Bob McArdle always said he was one of the lucky men in life to the extent that he managed to make a living out of his passion. Although he often said that he never worked a day in his life, he certainly put more hours than most into something he considered his hobby.
Born in Hobart, Tasmania Bob always remained a proud Australian but called New Zealand Home since the age of 21. He went on to become a leading personality in Harness Racing in both countries in the 50 plus years that he was involved.
Bob's long held passion for horses began at the age of nine when he first started to ride in shows in Tasmania. He continued to do this right up until the time he moved to New Zealand in 1963. During his teenage years he also rode thoroughbreds in training for a local trainer at the weekends and before school.
As most people in the Australasian and American Harness Racing Industry will know, for the vast majority of his working life Bob was a bloodstock agent. What most people will not know is that he started his career out in the thoroughbred side of the industry, selling race horses to all corners of the world. He also sold show horses from Australia that represented England internationally in Three Day Eventing.
It was a trip to the United States selling thoroughbreds around the time of Cardigan Bay's success there that led to the move into the Standardbred market.
Bob's most visible involvement and contribution in the Australasian Harness Racing Scene was the formation and development of Nevele R Stud. Together co-founder Wayne Francis and Bob watched their dream come true as over the years Nevele R grew into the fore-most Standardbred stud farm in New Zealand and indeed Australasia.
Bob achievements were acknowledged with countless awards over the years; notably being inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame, The New Zealand Trotting Hall of Fame and being given the 2009 Living Legend Award by the Caduceus Club of Victoria.
Known in Southland as “The Moth”, Bob could always find a light on and would happily talk all night fuelled by nothing but enthusiasm and coffee. He was tireless in sharing his knowledge and passion for the Harness Racing Industry and was just as happy for others’ success as he was for his own.
The stallion, “McArdle” by Falcon Seelster was named after Bob and through this and his Bromac breed his memory and name will live on for generations to come!