Brian Anderton a big contributor to New Zealand racing

He’s racing’s complete package.

Author: Tayler StrongBrian Anderton-White Robe Lodge

Brian Anderton, the principal of White Robe Lodge thoroughbred stud and training establishment at North Taieri near Dunedin, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours for his services to the racing industry.

Anderton, who turns 79 in January, has been involved as a jockey, trainer, breeder, owner, administrator and apprentice mentor.

“I am honoured to receive the award. It is not something I expected. You just do your job in life. This has really capped things off,” he said.

“I have been lucky with mum and dad [Hector and Alice] and uncles in the business. I married a good woman [Lorraine] and have a great family.

“If I went on a committee, I felt I could have some useful input.”

He received an award for outstanding contribution to racing from NZ Thoroughbred Racing in 1993 and was made a member of the NZ Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.

Anderton first rode in races at the age of 13 and he had his first win at that age on White Robe at Wyndham in 1950. He rode the great winter galloper Kumai in 27 of his 34 wins. He has tutored numerous jockeys as apprentices and as former riding master of the Otago apprentice school.

Anderton established a stud in 1956, near Wingatui and expanded to his present facility in 1981. He has stood the champion sires for New Zealand in Mellay (twice) and Noble Bijou (four times). Both made their mark in Australia.

Anderton stood Tawfiq, sire of 1989 Melbourne Cup winner, Tawrrific, who was reared at White Robe Lodge. The 1970 Melbourne Cup winner, Baghdad Note was foaled at White Robe Lodge and the stud stallions have sired winners throughout the world.

The Group I winners, Alibhai, Our Sophia and Who Shot Thebarman, are among a host of winners bred by Anderton and his wife, Lorraine.

He had his first training win in 1967 and has since amassed 1422 wins, with his son, Shane, a partner since the 1993-94 season. His wins include the Group I NZ Two Thousand Guineas with Random Chance, the 1973 NZ Cup with Watallan and four Grand National Steeplechases. He continues a day to day involvement with training.

He has fostered the ownership of racehorses through syndication and introduced newcomers to the industry.

Anderton has been a member of the committee of the Otago Racing Club for many years and a former president. He is a life member. He has served at branch and national level on the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.