YEAR: 1979


Long-time trotting administrator Mr Bill Craddock died in Westport last Thursday night. Mr Craddock, aged 72, had not been in good health for some time.

Mr Craddock devoted many years of his life to the trotting sport and enjoyed success with many horses he raced. Amongst those he owned or raced were Rewa Scott (7 wins), Durban Chief (13 wins including the NZ Trotting Free-For-All), Our Own (11 wins), Craven (the dam of Boy Louw, Dupreez, Geffin and Protea), Miss Honour (3 wins), Life Member (4 wins) and Rosewood Garrison (3 wins).

His last success as an owner came at Addington last month when Rosewood Garrison won the Marine Handicap. Mr Craddock raced the mare in partnership with Mr Laurie Rutherford, a member of the executive of the Trotting Conference. Mr Craddock himself served as an executive member. He was appointed to fill a casual vacancy in September, 1965 and remained until July, 1976.

Mr Craddock did much for both racing and rugby on the West Coast. He served as honorary secretary with the Westport Trotting Club from 1930-1966. In 1966 he became president of the club, a position he held until 1977. He also served three three-year terms as mayor of Westport, the last ending two or three years ago. He was president and a life member of both the NZ and Buller Rugby Unions. He was president of the NZRFU in 1943. He was the longest ever serving councillor on the NZRFU and the only man to have ever served 50 years as treasurer for the Buller Rugby Union.

He was a well-known liaison officer for rugby teams touring the West Coast and was probably the greatest benefactor to any provincial rugby union in NZ. He managed two NZ touring rugby teams - the Maoris to Fiji and the 1957 All Blacks to Australia. Both were unbeaten on tour.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 6Mar79

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