A jubilant Barry Ward

67 year old  Barry Ward is the toast of West Melton after his 3 stable reps Mister Blue Sky, Times Are A Changin and Hey Tonight all won their respective races at the Methven meeting on Sunday 28th Jan.

And, he continued today at the Amberley meeting at Rangiora with Anytime At All (Bettor’s Delight-Going To California -Art Major) winning the Canterbury Breeders (Joan Belcher Legacy) Pace for fillies and mares.

“I’ve won 2 on a few occasions but never 3 so that was quite a buzz”, the genial breeder/owner/trainer declared.

The harness journey started back in the early 80’s for Ward when he persuaded master trainer Clem Scott to take him on as a farm manager after the latter had decided to leave his South Canterbury base and move north to Halswell.

“Silly ole me had bought a Lordship filly but I didn’t really know much about horses and Clem (who knew alot about them according to Ward) agreed to train the filly and it was my job to keep the place tidy. We had some very good types going around during those days including the likes of Loveridge, Boulder Creek and Foreaux and I learnt alot from Clem”, Ward explained.

“The filly didn’t eventuate to much but then I bought Out Of Time (Out To Win – Wee Ann) off Clem and that’s how I got into this breed” he shared.

Wee Ann was by champion broodmare sire Lumber Dream and hadn’t done much at that stage but soon those stats were to change.

To Clever Innocence she left the 10 win Times On My Side (Ward is a music buff from ‘way back’) who in turn left the 10 win Child In Time who produced the Group 1 winner Paradise City (6 wins) who is the dam of one of the Methven winners, Times Are A Changin, now the winner of 8.

In fact all of Wards 3 winners can trace directly back to Out Of Time.

Mister Blue Sky (Sunshine Beach – Alright Now) and Sam Thornley

Ward confessed to trying other established stud book families but all his good luck seemed to evolve around the Norice family.

“I have always been keen to support new stallions and Paradise City might have been the first crop of Bettors Delight (2007). We sold the colts back then and if we got a filly, most times we got a handy racehorse and those fillies, as time shows, has had the ability to breed on and leave a handy horse of their own.

Going to California (6 wins), After Midnight (4 wins), Wonderful Tonight (6 wins), Bird Of Paradise (13 wins) and Alright Now (3 wins) are all very good examples of mares that have done a job both on the track and in the breeding barn for Ward.

He trained his first winner in 1987 and that winning number has now risen to 140.

He didn’t breed this season just completed as he has young stock to continue with and has taken on shift work to help him meet the growing expenses of racing horses.

“Its an expensive game now and the last few years have been tough but it’s a game that I love and we will keep going.

In the meantime, he will ‘enjoy the aftermath’ after his trifecta of winning performances. “I have been amazed at the number of well wishers and their messages since Sunday” he proudly shared.