Famed for winning an impressive 2479 races, including the record breaking 1989 Japan Cup, meet former champion jockey and sustainable farmer, Lance O’ Sullivan, on our Inspiring New Zealand trip. 

Story by Lance O’Sullivan, champion race horse jockey.

I’ve done a lot of traveling through horseracing, but there is no place more beautiful than New Zealand. Not only will guests visiting our house witness beautiful views of Lake Karapiro, but they’ll get to learn more about life on our farm and about our family business, The Red Barn, where they’ll enjoy a private lunch.

Alongside my wife Bridgette and my teenage daughters, I am extremely hands on with the business. I have planted more than 12,000 trees in the last five years, having physically dug many of the holes myself. My daughters join us on the farm at the weekends and help with the weddings that are hosted at the Red Barn. We’ve been holding events here since 2008 and usually host three weddings a weekend.

The farm itself is land for wildlife. We kill nothing and make sure we find a home for every calf each year. Guests can get involved themselves and help at the milking shed or learn to flavor their own butter, while taking in 360-degree views of the stunning Waikato region.

I’ve done a lot of traveling, personally and with my career, and there really is no place like New Zealand. We only have a small population but we punch far above our weight in terms of our size and sporting teams!

Lance’s Top Tips for New Zealand:

  1. You must head to Queenstown. No matter what time of year you can’t beat the scenery or vineyards there!
  2. Local people are very friendly in New Zealand, particularly out in the rural communities. Don’t be afraid to chat and learn more about local life.

Related journey: Inspiring New Zealand.