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rip norm holland

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Vale Norm Holland, champion jockey, true gentleman


Mon, 01 Dec 2014

Dennis Ryan

HollandNorman45webin-L.jpg Norm Holland, OBE, made a huge contribution to racing.


Racing has lost one of its iconic members with the passing at age 90 of Norman Bannerman Holland, champion jockey and true legend of the turf.


With a list of accolades that include an OBE, recipient of the NZTR Excellence in Contribution to Racing, Ellerslie Legend and life membership of the Auckland Racing Club, it’s clear that Norm Holland left his mark on the sport that was his life and love.


That began as a childhood emigrant from England, followed by a jockey’s apprenticeship in Taranaki and a life-changing youthful indiscretion that was more than balanced by three jockeys’ premierships in the late 1940s and early ’50s.


The list of top horses he rode was headed by champion three-year-old Syntax, while he counted amongst his toughest rivals Bill Broughton, the dominant jockey of the post-War era, along with the Ellis brothers, Larry Wiggins, Jack Mudford and Wally Hooton. Into the 1960s they were followed by Bill and Bob Skelton, Grenville Hughes and David Peake.


Holland retired in the early 1970s with close to 1,000 wins, but he maintained a close link to race-riding for years afterwards. Nearly two decades as Auckland Apprentice School riding master and even longer as jockey liaison officer at most northern racing venues were a measure of the valued contribution he made so willingly.


“Apart from anything else I just love the contact with such a wonderful group of people,” he said at the time. “Everybody has their job to do and I enjoy helping make the whole day work.”


Norm, invariably distinctive as the best dressed man on course, continued his liaison role into his eighties, stepping back only when the demands of travel around the northern district became too challenging. His health deteriorated in more recent times and he spent his final years in care, notwithstanding the daily attention of his beloved wife Myrna.

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A wonderful life and a wonderful man, I was lucky enough to be involved with the Holland family during my early years and can only have the most utter respect and admiration for Norm. Always a gentleman,immaculate both in dress and demeanor,a true and passionate supporter of the Thoroughbred scene.

Good life, and forever remembered with admiration and friendship.


Dave Hodgetts 

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HOLLAND, Norman Bannerman. OBE JP (Ret). Passed away peacefully 30th November 2014. Dearly loved husband and friend of Myrna, much loved father and father-in-law of Denise and Ray, Sabrina and Paul and Kim. Adored Grandad of Chris, Sarah, Mike, Madeline, Max and the late Sarah. You have passed the finishing post for the last time and you will forever be a Champion to us all. Sincere thanks to the staff of Henry Campbell Unit at St Andrews Village for their loving care of Norman. A Service for Norman will be held at the Ellerslie Racecourse, Events Centre on Saturday 6th of December at 9am. In lieu of flowers, donations for the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Trust, PO Box 38386, Wellington Mail Centre would be appreciated.





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Norm Holland - Legend 2200 Ellerslie, Auckland, Saturday 5 December 2014


9 5:22 pm

Rating 85 Benchmark 2200m - $20,000   Open /Close

($12,000, $3,900, $1,900, $900, $500, $200, $200, $200, $200)

Lion Red(6g Fast 'N' Famous (AUS) - Lucerne)
Ethical(5m High Chaparral (IRE) - No Fibs)
King Krovanh (AUS)(5g Fastnet Rock (AUS) - Miss Krovanh (AUS))
Loves The Show (AUS)(5g Dehere (USA) - Go With The Wind (AUS))
The Menace(7g One Cool Cat (USA) - Indent)
Wisecrack(7g High Chaparral (IRE) - Limerick)
Le Moussier (AUS)(7g Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) - Foxwood)
Maygrove (AUS)(4g Authorized (IRE) - Lady Zhivago)
Nothing Trivial(5g Elusive City (USA) - Gia Maria)
Delveen (AUS)(5m Encosta De Lago (AUS) - Calveen)

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