Tony Herlihy, New Zealand’s most successful harness driver, was born in 1958 and grew up in Te Awamutu. His uncle, Arnie Gadsby, trained horses in Auckland and, from the age of 10, Tony would visit to help out. He worked for his uncle and several other trainers after leaving school and began driving.
He married Susan Purdon and, with her brother Mark, bought a property at Ardmore. Initially he was doing the driving but later bought out the partnership and got his trainer license. The couple had up to 30 horses in training while Tony maintained his driving. He has driven over 2000 winners and won almost every major harness racing event.
Tony Herlihy was inducted into the Te Awamutu Walk of fame in 2007.