Johnny Globe, the personality pacer of the Dominion over a long period, ran his last race when he finished fourth to General Sandy, Caduceus and Brahman in the NZ Pacing Championship at the Summer meeting of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club. This dapper little pacing gentleman made his final bow to the public when he was paraded at the New Brighton Trotting Club's on Saturday, December 1st, and he will spend the rest of his days at the stud on the property of his owner, D G Nyhan, at Templeton.
Johnny Globe retires the holder of four world records, winner of 15 free-for-alls and £42,887/10/- in stakes, the result of 34 wins and 45 places. This is the largest amount credited to any horse - galloper or pacer - won solely in New Zealand. His winnings are exceeded only by Captain Sandy, who won £43,712 in New Zealand and Australia.
Like many other champions before him Johnny Globe was sold over the bargain counter. Read in his own words how his owner-trainer-driver D G (Don) Nyhan, came to buy him: "I went over to see Mr F E Ward, of Pahiatua, before he went to England in 1948, and while there he said: 'Make me an offer for that 10-month-old colt by Logan Derby-Sandfast.' He had to be sold before he sailed and my wife offered him £50, which he accepted. The colt was very small and didn't look much of a buy at the time, as he was a late December foal and was very backward."
"I broke him in and he started to do better and look more like a colt should. After a consultation my wife and I decided to put him in the Yearling Sales at Christchurch, thinking we might show a fair profiton our buy, so he was entered; but in the meantime we went on working him, and in January (he was only actually 13 months old) he ran half a mile in 1:06 on a rough grass galloping track at Ashhurst. Needless to say, we knew we had something extra good, and withdrew him from the sales. He was then spelled and we shifted to the South Island in August, 1949."
"After winning the Timaru Nursery Stakes (his first start as a two-year-old) he was affected with his feet and, although he raced well, he was never at his best, as he was continually sore; a lot of credit goes to my wife for curing his soreness, for she spent hours a day with his feet in hot water. Of course," concluded Nyhan, "Johnny is the family pet; in fact he has always been looked on as one of the family."
Debonair Johnny! He was always that way, right through his career, extending over eight seasons. His record as a four-year-old has never been equalled, let alone bettered. During that season, 1951-52, he was the leading stake-winner with £9360. He won won eight races besides finishing a very close second to Van Dieman in the NZ Cup, and he was the first four-year-old to start in the premier event for many years; it is an extreme rarity, even today, for a four-year-old to qualify, let alone go close to winning it.
Addington was the scene of Johnny Globe's greatest triumphs, 13 of his wins being gained there. His greatest performance was undoubtedly his success in the record-breaking Cup of 1954. This event was a supreme test of speed and stamina and the time recorded by Johnny Globe, 4:07.6, shattered all previous times for the race and set new world pacing figures for a race and out of a race. Johnny Globe's 15 free-for-alls is the greatest number credited to any horse in the Dominion, his nearest rival in this department being Gold Bar, with six. Other world records held by Johnny Globe are: A mile against time on the grass at Epsom in 1:59.8; a mile from a standing start in a race in 2:01.2, and a mile and three furlongs in a race in 2:50.2. Johnny Globe also holds the New Zealand mile and a quarter record for a three-year-old, 2:37.6.
After his success in the New Zealand Cup of 1954, few opportunities in handicapping events were left for Johnny Globe, and his racing was restricted to free-for-alls and sprint events. He started at the Inter-Dominion Championships at Auckland in 1955. He was sent out a firm favourite in the Grand Final, but after receiving a check, found Tactician a shade too good over the final furlong.
There is no parallel to Johnny Globe's career in light-harness history. This grand little stayer and sprinter bore many of the characteristics of the previous public idol in Harold Logan. The Johnny Globes and Harold Logans are far too few in our sport, and Johnny's retirement - which has been well earned - leaves a void which may not be filled for some time.
Credit: 'Irvington' writing in the NZ Trotting Calendar
World's record pacing figures of 4:07 3-5 were returned by the indomitable dynamo of character and courage, Johnny Globe, in wresting New Zealand Cup honours from Young Charles and Rupee in the NZ Cup at Addington on Tuesday after the most scorching and thrilling stayer's epic in harness history the world over.
Not even in the United States, the acknowledged home and stronghold of the harness racehorse, has there ever been a distance race to compare with the sizzling marathon so bravely sealed by the dapper little personality horse from Templeton.
And his trainer-driver, D G Nyhan, richly deserved all the compliments and congratulations showered upon him. Nyhan had come in for some trenchant criticism of his driving of Johnny Globe in some of his past races. Whether it was all merited was of no moment now. On Tuesday Don's handling of Johnny was in every sense a masterpiece: the perfect understanding and harmony between horse and driver was an inspiration.
Johnny Globe took 6sec to do his 48yds handicap, so from post to post he put up the incredible time of 4:05 3-5, which was 2-5 of a second faster than Greyhound's 4:06, the world's harness record, put up against time from a flying start. Greyhound, the greatest trotter of all time, put up his record on a mile track in 1939. It is only fair to add that no champion American pacer has been sent against time over two miles for more than a quarter of a century; on the other side of the medal, there are now quite a number of two-mile races in America, but nothing to compare with Johnny Globe's performance has yet been recorded.
Official sectional times were: first quarter 32 2-5secs; half-mile 64 2-5secs; six furlongs 1:35; mile 2:04 4-5; mile and a quarter 2:37; mile and a half 3:10; mile and three-quarters 3:40 4-5; full journey 4:11 3-5 (gross). From this is deducted 4sec for Johnny Globe, making his official time 4:07 3-5secs. The previous record was Highland Fling's 4:10 3-5, put up in the New Zealand Cup of 1948. Johnny Globe, when only a four-year-old, ran a close second to Van Dieman in the 1951 NZ Cup. In the 1952 race he collapsed early. Last year he lost 60 yds at the start and finished second to Adorian.
Ribands and Denbry broke badly at the start and were soon in hopeless positions. Rupee also went away at a tangle, but lost little ground before correcting his gait. Star Rosa was the early leader, giving way to Rupee with a little less than half a mile covered, where Tactician was next, ahead of Young Charles, Our Roger, Laureldale, Petite Yvonne, Soangetaha, Thelma Globe, Adorian, Au Revoir and Johnny Globe, who was fairly handy, racing on the rails.
Tactician took over from Rupee going into the back, and with a mile covered he was being trailed by Rupee, with Petite Yvonne and Young Charles next. Tactician and Petite Yvonne were closely attended by Rupee and Young Charles with a round to go, and by this time Johnny Globe had commenced his run on the outer. He was sixth approaching the half-mile, and when Tactician swung for home attended by Young Charles and Rupee, Johnny Globe was next, travelling better than anything. Young Charles headed Tactician, and momentarily looked like winning. Then Johnny Globe challenged and soon had the upper hand to beat Young Charles by half a length, with Rupee travelling strongly on the outside the same margin back. Our Roger was fourth, Au Revoir fifth, then Vedette, with a gap to Laureldale, Tactician and Thelma Globe, another gap to Soangetaha, Petite Yvonne and Star Rosa, with Denbry and Ribands bringing up the rear.
Rupee received none of the breaks in the run home. He tried to make a run between Young Charles, on the rails, and Johnny Globe, further out, inside the distance, but there was insufficient room, and he had to change course and come to the outer at a very late stage. He ran a great race for third, because the difficulties he encountered in the final furlong must have set him back a couple of lengths.
Mr C E Hoy, president of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club, said this was the first visit of the Governor-General (Sir Willoughby Norrie) to the Addington course, and he extended His Excellency and Lady Norrie a warm welcome, expressing the hope that this would be the forerunner of many more visits. Sir Willoughby Norrie, in presenting the gold cup to D G Nyhan, congratulated the club on it's "extremely fine meeting and the particularly good field" for the Cup. "I hope one day to own a trotter myself," said His Excellency. He understood that, between them, the horses in the Cup race had won more than £200,000 in stakes. He recalled that he had the honour of presenting the trophy and a cheque for £10,000 to Mr Bruce Elliot when Single Direct won the Grand Final of the Inter-Dominion Championship at Adelaide.
His Excellency then congratulated D G Nyhan on his "most popular win with a wonderful horse," and Lady Norrie decorated Johnny Globe with a garland of flowers. Johnny Globe was paraded down the straight, and hundreds of his enthusiastic admirers flocked round him, clapping and cheering him on his way. Old-timers declared it was the most popular win ever seen at Addington, and one veteran has seen every Cup race since Monte Carlo won the first contest in 1904. Roll upon roll of cheering broke out some yards before he reached the post and continued as he returned to the birdcage. Hundreds of people swarmed over the rails from the inside of the track and massed along the birdcage fence to pay homage to the most idolised horse in light-harness history.
The on-course totalisator turnover for the race was £28,427, compared with £28,331 last year. The off-course figures were £29,826 10s, against £29,815 10s last year. This year the sum of £51,524 15s was invested on the double, of which £35,244 came from off-course investments and £16,280 15s on the course. The off-course double figures last year were £49,031, and the on-course figures £14,592 5s, a total of £63,623 5s, the record to date. This year's on-course total was £182,056 10s, compared with £179,170 15s last year. The off-course figures this year were £140,435 5s (a record for Cup day) against £134,707 last year.
For the third year in succession the winner was sired by a son of the immortal Australian sire Globe Derby. Mobile Globe (1952) and Adorian (1953) are both sons of Springfield Globe, and Johnny Globe is by Logan Derby, himself a champion. Johnny Globe is out of Sandfast, by Sandydale (imp) from the American pacing mare Slapfast, a yearling record-holder in the States in her day, and who was imported to the Dominion by Sir John McKenzie. Slapfast was sent up for auction at Tattersalls in 1935 and brought only 12gns. She was eventually passed on to the late Mr F E Ward, of Pahiatua, who bred Sandfast and Johnny Globe. Nyhan bought Johnny Globe as a 10-month-old foal for £50, and he has now won 26 races and £32,395 in stakes, which brings him very close to Highland Fling's Dominion record of £32,920.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 10Nov54
In 1954, Johnny Globe was a 7-year-old and making his fourth attempt at the New Zealand Cup. He had been a good and close second to Van Dieman as a 4-year-old; sensationally collapsed the following year when a hot favourite, and second from 60 yards to Adorian the year before.
He was off 48 yards this time, but such was the quality of the field before him, Johnny Globe was only given a sentimental chance of winning, particularly as Rupee was among those off the front. The record of first starters during the first half century of the Cup was overwhelming and Rupee was among those along with the tough and in-form Denbry and the Australian champion Ribands, who would be handled by Sydney's Jack Watts from 18 yards for trainer Charlie Muddle.
The stellar field also included previous winners Adorian and Mobile Globe and subsequent winner Our Roger along with Soangetaha, Tactician, Vedette and an evergreen and notoriously unsound 8-year-old Young Charles. But Rupee dominated the discussions and 'Ribbonwood' summed it up in the NZ Trotting Calendar a week earlier..."With the possible exception of Indianapolis and Highland Fling, no pacer has arrived in Cup class with more convincing credentials than those held by Rupee." A 5-year-old horse by the NZ Derby winner Gold Chief and bred from a line of unnamed mares by Ashburton's Jack Grice, Rupee had won 10 of 12 starts going into the Cup and been most unlucky to have been beaten in the other two.
His unbeaten run had been ended the previous Easter at Addington, going down by half a head to Excelsa after being three-wide without cover for the last mile and pushed four and five-wide on the home turn. At the traditional Cup lead-up meeting in August, Rupee had made his Cup class rivals "look like hacks" in the Louisson, although Johnny Globe gave him a 60-yard start and was third, beaten less than three lengths. In the National Handicap however, Ruree and Doody Townley ran into a "copper-fastened pocket" and didn't get clear until the race was over, finishing third to Denbry and Our Roger with Young Charles fourth from 24 yards. The New Zealand Cup would be his next race.
Wrote Ribbonwood..."Rupee is a perfect beginner, as smooth a mover in the thick of a race or anywhere else for that matter as we have seen, nothing upsets him, and with any sort of run his dazzling brilliance should carry him through."
Rupee was selected to beat Ribands, who came to New Zealand with a record of 1:58.7 at Harold Park, which was only a fraction outside the world record of 1:58 3/5 for a half-mile track set by Hi Lo's Forbes in America the previous year, and proven two-miler Denbry, a son of 1941 Cup winner Josedale Grattan and a close relation maternally to the 1953 winner, Adorian.
The pre-race hype was about the height of Rupee's career however. He was unsound and raced just once more that season, beating Tactician in the Electric Stakes at Addington over Easter, and while he won fresh-up in the next two seasons, that was about all.
Rupee had been the hottest favourite on record in the Cup, carrying £4719 to win on-course compared to £1783 for the public's second elect, but sentimental favourite Johnny Globe. But when the dust had settled, Johnny Globe's win had been the most popular ever witnessed at Addington, surpassing the scenes when the grand old trotter Monte Carlo won the first Cup in 1904. Roll upon roll of cheering broke out some time before he reached the winning post and continued as he returned to the birdcage. Hundreds of people swarmed over the rails from the inside of the track and massed along the bircage fence to pay homage to the most idolised horse in light-harness history.
Wrote Ribbonwood..."World's record pacing figures of 4:07 3/5 were returned by the indomitable dynamo of character and courage, Johnny Globe, in wrestling New Zealand Cup honours from Young Charles and Rupee after the most scorching and thrilling stayers' epic in harness racing the world over. And his trainer/driver, D G Nyhan, richly deserved all the compliments and congratulations showered upon him. Nyhan had come in for some trenchant criticism of his driving of Johnny Globe in some of his past races. Whether it was all merited is of no moment now. On Tuesday, Don's handling of 'Johnny' was in every sense a masterpiece: the perfect understanding and harmony between horse and driver was an inspiration."
To put Johnny Globe's performance in perspective, the world record had belonged to Highland Fling at 4:10 3/5, an adjusted time from 60 yards, meaning the pace off the front in 1948 had been around 4:16. That time bettered Haughty's race and world record of 4:13 2/5, achieved in 1943 from 36 yards. The gross time in 1954 was 4:11 3/5, from which four seconds was deducted for Johnny Globe's 48-yard handicap.
Johnny Globe actually took six seconds to make up his handicap and was timed post-to-post in the "incredible" time of 4:05 3/5 - the fastest two miles ever recorded at that time was Greyhound's time-trial of 4:06 at the Indianapolis 'speedway' in 1939, when two-mile races for pacers and trotters were not actually uncommon in North America. Johnny Globe's time of 4:07 3/5 would remain the New Zealand Cup record for 26 years, until Hands Down recorded 4:07.2 in 1980, and the national two-mile record until metrics were introduced and then Young Quinn paced 4:06.7 for 3200m during the 1975 Inter-Dominions in Auckland.
Denbry and Ribands broke badly at the start and were soon out of it, while Rupee also tangled away, but soon recovered and took up the running from Star Rosa after half a mile, followed by Tactician, Young Charles, Our Roger, Laureldale, Petite Yvonne, Soangetaha, Thelma Globe, Adorian, Au Revoir and Johnny Globe. Tactician then took over down the back to maintain the pace and positions remained the same until Johnny Globe commenced a three-wide run with a lap to go.
He was sixth and wide at the half and fourth into line as Tactician swung for home from Young Charles and Rupee on the fence. Tactician soon caved in and Young Charles took over and momentarily looked like winning, as Rupee was denied a gap and had to swing to the outside of Johnny Globe. It made no difference though - Johnny Globe would not be denied and won by half a length over the brave Young Charles, with Rupee finishing on for third a half a length away, perhaps a little unlucky but having had his chance all the same, with a space back to Our Roger and the rest filing in with some difficulty. All the honours were however with Johnny Globe, who was decorated with a garland of flowers and paraded down the straight before "hundreds of his enthusiastic admirers who flocked round him, clapping and cheering him on his way."
"Not even in the United States, the acknowledged home and stronghold of the harness racehorse, has there ever been a distance race to compare with the sizzling marathon so bravely sealed by the dapper little personality horse from Templeton," wrote Ribbonwood.
Johnny Globe was by little Logan Derby, a champion son of Globe Derby, and he was his third consecutive grandson to score, following Springfield Globe's sons Mobile Globe and Adorian. He was from Sandfast, by Sandydale from the American pacing mare Slapfast, a yearling record-holder imported by Sir John McKenzie. Slapfast had been sent up for auction at Tattersalls in 1935 and brought only 12gns. She was eventually passed on to F E Ward of Pahiatua, who bred Sandfast and Johnny Globe.
Nyhan bought Johnny Globe as a 10-month-old colt for £50, and the Cup was his 26th win and took his earnings to £32,395 and close to Highland Fling's record of £32,920. Johnny Globe was far from finished though of course. Three-days later he toyed with the same field in the NZ Free-For-All, racing clear of Ribands, Laureldale, Petite Yvonne and Au Revoir, who finished almost in line but some distance from Johnny Globe. His 2:33 3/5 for the mile and a half from a stand broke his own national record of 2:34 and was one of just six such records he held at that point in time.
Later that season, Johnny Globe was a desperately unlucky second in the Inter-Dominion in Auckland, beaten a head by Tactician from the back mark of 48 yards. A star 4-year-old in Caduceus and Doug Watts had taken the field through the first mile and a half in a pedestrian 3:20 3/5, and Tactician's time of 4:19 3/5 from 18 yards reflected what had merely been a sprint for home. Johnny Globe, back on the fence at the half and checked by the galloping Our Roger soon after, went very wide for a run on the home turn and almost overcame the herculean task before him.
Johnny Globe would retire as a 9-year-old as the winner of 34 races (including a record 15 Free-For-Alls) from 99 starts and £42,887, a record for a standardbred of thoroughbred raced solely in New Zealand and only exceeded marginally by Captain Sandy. And he would sire from his first crop for the Nyhans the two-time New Zealand Cup winner and champion, Lordship, who would be the horse to rewrite most of his achievements and records.
Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 8Jun06
1954 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL
1953 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL
1950 NEW ZEALAND DERBY STAKES
Doris, who had been in private care in recent years with failing sight, would have been 95 next month, but she is survived by husband of 70-odd years Don, 97, and sons Barry 70 and Denis 68. Barry's son Grant has a young daughter, but whether the Nyhan name in harness racing continues beyond the sons and daughters of Barry and Denis remains to be seen. Grant drove a bit in his younger days but is no longer actively involved in the game, while Kim is a licenceholder at Motukarara and has the maiden Spiderman racing at the moment, and Margot is well established as a trainer with partner Peter Davis, but has no children.
Whatever the future holds in that respect, the Nyhans will be forever associated with two of the greatest names to have graced the sport - Johnny Globe and Lordship. As per usual, luck played a large part in the purchase of the first, but Doris owned Lordship after borrowing the U Scott mare Ladyship from the Haslett family and breeding her to Johnny Globe, at a time when the champion pacer was hardly getting a mare in his initial years at stud.
Johnny Globe would be leading sire in NZ for four consecutive years in the early 70s however, and Lordship would continue in the same vein and make the Nyhans' Globe Lodge at Templeton an influential and successful nursery for over three decades and through the 90s. Denis drove Lordship to win 45 races including two NZ Cups before becoming a successful trainer in his own right, with another champion Robalan among others, while Barry managed Globe Lodge for much of Lordship's many years at stud.
Doris was born in Petone to German immigrants, George and Louise Hublitz. "George managed the Gear (freezing) Works at Petone, and I'd say that's where Doris got much of her business acumen from," said Denis. "She was a very well-organised and strong-willed person, and provided the structure to the partnership, which allowed Dad to concentrate on being a horseman without worrying about the peripheral concerns. She provided the backbone of the family and the whole show - she was a quiet achiever while us fellows got the limelight. Behind the scenes she could work with horses as easily as she could give us orders. When it came to raising us, fair to say she was a very no nonsense mother, but she was also very fair," he added.
Don was the son of trainer Dan Nyhan, who won the 1909 Auckland Cup with his own horse Havoc and drove the 1913 winner Jewel Chimes. As a young man Don was working hard to get ahead at Ashurst in the Manawatu in the 1930s when he met Doris and married her in 1936. They soon had two sons, and to 'make ends meet' as a horse trainer Don would get up at 1.30am and do a milk run around Lower Hutt before training the horses at Hutt Park. Doris had no experience with horses when they met, but would often also make the journey to Hutt Park, which would involve her driving the horses over a narrow bridge 'with no sides'.
Their first big break came when Pahiatua breeder F E Ward gave Nyhan a horse to train called Gold Flight. He was a son of Rey de Oro and Slapfast, a mare who had taken a yearling record in America of 2.22 1/4 in 1925 and had been imported soon after by Sir John McKenzie. Slapfast never grew and proved of little account however, and McKenzie sold her for a princely 12 guineas and she wound up with Ward, who had a bad back and needed a driving horse to get around as opposed to a motor vehicle.
After having some success with Slapfast at shows, and given her imported pedigree, Ward was encouraged to breed her to the successful sire Rey de Oro, who had moved to a Central Districts stud in his twilight years. "Gold Flight was a really good, fine looking horse and won around £3000 which was a lot of money during the war years," recalls Denis. Long-time NZ Trotting Calendar editor Karl Scott had been the agent in selling Slapfast to Ward, and subsequently held the little-known sire Sandydale on lease for a season at stud. After persuading Ward to send his mare to Sandydale, Slapfast produced a filly Sandfast which showed Nyhan a promising mile in 2.10 as as 2-year-old in 1942.
Nyhan decided she was worth putting aside to strengthen, but she got out of her paddock and into a nearby swamp, and was discovered buried in a bog up to her neck. After enlisting the help of some boys to get a rope around Sandfast she was saved, but she was never the same after the strain, and she was retired after one unforgettable race. Sandfast first had a colt by the Jack Potts horse Conflagrate, but she killed that one, before producing a colt by the supremely tough Globe Derby horse Logan Derby, who had also moved into the area to stand at stud not long after retiring from a long and grand racing career.
When Ward's wife passed away and he decided to return to his homeland of England, he offered the Logan Derby-Sandfast colt to the Nyhans. Don was not at all impressed with the pot-bellied and worm ridden weanling though, and also in the back of his mind was a desire to move his family to a new property in Canterbury. Out of sentimentality spurred by Gold Flight, Doris decided to hand over £50 she had been saving towards a fur coat, or "so the story goes, according to Don".
Intending to build the colt up with a view to selling and recouping the outlay, Don had a change of heart when he broke the colt in at 10 months and he showed him a half mile in a remarkable 66. The Nyhans had moved to Templeton by the time Johnny Globe won the 1950 Timaru Nursery 2YO Stakes, and the rest as they say is history. While troubled by his feet for much of his career, the legacy of standing around in swampy ground as a foal, Johnny Globe careered away with the NZ and Great Northern Derbys and almost tore off the NZ Cup the next season, at a time when only two other 4-year-olds had even attempted the race, some three decades prior. Johnny Globe was the leading stakewinner that season though with 8 wins and over £9000, and the stake for his close second to Van Dieman in the £7500 Cup alone was more than enough to build a good house.
Starting a hot favourite for the Cup the next year, Johnny Globe collapsed soon after the start and almost died, while the next year he was a certainty beaten when second to Adorian after losing 60 yards in an early skirmish. Having his fourth attempt as a 7-year-old in 1954, little 'Johnny' was given little chance from 48 yards with the likes of the brilliant Rupee off the front, but he would not be denied this day and returned to scenes never before or since witnessed at Addington. At the time wrote 'Ribbonwood' ..."World record pacing figures of 4.07 3/5 were returned by the indomitable dynamo of character and courage, Johnny Globe, in wrestling NZ Cup honours from Young Charles and Rupee after the most scorching and thrilling stayers' epic in harness racing the world over. And his trainer/driver, D G Nyhan, richly deserved all the compliments and congratulations showered upon him. Nyhan had come in for some trenchant criticism of his driving of Johnny Globe in some of his past races. Whether it was all merited is of no moment now. On Tuesday, Don's handling of 'Johnny' was in every sense a masterpiece: the perfect understanding and harmony between horse and driver was an inspiration."
Johnny Globe would retire as a 9-year-old as the winner of 34 races (including a record 15 FFAs) from 99 starts and £42,887, a record for a standardbred or thoroughbred raced solely in NZ. He was officially farewelled at Addington in December, 1956, when a huge crowd emotionally cheered and sang as a band played 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home'.
And as if one champion in a lifetime was not enough, not long after he sired another for the Nyhans in Lordship, who through the 60s would win two NZ Cups and rewrite many of his sire's records, including stakemoney and FFA races won. "Johnny Globe was not a very fashionably bred horse at the time - he suffered the prejudice against 'colonial-breds' even though his grandam was imported. He got four mares in his first season and sired (top 2YO and aged trotter) Au Fait and half a dozen mares in his second. But after siring Lordship and then when Adios came along, he started to earn some respect."
Sandydale was by Abbedale, the sire of Hal Dale, in turn the sire of Adios and grandsire of Meadow Skipper, while Logan Derby was by Globe Derby from a Logan Pointer mare and would sire other great pacers and trotters in spite of suffering similar prejudices at stud both here and in Australia. "He was really a horse born ahead of his time, and then you threw a U Scott mare into the picture to get Lordship, and it didn't really get any better. That's when horses were horses - I don't care what people say about the breed today."
Nyhan also recalls how easy it would have been for his Mother to sell Lordship to Australia "for colossal money" after he'd won his first race - the Welcome Stakes. There was a Captain Taylor buying up every good horse going at the time and he offered £6000, which would have been enough to buy the biggest and flashest house in Christchurch. Later there were lots of offers to go to Australia and America for that matter, but Lordship never left the country, because of her the best interests of the horse and the family came first."
Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 11Jul07
The death occurred in Christchurch last Sunday of Don Nyhan. Aged 99, Nyhan gained fame and respect for developing two champions - Johnny Globe and Lordship. After long and successful years on the track, they became premier sires.
Johnny Globe was champion sire four times from 1969/70 to 1972/73, and Lordship headed the list in 1979/80, and followed that by leading the broodmare list on four occasions.
Don bought Johnny Globe as a foal for his late wife Doris for £50 from the horse's Pahiatua breeder, F E Ward. He had trained his dam Sandfast for Ward, and knew she had ability after a time trial over a mile in 2.10 at Hutt Park as a 2-year-old. Johnny Globe became a crowd favourite, winning the 1954 NZ Cup from 48 yards in 4.07 3/5, which was a world record. He retired with 34 wins from 99 starts, 15 of them free-for-alls, and four world records. He was given an official farewell at Addington in December, 1956.
From the stately Globe Derby Lodge, Nyhan produced Lordship to follow in his footsteps. He won 45 races from 137 starts, and his stake earnings of $115,190 were easily a record for a thoroughbred or standardbred. He won two NZ Cups, 16 free-for-alls, and among his stock was the great Lord Module.
Among many other fine performers he trained were Dresden Lady, Gold Flight, Vagas, Au Fait, Lords and Koarakau.
DAVID McCARTHY writing in The Press 31Oct09
Obituaries of leading horsemen often rely on lists. Lists of races won, top horses trained, trophies on the mantlepiece. After 80 years working with horses however, Don Nyhan, who died in Christchurch last week in his 100th year, was always associated with just two names - Johnny Globe and Lordship.
The two most popular pacers to grace Addington in the last six decades, their reputation was partly a reflection of the values of the of the Nyhan family itself and the esteem they earned from the racing public. Nyhan and Doris, his late wife and best friend of 70 years, were ornaments of the trotting world in its peak years, respectively racing Johnny Globe and Lordship.
Modest winners, gracious losers, their focus unaffected by success, their chief enjoyment was the friends they made in racing. They loved their horses, valued their family and devoted their lives to both. No breath of scandal ever touched the horses housed at the immaculate Globe Lodge in Templeton. The Addington public clutching their precious 10 shillings each way ticket knew they would at least get a run for their money from the horses in the black, pink-crossed sashes and sleeves, black cap.
Don Nyhan was born in Petone, the son of Dan, a successful horse trainer from Ireland, and was raised in surrounding districts. In Wellington he met Doris, the attractive and stylish daughter of family friends who had never been to a race meeting. They were married a few years later. Within a short time Doris was driving the team in fast work while Don rose at 1.30am each day for his milk round before his day's work horse training. Even in recent years few birds were singing when Don Nyhan arrived at the stables and 8pm could count as a late night for the couple. They shifted to Canterbury in 1948, first to West Melton and later Templeton.
Visiting a client returning to England one Sunday in the late 1940s, Nyhan was offered a colt from a mare which he had trained. He later described him as "a mean-looking little coot with a poor coat who had been in swamps too long". When asked about his value he replied "nothing". Doris liked him though, and emptied her fur-coat fund to take him home for £50. The colt, Johnny Globe was to pay for a lot of fur coats, winning 34 races, an unprecedented 15 free-for-alls, and a stakes-earning record of all codes in New Zealand at a time when a Cup win could buy a farm.
His win in the 1954 NZ Cup in world record time was one of the most exciting in the long history of the race. Two years before he had pulled up as a distressed favourite. For a few dramatic minutes he hovered close to death and "you could literally see the life draining from him" an eye-witness related. An emergency high-risk dose of adrenalin restored the blood flow and within 24 hours he was back to normal. As horse stories go, Seabiscuit had nothing on Johnny Globe.
After the 1954 Cup, fans on the inside of the course rushed the track amidst unforgettable scenes of affection for the great horse. Others were cheered after big races, but only Johnny Globe was cheered and applauded before them. Partly because of his head harness, the dapper little champion appeared to nod to the public in appreciation and the natural showman soon learned the ploy for further applause.
"John" as he was known, was only not human in that he could not speak, according to Don Nyhan. Even as an older stallion he allowed children to ride him bareback without complaint, and when Doris spent up to two hours at a time bathing his troublesome feet, he would rest his head on her shoulder while she read her book. When Johnny Globe made his farewell appearance, thousands sang 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' and club president Allan Matson expressed the hope "he will leave one as good as himself".
Retired to stud at Globe Lodge and with barely 10 mares booked to him in his first year because of a bias against New Zealand-bred stallions, he fulfilled that dream by producing Lordship, bred by Doris Nyhan. Twice winner of the NZ Cup and with 45 wins in all, he was an even greater stud success than Johnny Globe had been.
Don Nyhan trained many other top horses - all with a story - yet the father and son champions dominate memories of his achievements. He worked them hard in the old fashioned way but treated them with great respect.
A noted raconter, his stories of older days in racing never varied in the telling. He had to miss the departure of so many contemporaries in recent years but kept good health until near the end. His older son, Barry, ran the Globe Lodge breeding operation and the younger, Denis, set on the path to success by being given the drive on Lordship as a youth, was to later win his own NZ Cup with Robalan.
Don Nyhan took the one big opportunity life gave him and turned it into a small industry. That he did that without any loss to his reputation or friendships in a tough business was a true measure of his long life.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 29Oct09