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The Nelson Photo News



People and Their Hobbies

Twenty years ago at a meeting of the Nelson Trotting Club, Bill Manseli was asked by his father and brother-in-law to take a share in a horse they had just bought. Thus began an association with horses that has provided Bill Mansell with an absorbing and inexpensive hobby. Normally, horse owning and training is not inexpensive, hobby or not, but Bill says he's been lucky with the horses he's had, and has, and they've paid their way. At the moment, in association with Mr "Snow" Campbell, Bill has nine horses, but not all are being worked. On his property at Richmond, which includes his own training track below the house, Bill rises at 5 am and works his horses before leaving for work. When he returns home, there's more work for him, but like every enthusiastic hobbyist, the work is something of a labour of love. Bill's greatest success has been with the mare, Unreal. Last year she started 19 times and was placed 10 times. His first real love, however, was Elizabeth Dee, who gave him four placings in four starts at the 1962 meeting at Hokitika.

At left is Bill with Unreal and Mecca Scott and below, both get a workout on the track.


Bill Mansell has also been as successful in other sports as he has in the trotting world and for that reason we've also made him our Sportsman of the Month. The sport in which he distinguished himself most was bike racing. He commenced riding at the age of 14 and continued for 12 years before retiring. In that period, however, he represented Nelson in Hope Gibbons, Hester Shield and other major events and rode for a couple of years in Westport, also, when he lived there. He's also played Rugby (for Rivals) and soccer, for Athletic. Add to this his success in the light harness sport, and it can be seen that Bill is a versatile sportsman. He told us that horses are like athletes -they must be kept fit and trained sensibly. He has applied his own training methods to his horses and his success is surely proof of those methods.


Bill with some of his trophies


As a young cyclist


Elizabeth Dee at Hokitika where she gained a first, second, third and fourth


Unreal winning the Buller Handicap at Westport in December 1966