Vale Terry McDonald

Forever associated with the great Terror To Love, Terry McDonald is being remembered as a "mighty man" and a "gentleman".

The prolific owner-breeder, who has died in Christchurch, was involved in the sport for around 60 years.

HRNZ records show he's bred or co-bred 235 horses and raced or co-raced many others including the likes of millionaire pacer Stunin Cullen and Tuherbs. Stuning Cullen won 18 from 42 and earned just shy of $1.5m while Tuherbs won nine from 22, including the Welcome Stakes and the Easter Cup.

"He was a man of honour and a man of his word," says long-time friend and well known owner-breeder Reg Storer, "he was my best mate and we were like chalk and cheese but we had a lot of fun."

"We had so much banter and I'll miss him. He was a mighty man."

In recent years the majority of McDonald's horses have been trained by Graham Court, headlined by Terror To Love and his record-equalling three New Zealand Cups, joining history-makers Indianapolis and False Step.

The final triumph in 2013, after he galloped away, was extra special to McDonald.

"I've seen a lot of runnings of the New Zealand Cup, but that was one of the most incredible efforts I have ever seen from a horse," McDonald said at the time, "I'm proud to say he's mine."

Overall the champion pacer won 31 races and earned over $2.4m in stakes.

Seven-time NZ Cup winning driver Ricky May drove Terror to Love to victory in his last two Cups, and got to know McDonald well.

"Terry was one of the nicest guys I ever drove for, a real gentleman," says May.

As well as his New Zealand Cup successes McDonald also rated Terror To Love's win over star mare Adore Me in the 2013 Auckland Cup.

"She's the greatest mare I've ever seen, so to run her down like that was an amazing performance," he said post race.

McDonald often spoke of his affection towards the star pacer.

“When he’s a horse that you have bred and had him from day dot he really grows on you.”

McDonald was involved in an abundance of good horses, including Seel N Print (27 wins and $676,568 on both sides of the Tasman), Mach Da Vinci (27 wins from 116 starts, $482,182) and Brilliant Strike who won 10 from 35 in this country before being exported to Canada

Just yesterday another of McDonald's horses, Tower of Love (Johny Rock - Love To Live) won at Rangiora in the 40 Years of Service - Thank You Warner Donald RIP Mobile Pace with commentator Dan Fogarty saying "Tower To Love with the spirit of Terry has raced away."

McDonald's uncles Bill and Colin McDonald were also involved in the industry as was his brother Ken who raced, among others, Master Musician.

Successful in business, originally he was a partner in the Acme Metal and Drum Company in Dunedin before moving to Christchurch. Around the turn of the century he formed Resource Recycling.

And he clearly put his money where his mouth was.

"The casino, the basketball, or the Crusaders by 13 plus, he'd bet on anything," says Storer.

McDonald once said : "I have always been a punter, I love having a go."

Terry McDonald was 83, with his funeral to be held, fittingly, at the Terror To Love Lounge at Addington Raceway on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

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