Obituaries - Baker & Thomson

Harness Racing Obituaries for Raymond Monty Baker and Dr Raymond Thomson

By HRNZ Marketing


Raymond Monty Baker

Well known and respected harness racing identity Raymond "Monty" Baker passed away in Auckland on August 12 2018 aged 84.

Mr Baker made a huge impact on the industry, not only with his racing achievements, but his services through harness racing administration.

He founded the Manakau Trotting club and was also the Club President for 30 years and was believed to be the longest serving President in New Zealand harness racing.

He was also made a life member of the Auckland Trotting Club and the Caduceus Club

Mr Baker was recognised for his outstanding contributions to the harness racing industry in January of 2013 when we was awarded a Queens Service Medal on the New Year honours list.

A respected breeder and owner, Mr Baker raced standardbreds for over 60 years. 

Mr Baker was very well-known by all involved the harness racing industry, particularly in Auckland, and as well as being a prominent breeder, he has owned and raced hundreds of Standardbreds in NZ with a long-list of award-winning pacers including. 

Over the years his horses were trained by top trainers including, Mark and Barry Purdon, the Butcher family and Tony Herlihy to name a few. 

His horses were also driven by champion drivers including Maurice Holmes, Peter Wolfenden and Maurice McKendry.

Included in the horses Mr Baker bred, owned and raced were:

Fern Glen (2yo filly of the year, Caduceus Club Classic), dam of Maheer Lord (3yo Sires Stakes final, sold, went on to win WA Pacing Cup)

Blane – 4yo trotter of the year

Open class pacers Hawera (3rd NZ Breeders Stakes), Sharn (2nd Sires Stakes 3yoF)

Owned and raced in partnership:

Part-owned in syndicate many top open class horses including Directorship (Rowe Cup), Jack’s Legend (3yo Jewels, 2nd NZ Cup 2017), Sogo (GN Derby, Franklin Cup), Insutcha (Easter Cup), Blazing Spirit (DB Draught Fillies Final, Sales Series 3yoF final), Kliklite (Open Class)

Mr Baker's work ethic was reflected in his hard working ethos and attitude and will be remembered for the large impact he made to the sport.

"I've always loved work and have been a firm believer in the idea if you sit around too long you grow old too quickly. We all grow enough cobwebs anyway, you don't need to help them along."

Dr Raymond Thomson

Former HRNZ and ATC Executive member, Dr Raymond John Thomson, passed away recently on August 1 2018 at the age of 65.

Dr Thomson served on the Harness Racing New Zealand Executive Board for two seasons as a Northern elected director for the 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 seasons. 

And served again on the Board as direct appointment of the Auckland Trotting Club for three seasons 2000/2001, 2001/2002 and the 2002/2003 seasons.

Outside of Dr Thomson's racing connections he was a well respected and regarded director and analyst. 

After graduating with a PhD in physics from Otago University, Dr Ray Thomson dedicated most of his career to working as a financial analyst and company director. 

He had been keenly involved with Angel investment, taking on the role of Chairman of the NZ Angel Association for 2012 and 2013. He was recognised for his services to the Angel investment community with the prestigious Arc Angel award.

Dr Thomson was an accredited fellow of the Institute Of Directors. He served on the board of Industrial Research LTD 2009-2012, and was the Chair of Manuka Health NZ, Supreme Biotechnologies, and Rush Digital Interactive. 

Dr Thomson also had a strong interest in the commercialisation of scientific research.

Dr Raymond Thomson was the loved husband of Lorraine, much loved father and father-in-law of Tracey and Rex; Karl and Ivy; the late Jacob and Leena. Grandfather to Teddy. Brother and brother-in law of Graeme and Christine. 

"Ray was an inspiration to all who knew him." His death notice quoted. 

Some winners that Dr Thompson was involved in were:  Coburg, Harmer's Choice, Lookahead, Smooth Genghis and Bold Sharvid 


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