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ALF BOURNE - Trainer, Footballer. Boxer


There is a tall, jovial trotting trainer in the South Island by the name of Alf Bourne. And what a character is this red-head. I must admit I met him in the most pleasant conditions. It was a bright sunny Sunday morning and one of the local publicans, Bill Anderson by name, asked me to got and look at some horses. The idea appealed to me immensely when I saw in the back of his car three of four iced flagons of the nut brown ale.

And don't think you have to travel miles to reach Alf Bourne's stables. They are almost in the heart of Christchurch city itself. Alf had only one horse racing at the recent NZ Cup carnival and that was Aquaplane. He finished fifth in the Empire Handicap the first day but it was an effort that suggested he may not be long in taking out a winning stake. Ebony Scott and Larnie Scott are two others from the Bourne stable but he has two or three in the younger division which have the appearance of going places.

Just prior to the Cup meeting Alf was more than a little lucky in not being seriuosly hurt when he was working a horse. The pacer stumbled and shot the driver high into the air. Fortunately, Alf is made of strong material and a badly swollen hand was all the injury he received.

As a group of us sat round the stable and moaned of our previous day's losses, the always laughing trainer brightened up the refreshment hour with racing anecdotes and some tales of his experiences. Although the light-harness sport is Alf Bourne's main interest now, he was a provincial Rugby player in his day and also held the New Zealand heavy-weight boxing title on two occasions.

Alf Bourne may not figure at the top of the trainers' table at the end of the season but he meets with a fair measure of success and really enjoys the game. If you are down that way drop in on a Sunday morning. Even if you don't like horses, you'll like the social hour.

Credit: MPT writing in NZ Hoof Beats Vol10, No7

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