The New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Industry is mourning the passing of legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings.
The extraordinary horseman who was known worldwide as the “Melbourne Cup King” passed away peacefully on the weekend after accomplishing virtually all there was to accomplish in the world of thoroughbred horse racing.
Celebrated for his many career achievements in Australia, his deeds with New Zealand bred horses were recognised locally in 2012 when he was made an honorary inductee in to the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame during one of his many visits to the National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka.
Cummings first bought at the New Zealand yearling sales in 1958 and sourced eight of his 12 Melbourne Cup winners from New Zealand including Think Big (NZ) (Sobig), who went on to twice win the Melbourne Cup in 1974 and 1975.
Cummings also bought his best horse, So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral), from the Karaka sales in 2008 where he outlaid $110,000 for the Windsor Park Stud graduate.
Australian racing legend Bart Cummings will be honoured with a state funeral. The trainer died on Sunday morning aged 87 at his homestead in north-west Sydney.
"James Bartholomew Cummings OAM, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Sunday the 30th of August 2015, in his homestead at Princes Farm, Castlereagh," James Cummings said in a statement issued on Sunday.
"His final moments were spent with his family and wife of 61 years, Valmae, with whom he celebrated their anniversary on Friday.
"For Bart, aged 87, this was a fitting end. A husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; a master trainer and a larger than life figure."
Cummings had been unwell for some time.