Brent McIntyre was thrust into the spotlight when recognised with the Contribution to Southland Harness Racing Award on Tuesday.
McIntyre admits he is much more comfortable out on the farm or on the training track rather than having his name up in lights like it was in the Southland Harness Racing Awards categories. .
But his contribution in the harness racing industry ,spanning more than three decades, meant he couldn’t avoid it, with his peers recognising his efforts in the sport in Southland with the award.
“It is very humbling and it came as a big surprise,” McIntyre said.
“The game has been very good to me and I have loved every minute of it.”
“There are some great people in it and meeting them and having a beer with them is the best part about it.”
“I have made some great friends and have had plenty of thrills with some great people.”
“It is not really my thing awards like this, talking yourself up, I try to stay out of the spotlight.”
“But I am very grateful.”
McIntyre has a long list of achievements in harness racing spread over more than three decades.
Initially an owner, breeder and hobby trainer at Tussock Creek, he was first licenced in the 1993 season.
McIntyre produced 10-win mare Bonnies Lass and former New Zealand record holder Jamie from his stable.
McIntyre and neighbour Steve Sloan bred Mach N Elle during his Tussock Creek years.
Though she wasn’t a star as her career was cut short by injury, the mare has gone on to leave Group 1 winner and New Zealand record holder Watch Me Now.
McIntyre made a life changing decision in 2008 with wife Sheree, buying and taking over the running of Macca Lodge in 2008, then called Jaccka Lodge.
The farm plays a vital role in the Southland harness racing industry, overseeing the breeding of around 350 standardbred mares each year, which represents a significant portion of New Zealand’s foal crop.
During his time at Macca Lodge McIntyre bred, owned and developed Balcatherine, a Group 1 winner in Australia after being sold.
The trainer also developed Boots Electric before he was sold to Australia where he also won a Group 1 race.
McIntyre trained his 50th winner last season as he continues to juggle training a team of horses with the commitments of running a busy breeding operation.
Macca Lodge is a major sponsor of Southern Harness Racing, sponsoring races across Otago and Southland, including the Southland Oaks.