The racing industry is mourning the passing of Byerley Park trainer Shane Hapeta, who died suddenly on Sunday night.

A talented horseman, Hapeta was the son of former jockey Barry Hapeta and the youngest of five children.

Hapeta left school at the age of 15 to work for trainer Margaret Bull where he took out his apprentice jockey's licence.

"Shane started his apprenticeship with Margaret and he came up to me when he was about 17 and finished his apprenticeship here," Pukekohe trainer Richard Collett said.

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"He didn't do a lot of riding and ended up riding jumpers before he went to Japan to work.

"He worked for me and was my foreman and when I got up to 50 in work we trained in partnership," Collett said. "He was a very good horseman."

Among the horses Hapeta prepared in partnership with Collett was Group Two winner Cog Hill, who also placed in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).

Collett and Hapeta trained in partnership for three successful seasons before Shane and wife Julie established Hapeta Racing in 2009, where they trained publicly as well as breaking and pre-training.

With 123 winners to his credit, 47-year-old Hapeta is survived by Julie and sons Michael and Patrick.

- NZ Racing Desk