Just An Excuse, RJ Dunn Inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame

Canterbury Standardbred Breeders 20th Breeders’ Night function provided the backdrop for 120 guests, including members of the Dunn family to welcome two icons of the sport into the Addington Harness Hall of Hall. http://www.hof.co.nz/

The Hall of Fame has unfortunately been homeless since the 2011 earthquake and although all its memorabilia is in storage until it finds a new home. The committee has strived to continue to acknowledge contributions to harness racing, and those close the Addington.

Robert Dunn

Janis Hartley with Hall of Fame inductee Robert Dunn

Hall of Fame chair, Janis Hartley read the citation and inducted Robert (RJ) Dunn into the Hall.

“This year’s inductee is a leading Canterbury and national harness racing Identity.

He has driven 310 winners in NZ and 18 in Australia.

He has trained a total of 1814 winners 662 of these at Addington, including 29 Group One winners (nine of which he drove).

He has trained 100 winners five times in a season along with Trotter of the Year, Pacers of the Year and Harness Horse of the Year twice.

He has trained a New Zealand Cup Winner and been associated with horses the likes of Master Musician, Mainland Banner, Defoe, Bolton Byrd and Sundees Sun.

I would like to ask this years Inductee into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame Robert Dunn to come forward.

Greg O’Connor’s interview with RJ recorded by Nigel Armstrong can be viewed here @ https://www.facebook.com/thebreeders.co.nz

Just An Excuse

Hall of Fame deputy chair, Steve Brown, read the citation:

This year’s horse inductee was an admirable performer in the Canterbury region.

The winner of sixteen NZ races, he raced six times at Addington (all Group races/five Gp 1s) for four wins and two third placings. He had one win in Australia.

Just An Excuse’s record:

Just An Excuse

· Raced 39 times, 17 wins and 15 placings for earnings of $1,047,157

· Leading 4YO & then 5YO horse/gelding pacing stake earner

· Four-year-old Entire or Gelding of Year and the Aged Entire or Gelding of Year

· Winner of nine Group races including five at Group One level

· Eleventh winner of two NZ Trotting Cups, being the 2003 Centennial edition and then the 101st and then a brave two and a half lengths 3rd in the 102nd Cup.

· Twenty seventh winner of NZ Cup/Free For All double

· Bred and owed by the late Irene and Ollie Haines of Cambridge.

· Driven throughout career by four-time NZ Cup winning driver Todd “The Wizard” Mitchell and trained by his father Robert at Raglan

Addington Harness Hall of Fame’s latest inductee is JUST AN EXCUSE

Just An Excuse (Live or Die – My Excuse, Smooth Fella), foaled in 1988, and was the sixth foal.

Ollie Haines reminisces about breeding and racing Just an Excuse, and his “nutter” dam My Excuse in the June 2019 Cambridge Raceway article here

His 2003 Cup win can be viewed here And, read about here