Honkin Vision Put Down

Honkin Vision Put Down

Bruce Stewart

Former Southland  juvenile star Honkin Vision has been laid to rest at his owner’s farm just north of Invercargill.

Vin Devery knew the thirty three year old wouldn’t make it through another winter and had to make the decision to have the horse put down.

“His health was deteriorating. Normally he’d pick himself up in the summer enough to do okay in the winter but I felt he wasn’t going to this time,” Devery said.

The son of Honkin Andy set the 1988 – 1989 season alight when he became the first two year old to win over $250,000 in one season.

“That was a huge amount in those days.”

Vin bred the pacer after his brother, well-known trained Alan Devery, sold him the horse’s dam Frosty Vision with a positive test to Honkin Andy for $7,000.

The big leggy colt was broken in by Branxholme trainer Kirk Larsen before heading to Vin’s barn.

“I actually had him sold but he didn’t pass the vet.”

Honkin Vision debuted at Ascot Park in 17th December 1988 running second to Superliner and  beaten by a length and a half.

“He’s was underdone for that run.”

That was the first and only time the fledging starraced in Vin’s colours.

“I went on holiday at Christmas and sent him out to Alan and Henry to look after. When I got back they said ‘he’s too bloody good for you’ (laughter) and he stayed there.”

Four weeks later under the care of training partnership Alan Devery and Henry Skinner, Honkin Vision annihilated a field of two year olds at Ascot Park, winning by 35 lengths. He then ventured to Oamaru winning the Juvenile Stakes before he headed to Auckland where he won his first Group race – The Group Two DB Draught Mobile Pace running the 1700 metres in 2-04.7 – a mile rate of 1-58.2.

He then came home and won the Kindergarten Stakes, beating Popsicle by 13 lengths in 3-07.9 on a bitterly cold day. The time was a new race and track record.

His two biggest wins came later that season when he won the $145,000 Group One Cigna Insurance Sires Stakes and the $150,000 Group One Benson and Hedges Championship both at Alexandra Park.

“The most memorable moment for me was winning the Benson and Hedges.”

He finished the season having won eight of his eleven starts and only finishing out of the money once. His winnings for the season were $250,630. At the New Zealand Trotting Awards later that season he was named New Zealand Two Year Old Pacer of the Year.

He won a further six races as a three year old including a heat of the Sires Stakes in 1-56.8 at Ashburton. He went on to win the $150,000 Group One Sires Stakes Final and also won the Group Two John Branson Three Year Old Championship beating Christopher Vance. He beat the same horse in the second leg of the Triple Crown – the Flying Stakes before running sixth in the New Zealand Derby won by Winning Blue Chip. He was named Three Year Old Pacer of the Year at the end of the season.

He was winless at four, having  only three starts and at five he won another two races including the Firestone Eurosteels Free for All when driven by Denis Nyhan. After running second to Millie’s Brother in the Monsanto Free for All, Nyhan took over the training of Honkin Vision.

He end his racing career with 16 wins for stakes of $510,395.

“We were watching some of his videos the other night and the commentator said Henry had told him he was the best horse he’d trained and driven. Henry never told me that.”

Devery is certainly experiencing the ups and down of the industry at the moment. He’s enjoying watching Amazing Dream, which he bred, winning against both sexes in age group racing and has a full brother to Amazing Dream which qualified at Winton recently for trainer Kirk Larsen.

Special Dream (full-brother to Amazing Dream)

Unfortunately a filly he bred with the late Alan Blacker had to be withdrawn from last month’s National Sales in Christchurch after she developed sesamoiditis in one leg.

“I really liked her. She’ll be x-rayed at Christmas before we decide what to do with her.”

Despite the loss of his good mate Honkin Vision Vin Devery remains positive and still has plenty to look forward to in harness racing.

Honkin Vision

(Honkin Andy – Frosty Vision)

Owners: Vin and Daphne Devery

Trainers: Henry Skinner and Alan Devery

  • As a two year old he won 8 of his 11 starts and banked $250,630 – his biggest season as a racehorse.
  • From 43 starts Honkin Vision won 16 races for stakes of $510,395.
  • He was driven to win by Henry Skinner (14) and Denis Nyhan (2).
  • He won over half his races at either Addington (6) or Alexandra Park (3)
  • His biggest win was in the Benson and Hedges Championship which he won $91,750.00.
  • He also won the Sire Stakes Three Year Old Championship the following season.
  • He won two Group Three races, three Group Two and three Group One races.
  • As an aged horse his biggest win was in the 1991 Firestone FFA at Addington.
  • He was crowned Two year old of his year (1988/1989)
  • He was also Three year old of the year in the 1989/1990 season.