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Valley man . . . Horse trainer and farmer Ian Munro drenches sheep at his Otematata farm. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Life never gets dull for Waitaki Valley identity Ian Munro.

Mr Munro keeps himself busy on his farm near Otematata, and when he is not drenching sheep or making hay, he can often be found training race horses.

Over the years he has trained several champions, including Rostriever Hanover.

The horse, which died aged 29, won the Group 1 New Zealand Messenger Championship in 1988, and also won a New Zealand Junior Free-For-All, an Ashburton Cup, a DB Superstars Final and a New Brighton Cup.

Rostriever Hanover won 17 of his 46 starts and placed six times for $342,895.

Mr Munro said he had loved horses for as long as he could remember.

As a child, he remembers his parents breeding and training race horses.

“That got me really interested,” he said.

In his earlier years, he worked at a trotting stable in Orari.

After “learning the ropes” at the stable, Mr Munro invested in a training licence when he was 20.

“I’ve been training and breeding horses ever since,” he said.

It was through racing that Mr Munro met his wife, Cheryl, who is also a horse trainer.

Mr Munro has experienced several issues with his back in recent years, but while that has made his job harder, it has not stopped him from doing what he loves.

The best part about being a trainer was working with a horse that went on to become a success, he said.

“Anybody can go out and buy the best-bred horse at the sales.

“If you breed your own horse, train it and win a race with it, it’s pretty special – you do it all yourself.”

Mr Munro believed horse racing had changed significantly throughout the years.

“A horse you won a race with 20 years ago, you wouldn’t win a race now. They’re just so much faster now and it’s just so competitive.

“The game’s getting very expensive now.”

While Mr Munro and his wife plan to wind down on their breeding and training, their love of horses will never disappear.

The Kurow Harness Racing Club holds its annual meeting at Oamaru Racecourse on Sunday, August 19. Entry to the course is free.