Bidders at a fundraising event to help young Te Awamutu athletes on to the world stage can look forward to an impressive array of auction items.
Cornerstone Trust supporter Martin McTamney passed away last year, but his legacy lives on.
The top lot in this year's Cornerstone Trust fundraising auction is a Karaka 2020 package, sponsored by New Zealand Bloodstock.
The unique auction offering is in "payment" for an oak sapling organised by Martin.
It was grown from an acorn taken from the oak tree (planted at Timaru Boy's High) which was presented to gold medallist Jack Lovelock at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Martin negotiated a trade when the acorns he received from Timaru were successfully propagated by Growing Spectrum at Kihikihi.
In return New Zealand Bloodstock has arranged a weekend (January 25-26) prize for this year's Cornerstone auction on Friday, November 29.
The successful bidder and a friend will be a guest at the Karaka Million Twilight Race Meeting and VIP cocktail function at Ellerslie on January 25.
Accommodation for the evening is at SkyCity Grand Hotel.
The following day the two guests will be able to enjoy day one of the National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka. Lunch and beverages are included, in the Phar Lap room at the Karaka sales pavilion.
A VIP tour of the Karaka Sales Centre with a New Zealand Bloodstock member will give visitors an insight into the rich history of thoroughbred racing, breeding and owning.
A shuttle service is provided between the hotel and Karaka.
Organisers say Martin would be thrilled to know the auction lot would benefit local athletes competing on the world stage.
Another of the Lovelock oak saplings has recently been planted alongside Hamilton Lake, a short walk from Martin and Lyn McTamney's home,
It has an accompanying plaque which explains the background of the tree and the tireless work carried out by Martin to support the Cornerstone Trust.
Racing royalty will be visiting Te Awamutu on November 29. New Zealand Sports and New Zealand Racing hall-of-famer Lance O'Sullivan ONZM is guest speaker at this year's Cornerstone Trust luncheon.
His track record is impressive even by international standards. It includes 12 premierships and 2479 wins over his 23-year career. Lance's biggest win as a jockey was the 1989 Japan Cup on champion mare Horlicks, breaking the world record for 2400m.
For two decades, he was the country's leading rider. When he retired, aged 39, he said there was nothing else to prove.
He puts his success down to resilience and the ability to perform under pressure.
"You have to be mentally tough. You also have to be a bit of a mongrel." In recognition of his amazing career in 2003 he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to thoroughbred racing.
Today he still rises early and heads to the family's Wexford stables in Matamata, which was started by his father Dave in 1961.
As a trainer Lance admits the satisfaction he gets from seeing horses win is far greater than when he was riding. He says this is mostly because he now has a better appreciation of all the work put into preparation of a horse.
As well as overseeing the day-to-day business operation, he is actively involved with the yearling selections and puts his riding expertise to good use on the training track.
But at 56 he is also looking to the future when he can spend more time working on his property.
Lance lives at Rockspring, a 200ha dairy farm at Piarere in the Hinuera valley, with his wife Bridgette, who was formerly a racing ambassador.
Their business 'Red Barn' sits high on the property, overlooking the valley and beyond to the Kaimai ranges. It has become a popular wedding and function centre.
The couple have two daughters, Georgia and Caitlin.
At the Cornerstone Trust luncheon Lance will be interviewed by colourful racing commentator George Simon.
Well known for his humour, George will entertain the crowd while he finds out more about the champion jockey.
This year 18 grants totalling $29,400 have been presented to participants in sports as diverse as lacrosse, touch, cycling, bowls, athletics, rugby, rowing and dance.
As well as the Karaka 2020 package, other auction items include:
•Two pieces of memorabilia signed by 2019 Bathurst 1000 Champion and back-to-back Champion of Australia Supercars Scott McLaughlin and team.
•Rugby ball and book signed by rugby legend, the late Sir Colin Meads.
•Bart book signed by racing legends (and rivals) the late Bart Cummings and Gai Waterhouse.
•Framed, signed Canada Rugby World Cup jersey.
•Memorabilia from Kiwi rower Robbie Manson.
•Shirt signed by world class shearer Sir David Fagan.
•Colin De Grandhomme cricket shirt, signed by the 2019 New Zealand team.
•New Zealand Bowls jacket donated by former grant recipient and Commonwealth games bowler Lynda Bennett.
If you are unable to attend the luncheon, but would like to bid on the Karaka 2020 package contact Cornerstone Trustee Jeanette Ballantyne (email@example.com or phone 07 871 3430) prior to the event.