Ted Sunckell’s breeding legacy lives on through Teds Legacy

By Duane Ranger

Ian and Mary Sunckell

The 83-year breeding legacy of the late Brookside farmer, Ted Sunckell, produced another winner at Addington Raceway last Friday (June 16), when the aptly named Teds Legacy led all the way in race two.

Mr Sunckell’s son and co-owner/breeder, Ian, said it was a tremendous training and driving effort from Jim Curtin, to get what was supposed to be his last horse, to win race two fresh-up after a four-month spell.

Curtin and Teds Legacy, a Changeover – Judys A Flyin gelding, dictated all the terms to win the BC Plumbers R49-50 Pace by three quarters of a length.

It was the 5-year-old’s fourth win in 42 starts. He’s also placed 12 times (nine seconds) and banked $52,584 for owners for Ian and Mary Sunckell, since his debut second at Kaikoura in November 2020.

“The horse was obviously named after Dad and was a dedication to all the horses he has bred, and all the hard work he put in since buying his dairy and mixed farm in Brookside (near Leeston) right when the Depression was on in 1930. We had no money and just lived off the land.

“In fact, Teds Legacy’s family dates back to the first horse that Dad bred – the 1940 six-win Sandydale – Scientific (Wrack) trotting mare, Tatsydale.

“Ted’s Legacy was supposed to be our swansong – the last horse that Mary and I owned and bred together, but because we liked this one so much, we also put the mare to He’s Watching in 2019, after missing to him the year before.

“Judy’s Watching was the result. She’s had three unplaced trials in August, April and May. She’s the last foal out Judy’s A Flyin (2000 Sands A Flyin – Black Patron – El Patron mare). Perhaps one day she will be the next broodmare to carry the family line on.

Sadly, Judy’s A Flyin died in March last year. She was actually born in 2000, and named after my late wife Judy, who passed away the previous year,” Rangiora-based Mr Sunckell said.

He said Tatsydale was the grandmother (four-times removed) of Teds Legacy. He said Teds legacy was also fourth of five siblings.

“Judys A Flyin left a Falcon Seelster colt in 2008 named Flyin Seelster (seven starts no wins) and a year later Judy’s McArdle (2009 McArdle maiden gelding) was born.

“Then Changeover A Flyin came next in 2011. He was a (2011) Changeover colt, who won race here and then was sold to Australia (2016) where he won eight races ($60,777) and recorded a 1:53.1 mile.”

Despite that time and those eight wins, Mr Sunckell still regarded Teds Legacy as the best horse he had bred.

“He’s the best I think. He went a slick time the other night and he can only get better this campaign. Jim has done a splendid job with him. He’s a real master horseman,” Sunckell said.

He said he only got into the breed via Judys A Flyin’s mother, the 1986 El Patron – Song Key (Lordship) mare, Black Patron – who is the great grand-daughter of Tatsydale.

“She never raced, and I inherited her from Dad, and a few of us initially bred from her and then I bred the last two foals. She only left three all-up. The first of them, a 1992 Clever Innocence mare named High Power died 13 months after she was born.

“Glendale Invasion (1998 Armbro Innocence two-win mare) came next, and then in 2000 Judy’s A Flyin was born. I’ve really enjoyed breeding but I’m getting on in years now and Judys Watching will be the last one I breed. It doesn’t get any easier as you get older,” said Mr Sunckell.

“If you do a bit of homework and go back a bit you will see the family is related to the recently retired trotting champion Sundees Son,” he added.

Mr Sunckell was born in Leeston and educated at Southbridge District High School. He met Mary 12 years ago.

“I lived off the land all of my life and when I was 22, I bought my own farm with my wife Judy on the main road near Leeston.  We were there for 10 years before I bought a sheep and then in about 1973 beef and sheep farm on 1200 acres at Murchison.

“We were a young family with five children, and then in 1991 we bought a sheep and beef farm in North Canterbury. Then in 2008 I bought a beautiful lifestyle block here in Rangiora,” Mr Sunckell said.

He then paid a tribute to both Curtin and Murray Edmunds.

Ian Sunckell with Murray Edmonds in Ian’s father’s racing colours worn since 1953

“They are both quality horsemen. I actually had my horses with Murray for 25 or 26 years before Jimmy. I think I was one of his first and longest clients,” Mr Sunckell said.

“This game has been good to our family. Sure, there have been ups and downs, but that’s life. I’m 83 now and still love it as much as I always did. It would be nice sometimes if you could just turn back the clock,” he added.