Day At The Track

Owner-breeder Col Kennedy passes away

10:54 PM 09 Nov 2010 NZDT
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 Jazmin Alicia: Col Kennedy's pride & joy
Jazmin Alicia: Col Kennedy's pride & joy - also the 2008 Nevele R Northern Breeders Stakes winner.
Garrick Knight Photo

Col (Colin) Kennedy went for one last circuit of his Glenbrook property pulled by one of his favourite horses today (Wednesday November 10) - four-win trotter Jazmin Alicia. The 72-year-old harness racing owner and breeder passed away at Middlemore Hospital last Thursday but didn't want his death made public until today.

Kennedy insisted on a private funeral and no death notices or obituaries to be made public until the day he was buried.

"Even though he had been ill for a long time we did not expect his death at this time. He was a brave fighter," said his wife Karen.

Born in Mt Isa Australia, Kennedy absolutely loved horses - right from an early age when growing up on his father's sheep station in north-west Queensland.

He had a colourful life and undertook many jobs including managing a farm, breaking in horses, a charter boat operator, had a trucking business, and was also a painter and paper hanger. He also had a private pilot's licence.

But outside his family horses were one of his greatest loves.

Kennedy came to New Zealand at the age of 22 and did returned back and forth to his homeland before settlingĀ in New Zealand. He was initially involved in galloping but was introduced to harness racing by Ted Hooper and then his first trainer Sandy Purdon, who trained Kennedy's first winner City Byrd - who won for him at Cambridge Raceway on January 30, 1986.

That Alba Byrd mare went on to win four races and $18,627 before being exported to the United States on October 20, 1987.

"Col loved breeding and racing horses. I think Tony H and Jazmin Alicia provided him with his biggest wins," his wife said.

Kennedy was renowned for the Shardon name. One of his best was Shardon's Aflyin, who was exported to Australia in May 2004. That Sands A Flyin mare then went on to win 21 races across the Tasman and more than half a million dollars in stake money.

Other Kennedy standardbreds included Lord Graceland, Shardon's Star, Native Opera, and Shardon's Lass. There were many, many others.

Kennedy's funeral (as requested) was held today at his Glenbrook home, not far from Waiuku.

He is survived by his wife Karen, three children Russell, Gary and Donna; 12 grand children, and two great-grand children.

By Duane RANGER

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