The late Bob McArdle's persistence was the catalyst in a new harness racing owner becoming a winner with Taroona Bromac at the Amberley meeting on NZ day, February 6.
Taroona Bromac surprisingly failed to reach a reserve of $15,000 at the 2017 NZ Premier Yearling Sale, but Bob had no trouble getting former NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club chairman and established owner, Barry Dent, on side.
Barry's mother Pearl had been a co-owner of "Taroona's" smart half-brother Tas Man Bromac, and Mr Dent was interested in acquiring another from the dam, Tasmcmanian.
The next move was luring Heller Smallgoods founding director Todd Heller, into the ownership.
The Hellers company previously sponsored the Group One Dominion Handicap at Addington for eight years.
"How it started was one Show day at Addington we were talking together and Bob said to Todd, his next move in harness racing should be to own one," Barry recalled.
"Then Bob followed up with him on Taroona Bromac."
Taroona Bromac, now three, is raced by Messrs Dent and Heller, along with breeder, Bromac Lodge Ltd.
"I think this is Todd's first standardbred horse, but sadly he couldn't be at Rangiora for it as he's on a tour down in Antarctica," Barry said.
"I did get a text to him just after the race. He was very charged by it."
Barry, still on the board at Addington Raceway, after doing his time with four years as deputy chair, then four years in the top chair role, has been a successful harness owner for many years.
During his time in the Fire Service, Barry ended up co-racing the trotter Liberty Vogue, who was trained by Dunedin fire fighter Ray Hanson to win 11 races.
"Liberty Vogue was a rough-gaited trotter who went at the same speed."
Barry and Pearl were also part of the Met Two Syndicate, who won 13 races, including the 2004 New Zealand Derby, with Likmesiah.
Through a family connection, Barry and Pearl have enjoyed good success in recent years through their Jones-Williamson south ties.
"Ross Jones, of the Kina Craig Stud, is a cousin of mine," Barry said.
Ross and Robyn Jones' daughter, Katy, married Nathan Williamson, with the Dents', and the Joneses, winning eight races and being Harness Jewels Ruby-placed with speedy trot mare Poppymalda.
Pearl then shared in the ownership of Tas Man Bromac (American Ideal-Tasmcmanian), who won 10 of 31 races for $119,722 when trained by Nathan Williamson.
Tas Man Bromac, a NZ record-holder at three, was subsequently sold to West Australia, where he's won a further four races, including the Group Three Northam Cup.
Dam Tasmcmanian, who belongs to a huge winning North American family, has also left Trendy Bromac (p3, 1:54.6, five wins from 21 starts for $42,794), Tilly Bromac (one win) and Tempest Bromac, a two-year-old filly qualifier for the Williamson stable, who has had one unplaced start.
Although Tas Man Bromac (by American Ideal) and Taroona Bromac (by American Ideal's sire Western Ideal) are closely-related, they are opposites in physique.
"Tas Man Bromac was a lovely, beautiful, little nuggety horse," Barry said.
"Taroona Bromac is a lot bigger so we have to be a bit careful with him not putting pressure on his joints, so we're just going slowly with him."
"We were stoked with his win."
Taroona Bromac, trained at West Melton by Nigel McGrath and driven by NZ's top reinsman Blair Orange, showed good strength moving up in the open.
He proved too tough on the grass, pacing the mobile 2000m in a useful 2:03.5 rate, the last 800m in 60.2s and 400m in 27.7s.
Tasmcmanian, who in recent years has left a two-year-old sister to Tas Man Bromac, and a yearling colt by Art Major, was exported to Australia last July.