YEAR: 2010


Hundreds of people attended the funeral service of Dave Carville which was held at Addington Raceway last Saturday afternoon. Dave died suddenly of a heart attack four days earlier, his wife Katie at his side. He was 55.

His passing came as a huge shock to all in the industry, because Dave was loved, respected and admired by everybody who knew him - whether on a personal or professional level, or both. He was as passionate about his family as he was about everything else that he adored and/or took part in...his land and his horses, harness racing in general, his and Katie's multi-faceted company International Cargo Express and subsequently ICE Bloodstock, his many friends, monthly card nights with the lads, and his not-so-occasional punts on races at the TAB.

Born in 1954, Dave grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Christchurch with sister Linda and brothers Barry and Allan. During his latter school years at Papanui High he played basketball, got involved in life saving, developed an interest in racing pigeons and there would always be a love for horses simmering away in the background too. After leaving school his work graduated from paper run to employment in the office of Blue Star Port Line. He eventually became the Office Manager before progressing on to manage LEP in the South Island, then forming his own business, International Cargo Express, in 1992.

The first horse Dave owned was called Genesis, a colt by Out To Win that he raced with a couple of mates, who won five races at two including the NZ Sapling Stakes; a race at three, and another four as a 4-year-old including the Rangiora Cup before he was sold overseas. Needless to say, he was hooked on the game from then onwards.

He and Katie continued to develop ICE, and today it is one of the largest freight-forwarding companies in New Zealand - one that was also instrumental in providing direct flights between here and Australia so that racehorses can get across the Tasman and back again much more easier; hence re-igniting true trans-tasman rivalry between our greatest horses, like in last year's NZ Cup.

Through their two branches of ICE plus the subsidiary companies ICE Perishables and ICE Bloodstock, Dave and Katie were always keen to keep supporting harness racing and putting money back into the game, as their sponsorship of various races, Addington Raceway's passing lane and ultimately our Annual Awards Function showed. Their generosity didn't stop there though, with other things they supported ranging from many local sports teams to a child in need of life-saving operation.

Over the years the Carvilles became just as devoted about breeding their own rachorses, and today there are numerous harness equines carrying the 'Ohoka'(colts and geldings) or 'Millwood'(fillies and mares) tags as part of their name - many of them highly successful. The couple's crowning glory in this respect was Ohoka Arizona, the 2006/7 2YO Pacer of the Year who won five of his eight starts as a juvenile including three Group events. Recently embarking on another campaign, Ohoka Arizona has won seven of 16 appearances and nearly $260,000 to date and has also been popular at stud, his first crop of foals being due any day soon. At last count Dave and Katie's list of weanlings, racehorses and broodmares numbered about 100, with 30 more foals expected on the ground in the next couple of months. Understandably, these will be downsized over the next year or so.

Dave is survived by his wife Katie and children Adam, Libby, Ashley and Paige - all of whom gave very emotional 'farewell' speeches to their father at last weekend's funeral. In a fitting finale to the service, a hearse carried Dave's casket and followed Ohoka Arizona for a couple of laps around Addington Raceway.

Credit: HRWeekly 29 Sep 2010


YEAR: 2013


Tony Herlihy still rates Chokin as the best 3yo he has driven, but Ohoka Punter is "working his way up there".
The Bettor's Delight colt stayed on track for the big three of Derbys when he easily accounted for the Vero Flying Stakes at Addington last Friday night.

The complete performance was such that his rivals must be shaking their heads as to how they can possibly beat him. Ohoka Punter had the speed to comfortably hold a hot lead from barrier one at the 1950 start, and after buttoning off in the middle, he sprinted home in 27.3 to easily hold the trailer Border Control and Mossdale Connor at bay. "He was actually switching off at times in the run home, but he kept finding when I asked," said Herlihy.

What makes Ohoka Punter so appealing is his versatility. He has speed and can stay and can be driven in front or in behind. There are no real flaws in his makeup, unlike some of his main rivals, which is what makes beating him so difficult. In eight races this season and since returning from an injury enforced spell, Ohoka Punter has only been upset in a lead up to the Victoria Derby.

Herlihy has trained some nice 3-year-olds before in Maheer Lord (Sires Stakes 3yo Final) and Bella's Boy (Breeders Crown 2yo, Vic Derby), with one a fine stayer and the other a sharp sprinter, but Ohoka Punter has gone past them. He has won New Zealand Derbys with Fly Like An Eagle and Badlands Bute, and Ohoka Punter was his fourth Great Northern Derby winner as a reinsman, but only Chokin still rates higher despite missing the latter half of his 3-year-old season.

"Being a Bettor's Delight, he would never really excite you in trackwork at home. But he's always felt like a good horse and all along I had hopes he would get to this level.Having that time off last year was probably a blessing in disguise as he feels a lot stronger now."

While Herlihy has had plenty of experience in the big time, Katie Carville, who bred Ohoka Punter from the Christian Cullen mare Millwood Minisota with her late husband Dave, has been in new territory lately. Carville has raced plenty of good horses, but none of them have actually been around for the Derbys, outside of Ohoka Texas starting a couple of years ago when never really a factor.

"Ohoka Arizona would have been the best one, but he broke down in the spring," said Carville. "The Victoria Derby was special because we were hopeful rather than confident, and it was a nice surprise. Tony was quietly confident before the Great Northern Derby, so we were more than hopeful there. But now the pressure is going to be on because everyone will expect us to win (the New Zealand Derby). That will be worse - I'd rather be the underdog."

Ohoka Punter must now also entering caculations as a sire prospect, although Carville has had no overtures from any of the leading studs as yet. "We stood Ohoka Arizona at Wai Eyre when Dave was around, but I wouldn't want that responsibility myself." Ohoka Punter will go straight into next week's $150,000 feature as the hottest favourite since Auckland Reactor five years ago, when he set a New Zealand record of 3:09.4. Especially as Franco Nelson was such a disappointment last Friday night.

The Christian Cullen colt had an early look before settling three back on the fence, but didn't yelp in the run home. "Craig (Thornley) said he felt flat all the way actually," said trainer Steven McRae. "I thought he was really good and better than he was in Auckland, so we didn't see that coming.

Border Control, Mossdale Connor and Elios, the latter competing well above his station, completed a Bettor's Delight rout of the Group 2 race, but perhaps only Classiesistar if he can draw to lead or Franco Nelson if he can rebound can upset the applecart next week. Mark Purdon will also have Arden Rooney on hand next week, as will Cran Dalgety with Bit Of A Legend, but not many will be betting against Ohoka Punter.

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 27Mar13


YEAR: 2007

Dave & Katie Carville celebrate with Blair Orange
Prominent Canterbury breeder-owners Dave and Katie Carville gained their first Group One success on Friday night at Addington Raceway when their charge Ohoka Arizona was successful in the New Zealand Welcome Stakes. Elected the best Purdon chance by punters, Ohoka Arizona started second-favourite behind Mattnamara's Band and returned a juicy winning dividend of $4.50 for his efforts.

The Harness Jewels leader (Ohoka Arizona) had to overcome barrier 14 over the 1950m journey, launching his claim with 900m to go by challenging stablemate and pacemaker Fiery Falcon. The two Mark Purdon representatives fought like cat and dog in the home straight as Fiery Falcon came from the trail to attack Ohoka Arizona in a final attempt for success.

At the finish a just half-length separated the two as Blair Orange and Ohoka Arizona buried their main rival with ease in the end. Race favourite Mattnamara's Band fought stoutly for third 1 lengths away after racing hard in the middle stages.

Ohoka Arizona recorded a winning time of 2.23.4 in freezing conditions, posting a mile rate of 1.58.3 and his final 800m in 58.3. Not only was the Group One success special to the Carville's, but it was just driver Blair Orange's second Group One win of his career. The first coming behind Jay's Debut in the Juvenile Championship.

It was a big night for owners Dave and Katie Carville - alias Mr and Mrs No1 enthusiasts - whose first Group 1 win it was. There contribution to harness racing as breeders, owners and sponsors is more than what can be adequately said here. The Carvilles bred Ohoka Arizona from sending Millwood Krystal to Christian Cullen. Millwood Krystal, by Falcon Seelster, won two races, and is from the direct line of top mares Lancia and Valencia. "I have to thank Wayne Francis for getting into this breed, and have to thank my barber Harry Webber for insisting I use Christian Cullen, and I apologise for coming here in jeans; from the draw I just didn't think we would be up here," Carville said.

Credit: Harness Racing NZ

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