Vale Dr. Anthony Parker - Harnesslink

Vale Dr. Anthony Parker – Harnesslink

The standardbred area remained in grieving today at information of the death of famous harness auto racing dog breeder, proprietor, and also vet specialist, Dr. Anthony Parker, aged 80.

Tony, as he was passionately understood, has actually been a staple of the standardbred and also vet area in the North Island for near to 6 years. While his very early years were invested collaborating with stock as high as steeds, he swiftly ended up being understood in the Franklin area as an excellent equine veterinarian many thanks to his relaxed and also gentleman-like manner with both steeds and also human beings.

Dr Anthony Parker

Tony had a life-long interest and also present for collaborating with pets. As a teen, he understood he intended to be a veterinarian, and also would certainly bike bent on Takanini-based Vet Associates from Manurewa to assist. On college graduation from Mount Roskill Grammar, he left through the old Whenuapai airport terminal for the College of Queensland for his vet level.

Upon his covering in late 1965, he went back to Gisborne to exercise vet medication where he satisfied at wedded Anne Parker. In 1966, the circle was full as he signed up with Vet Associates technique run by Charlie Roberts and also Don Brackenridge.

Parker is comprehended to be among the initial veterinarians in the nation to utilize AI with steeds, remembering just how he would certainly exist along the leading rail to offer the generally unhandled mares in a crush. No scanning at that time it was all ability and also uncertainty. After that the mares would certainly later on go back to be foaled and also re-served.

Dr Ivan Bridge whom he functioned very closely with for over two decades concerned Parker as a leader of his craft in several means.

“He was devoted to his customers and also to their steeds,” stated Bridge.

“He was driven by doing the most effective for both and also not the monetary benefit that would certainly come. That was second, and also via that he had the trust fund of customers and also it’s simply fantastic. If you have the trust fund of your customers as I have actually because discovered, it provides you the capacity to act upon your impulses.

“Tony was a really skilled veterinarian, among one of the most skilled I have actually ever before satisfied. Usually a route or danger that he absorbed the medical diagnosis or therapy of a pet would certainly function due to the fact that he had the implied trust fund of individuals accountable.

“He had an unusual ability as a doctor and also I don’t assume he understood just how great he was, however he had gorgeous soft cells abilities. He was an all-natural and also if he was finishing in these times, he would certainly have done his medical veterancy. We didn’t have the centers or theaters we have today and also sometimes, Tony was carrying out fairly significant surgical treatments in an open paddock with hay bundles and also Anne holding an umbrella,” he giggled.

“As I stated in my eulogy the other day, for an excellent component of the 10 years we collaborated there was simply both people and also we were closer than a couple and also we never ever had a blue in during we collaborated. I trusted him and also he trusted me. That trust fund streamed on via right into the enduring relationships he made and also the several individuals he aided for a variety of years,” he stated.

Initially steeds were mainly a pastime. His partner Anne and also the kids did the majority of the everyday service their 27 acres in Drury. Anne remembered that ranch job consisted of driving an Avenger automobile with a trailer (no 4wd after that) to feed hay to the steeds and also livestock, milk home cows, feed calf bones and also take care of the lamb.

It was proper that the champ steed and also currently stallion, Auckland Activator (by Mach 3), which culminated 50+ years of reproducing by Parker, was mapped back to a really unique mare that noted the start of their reproducing interest.

Parker was a functioning veterinarian, dealing with even more little pets and also milk herds than steeds when a good friend, Jack Hughes, advised he purchase Auckland Activator’s grand-dam, Tudoress in the very early 70s. With 3 children to raise and also college on a minimal spending plan, the $1,500 price resembled his $2,000-a-year wage.

Tudoress had her constraints, Parker remembered back in 2011, and also did not begin competing up until she was 4. In the long run she was still sufficient to win 7 races, mainly with Roy and also Barry Purdon.She after that ended up being a broodmare, which ended up being an eventful choice.

Among her last foals was Atomic Lass (by Sokys Atom). She won 2 of her 13 begins however wasn’t a really solid mare and also located it difficult to complete in the days of (bicarbonate) milkshake or smoothies, so I believed reproduction was her ideal future, stated Parker.

None of the 10 foals Atomic Lass generated prior to Auckland Activator made several headings. Taihape Ticker (18 success) was an additional noteworthy foal, taking a commendable document in Melbourne and also Perth. By now, Parker had actually gotten a couple of even more broodmares and also was deeply lodged in the standardbred market.

Sharp And also Telford winning the Auckland Mug in 1996

This increase even more when Parker took a full time placement as National Bloodstock’s veterinarian for 5 years in the late 80s, where he supervised of a huge procedure taking care of stallions providing to 500 mares a year. It was a time of blossoming development for the regional sector as National Bloodstock generated brand-new stallions from America like Sokys Atom, Butler BG, New York City Car, and also Chiola Hanover.

His friend and also among individuals behind National Bloodstock, Steve Phillips, keeps in mind Parker as being essential to the success that was understood at the elevation of it’s powers.

“We had actually utilized Tony prior to National Bloodstock days doing our very own veterinarian job prior to we obtained entailed with that said procedure,” stated Phillips.

“Tony was simply a fascinating individual to deal with and also was really silent and also expert at the office with the steeds. He was really educated, and also you might ask him anything regarding steeds, and also he had a solution for it.

“He was additionally really charitable with his time. We had a ranch in Hunua, and also my partner Anne and also I had different occupations beyond the steeds, so we just had time on the weekend breaks to be often tending to them seriously. Virtually every weekend break, he would certainly need to appear for some ridiculous steed injury and also would certainly constantly show up, conversation regarding it, repair it, after that have a laugh and also claim, see you following weekend break,” he giggled.

“In those very early days, we stood a number of stallions like Palestine, and also Tony had Tay Bridge, so we were kind of at the very same factor in our lives as for standing stallions and also obtaining mares in foal, and also we simply had an excellent bond. When we obtained entailed with National Bloodstock, it was all-natural that we would certainly utilize Tony as our primary veterinarian,” he stated.

Stone’s throw eliminated from the fluctuate of the National Bloodstock realm, Tony knew his initial wonderful success in harness auto racing with the celebrity open course pacer, Sharp And also Telford (by Butler BG) whom he and also Anne reproduced from a fundamental mare that holds the name of the existing household ranch in Tardina (by Berry Hanover).

Throughout an extraordinary period in between 1996 and also 1997, Sharp And also Telford won 16 races, consisting of the Australian and also Victoria Derby and also the Auckland, Franklin, and also Kaikoura Cups. The possession team consisted of Tony & Anne and also his relative Noel Gillanders to whom Tony had actually marketed a 10% share as an unraced two-year-old.


Sharp And also Telford’s success urged Tony to spend extra greatly in his bloodstock and also, while because, generated several champs of the track.

Success didnt end with Sharp and also Telford, however was proceeded with Auckland Activator. Really couple of can claim having actually reproduced a homebred with the unbelievable profession trajectory of the pacer no one desired in Auckland Activator that, after stopping working to offer regardless of several efforts, was provided his possibility as a racehorse.

The telephone had actually been sounding long prior to his advantageous launching, with Tony rejecting $75,000 after the steed certified 4 months previously.

Mark believed that was a reasonable rate and also it was most likely an excellent concept to offer him. However I desired the possibility to a minimum of see just how great he was by offering him a beginning,” stated Tony at the time.

Besides weding his partner Anne, it would certainly confirm to be among the most effective service choices he ever before made, with the initial plant boy of Mach 3 winning the Sires Risks last from obstacle 9 in New Zealand document time at simply his 4th begin, rising the pacer right into super star standing. And also all of a sudden, the phone simply continued buzzing.


You never ever understood when the following call was mosting likely to come, and also there was fairly a great deal of cash entailed. It did deficient fairly as enjoyable,” Tony stated at the time.

Tony was priced estimate claiming he didn’t require the millions being supplied for the steed. Nonetheless, being a veterinarian and also recognizing what can fail with racehorses, he merely needed to approve the deal in support of a generally North American organization.

In recent times it was a massive excitement for Tony to have actually reproduced yet an additional G1 Sires Risks champion with Chase Auckland. Chase Auckland was a cross of 2 of Tonys structure lines, returning to Tudoress and also Floral Barmin.

The Parker household has, in between times, generated several various other celebrity entertainers of the track in both the pacing and also running strides. Miss Whiplash was the running mare to obtain Tony lodged in the running stride, having actually reproduced her from the imported American mare, Functioning Woman.

Below are however a few of the most effective entertainers:

  • Miss Whiplash (Gee Whiz) $151,765 and also 13 success consisting of the G2 Thames Running Mug
  • Russley Scamp (Mach 3): $839,219 with a G1 win in the Great Northern Derby and also G2 Franklin Mug
  • Evil One Dodger (Mach 3): $728,666 and also 38 success consisting of the G1 3YO Vic Breeders Crown
  • Chase Auckland (Auckland Activator): $802,384 with G1 wins in the Great Northern Derby, 3YO Sires Risks last and also the NZ Free For All.
  • The Ceremony(Actual Wish): $425,999 with a G1 win in the Westral Mares Standard and also G2 WA Empress Risks
  • The Devils Own (Art Major): $340,394 with a win in the abundant Noted 2YO NZ Yearling Business Final
  • Emma Hamilton(Earl): $77,387 with a win in the G3 NZ Running Oaks.
  • Wanna Play (Majestic Kid): $91,191 with a win in the G2 NZ Sires Risks 2YO Trot.
  • Yagunnakissmeornot (Love You): $195,387 and also 17 success.
  • Dual Joy (Captaintreacherous): $134,070 and also 7 success to day consisting of the G1 2YO Ruby Trot & G3 Northern Running Oaks.
  • Mystic Max (Town Mystic): $108,437 consisting of the G2 NZ Sires Risks 2YO Final & G3 Hambeltonian

There are various others worthwhile of a reference, with authorities documents revealing that 175 of the Parker-bred steeds have actually competed in New Zealand, with that said number most likely to be greater worldwide considered that the Tardina Stud yearlings have actually been an in-demand product at the Karaka Sales.

130 of them have actually won races in this nation, with the complete variety of NZ race wins presently resting at 398.

Much of the Parker households acknowledgment in reproduction is originated from the formula they have actually been developing over the last half a century. They have actually taken a purposefully one-of-a-kind technique, which has actually been acknowledged by those that have actually educated, driven or had Parker-bred steeds.

Sir John Trick with Auckland Activator after winning the Auckland Mug in 2009

Our steeds are rather hard, stated Tony at the time. However they race a little bit far better than their reproduction would certainly recommend. We’ve generated leading steeds from a variety of types, however it’s greater than the reproduction,” he stated.

Tony attributed their feeding routine with beginning the foals out on the right course.

That’s the crucial to the work in obtaining them raised appropriately. We basically feed them from when the completely dry climate begins. You just obtain great turf for 2 or 3 months and after that you need to feed them each day to maintain them expanding great and also solid. I’m sure it counts, makes them a bit harder, and also comes through on the auto racing side.

He additionally highlighted their willful use hillside nation and also running them in teams.

I such as to provide hillside time, running in teams. When you obtain 3 or 4 colts going after and also competing each various other around, you obtain the strange injury, however you approve that. It’s all component of creating a racehorse. They could not look as rather, however I assume it aids them on the racetrack,” he was priced estimate as claiming.

Champ fitness instructor Mark Purdon, with whom Tony developed a close relationship and also organization, resembled those views.

Auckland Activator and also Mark Purdon

“Tony was the Veterinarian for Daddy (Roy Purdon) for the later component of his profession, and after that Ivan Bridge signed up with the center prior to becoming my Veterinarian when I began,” stated Purdon.

“I have actually understood him for a long period of time, and also we had an excellent run in those very early days with the similarity Sharp And also Telford, and also it actually began with there. I haven’t had several steeds for him and also Anne, however we cooperated a little bit of success with minority we did.

“It was constantly Tony’s viewpoint that if you obtained them on the ground [hills] where they are functioning, it would certainly be much better for their advancement and also their muscle mass, and also he verified it in reproducing a great deal of really excellent steeds throughout the years.

“I constantly ranked them really extremely if I mosted likely to any type of sale and also checked out their draft due to the fact that you felt in one’s bones they had every possibility right from when they were a foal,” he stated.

Tonys child, Faine Mende, returned from the United States in 2013 to proactively deal with Tardina Stud and also is anticipating preparing the following yearling draft and also is functioning to proceed the reproduction quality that Anne and also Tony have actually constructed over the last fifty years.

In a sector where for several a tradition is shed at the death of a symbol like Tony, it’s fantastic that the household tradition of quality will certainly survive via the Tardina type.

byBrad Reid, for Harnesslink

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