Book not the initial idea

Brian Anderton with mare Renee Maree and her foal, a colt by Raise the Flag, at White Robe Lodge last week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Brian Anderton with mare Renee Maree and her foal, a colt by Raise the Flag, at White Robe Lodge last week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
What started out as a look through some old memorabilia has grown into a book on the life and times of Taieri horse trainer and breeder Brian Anderton.

BJ, the White Robe Legacy, the Brian Anderton story, describes the life of Anderton (76), from when he was a young child and aspiring jockey right up to the present day, including his entry into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame last year.

Anderton said he did not set out to have a book written about his life in the horse racing game but it just turned out that way.

''It was the girls' idea really,'' he said, referring to his wife, Lorraine, and other women in his family.

Journalist Wally O'Hearn came down to help sort through some clippings and old scrapbooks.

But once he got talking to Anderton, and started recording, a book suddenly opened up in front of them both.

''He spoke to a nearly everyone about me and before we knew it we had a book ... It brings back lots of memories and thoughts on everything, really. It has certainly jogged the old memory a bit.

''He has managed to capture pretty much every detail on what I've done over my life. I suppose I could have said a lot more about a lot more people.

''You do not set out in life to achieve certain things. All you try to do is make a go of anything that you come across.''

Anderton and his family have been immersed in thoroughbred racing all of his life and they own White Robe Lodge, near the Taieri Golf Club.

''You meet so many nice people in the racing game. And when I read the book there are people who you remember you have been involved with and have made such nice memories with.''

Most times a book on your life signals times are slowing down but in Anderton's case he is showing no signs of giving the game away.

He still has 38 horses in work, although he admits he no longer gets up early as he used to.

Great horses that he was involved with include Kumai, which he rode to more than 25 wins, and champion sire Noble Bijou.

Owning and working at White Robe Lodge has been a huge pleasure for Anderton, who got into racing through his father, Hector. He trains in partnership with his son, Shane.

O'Hearn, a Matamata journalist, said the book started out with a set of anecdotes involving Anderton and grew from there. He really enjoyed writing the story about a character such as Anderton and his life came through in the story.

B J Anderton

Brian is 100%  a gentleman.   He deserves a knighthood for  his generosity and personal contribution to horse racing in NZ 

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