Having given a lifetime of service to the harness racing industry as a horseman and administrator, John Arthur Lischner is one of the 2014 inductees to the Addington Harness Hall of Fame.

On the administrative front, John Lischner’s involvement has included :

Starting out as a butcher in Tapanui, John Lischner tried training for several years before turning to full time training in 1988. His first training win came with Lord Bijou (dr. R.G. Kerr) in a 2yo race at Invercargill, January 1982. In early 1988, he shifted from Tapanui to Ashburton, taking up residence at Robert Cameron’s former property, just off the main highway between Ashburton and Methven. He trained there until a final training shift to what is now Ken Barron’s Toliman Lodge, West Melton, commencing in the 2001/2 season. Leading trainer in 1996/97 season (86 winners) and 1998/99 (85 winners); also in the top ten on five other occasions. From 14 winners in 1993/4, Lischner’s numbers exploded in 1994/95 ( 63 winners - 2nd), 1995/96 (69 - 3rd), leading trainer 1996/7, 1997/98 (40 - 5th), leading trainer 1998/99, 1999/2000 (57 - 2nd) and in his last season training on his own 200/1 (36 - 6th).

As a trainer in his own right between 1981/2 and 2000/2001 seasons as well as briefly during 2006/7 and 2007/8, from 3,331 starters, John Lischner produced the winners of 563 races for stakes in excess of of $4m. Of these, 409 starters were trotters that won 79 races. His overall UDR rating was a more than respectable .2776. Among his best performers on the track during this time were -

In his earlier days of training down south Lischner made good use of skilful reinsman Henry Skinner for many of his successes. After his move to Ashburton, Ricky May figured most prominently until Ken Barron became stable driver from the 1994/5 season (1996/97, 103 wins best season finishing second in drivers premiership). Many other prominent Canterbury/mid Canterbury reinsmen were to record successes for the Lischner stable, Robert Cameron, Jack Smolenski, Simon Adlam to name a few. Clark Barron and Tony Herlihy were often utilised in their Southland and Northern locations respectively.

In conjunction with Ken Barron during the three seasons of 2001/2 - 2003/4 (Ken Barron commenced training on his own account in the 2004/5 season), the Lischner/Barron partnership lined up 867 starters for 99 winners of $819,807 (100 trotting starts for 14 wins). Their UDR rating was a useful .2243. Better performers included amongst these winners were - Stars and Stripes post August 2001 (4 wins, Invercargill Cup, Nobilio now Canterbury Classic, 2 ID hts; 3rd Renwick/NZFFA/SBS & Hellers Goods FFA, 5th NZ Cup); Roland John (Southern Supremacy, 3rd Superstars 4yo C/S); Lady Toddy (CPTC Winter Cup; 3rd Nevele R Fillies ht); Southern Soky (NZSS Silver - 2 and 3c&g; 3rd Bell Tea Gp2); Spiritual King (NZYSS NHT -2); Kenny The Cowboy (NZSS - 3c&g ht (also 3rd ht). Other placings of note included - Eastburn BB (2nd NZSS - 4/5 c&g); Highflyin Eagle (2nd NZYSS Consolation - 2); Jo Anne (2nd Hambletonian - 3T); Pocket Game (3rd Greymouth Cup); Eastburn Gee (3rd NZSS HT - 2f). The Lischner/Barron combination finished 11th in the trainers premiership in 2001/2 (27 wins), 9th in 2002/3 (29 wins) and 7th in 2003/4 (43 wins), improving their performances each season.

Ken Barron (84 wins) was obviously the key stable driver over the three seasons of the Lischner/Barron partnership; others used to winning effect were then junior drivers, Stephen McNally (2), Gavin Smith (1), Andrew Armour (3) as well as Clark Barron (5), Ricky May (2), Maurice McKendry and Mark Jones one apiece.

John Lischner has now moved to Wanaka to enjoy his retirement.

Compiled as at 1 October 2014.