Welcome to Yacck - we hope you have great pleasure in reading the stories from the past and would love you to make positive comments for everyone to enjoy. The Yacck Team.
If a man has plenty to do he does not have time to sit down and think too much about himself; facing up to life's challenges is all part of life and a family that pull together will almost always come out on top. Mr A.J. (Bert) Crooks of Long Bush recently elected president of the Southland Racing Club, and one of the province's most prominent rugby, racing personalities made those observations yesterday in his attitude to life.
The value of teamwork was bought home to him in his youth as a member of the contracting firm, J. Crooks and Sons still operating and run by his brother, Wilfred Crooks, later as a member of the Marist and Southland Rugby Teams, which he captained at some stages, and more latterly in consolidating his own extensive farming operations in partnership with his sons.
As president-elect of the Southland Racing Club he admits he is confronted with another interesting challenge but one made easier by the tremendous amount of work already down by Bill Thompson.
A forthright and vigorous personality, Bert Crooks maintains that the Government and New Zealand Racing Authority would be well wise to pay attention to the enormous amount of voluntary service given to racing by unpaid administrators. It must have cost Bill Thompson a fortune out of his own pocket and there is not way the Authority could run racing with the amount of unpaid people.
Three years ago when convener of the Ascot Park track committee, Mr Crooks spent 130 hours and travelled 1500 miles just to supervise that facet of the Southland Racing Club's operations. The Southland racing Club has come a long way and if all members believed that there was unity in numbers, its future was indeed bright.
Bert Crooks love for horse goes back to when he and Bill Hillis, Monty Hillis, spent Sunday afternoons on the late L. Fosbender's New River Ferry property when they were no more than little lads breaking in ponies.
We were paid 5 shillings for each pony we broke in and we really enjoyed the work.
He can hardly recall his father, John, who was killed at the Invercargill cemetery railway crossing when Bert was only six. The year was 1929.
His father carted coal from Ohai to Wairio with two traction engines which winched trailers up the Nightcaps hill and then shovelled the coal off into railway wagons at Wairio. Bert raced his first thoroughbred in partnership with his mother, Christina Crooks.
Oscillate, a Man's Pal mare from Totolomai won two races from the Ted Pankhurst's Invercargill stable. Bert bought her from Mr L. Timpany as a youngster and reared her. Mr Timpany farmed a property at Long Bush that Bert now owns.
From Oscillate, Bert bred the useful winner Osman. These two got him off to a good start in racing and Off an On, perhaps his favourite horse, chalked up a milestone for him as an owner when it credited him with his 100th win in the Allanton Brush Hurdles at Wingatui on February 23 1980.
His late brother Ossie, won with gallopers, Desperation (8), and the Fiddler, Ossie was also a member of the Invercargill Trotting Club.
During his association with the Club, he laid the 100 metres all weather track which has been widely acclaimed as one of the best in Australasia.
Another brother, Wilfred raced a fine handicapper in Capasco, and others in Sure Lance, Sunset Red and last year's crack stayer, Caparo, who recently rejoined Kelly Thompson's Long Bush stable.
To be continued........
This End User License Agreement (“Agreement”) is between you and Yacck and governs use of this app made available through the Apple App Store. By installing the Yacck App, you agree to be bound by this Agreement and understand that there is no tolerance for objectionable content. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you are not entitled to use the Yacck App.