday, May 4, in Methven.


Peace McCarthy

The harness industry lost one of its most loyal owners recently when Peace McCarthy passed away aged 99. In November she would have celebrated her 100th birthday.

As an owner it is believed that Mrs McCarthy had amassed over 90 wins according to her son Rob McCarthy.

However it wasn’t until 25 years ago that she was able to venture into the ownership realm.

“She had always loved animals. But it wasn’t until later in life that she was able to afford to get in to owning horses,” explained her son Rob.

As an owner Mrs McCarthy was associated with some talented horses including All Tiger (13 Australasian wins including two Group Two races), Helena Kilena (5 wins) and Electric Chapel (10 wins).

The ill-fated To Ri Archie, also won three of his seven starts. Two of those wins were for McCarthy and her fellow owners.

“The early success with All Tiger and him being sold to North America allowed her to continue racing horses over the later years. Watching her horses race really kept her going. She loved being able to follow them.”

A keen racing fan, Mrs McCarthy was also a huge supporter of the Warriors, and enjoyed watching rugby league and tennis.

Mrs McCarthy currently has Caesar’s Quest racing with John McDermott in Canterbury, the horse has unfortunately had soundness issues but recently resumed at Addington Raceway.

The family would also like to thank John McDermott.

“John was great to Mum. His communication with her was brilliant and he preserved with a horse named Firebreak for her to win the Sprint Series Final at Forbury, just to keep her interested. We are extremely grateful for that,” said Rob.


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