Horse fanatic not slowing down

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Not many people still own a horse at the age of 91, but one Oamaru man does.

George Connor has a passion for horse racing and owns a young horse which he is looking to break into the racing industry.

Throughout his life, his various horses have won him 66 races over the years, from local meets in Oamaru to the Waikouaiti races back in 1973.

Mr Connor said following horses had been his passion for years.

“I love following them and being involved/ I have had a few victories over the years.”

He first got into horses in 1965 when he and a mate went halves in owning a horse. It was about six years later when one of his horses won their first race.

“I’m not sure when exactly, but it was in the early 1970s.”

Mr Connor was also a talented rugby player in his time.

“I started off at fullback before moving to halfback and then eventually settled at first five,” he said.

He played rugby for Athletic Marist in Oamaru and made the New Zealand Army Corp team.

To this day, Mr Connor feels he played alongside the best rugby player he had ever seen.

“Ted Collins was magical on the rugby paddock. He played centre and never dropped anything and missed out on the All Blacks because the All Black captain was centre at the time.”

Mr Connor is a born and bred Oamaruvian, who owned a couple of dairies, and helped manage a jeweller’s shop and a bakery.

“I enjoyed being involved. It gave me stuff to do.”

He said age was no barrier and he still headed along to race meetings at the Oamaru Racing Club.

“I just love it.”

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY