Owner of the Month – April 2017

PUBLISHED: 10 May 2017


Having been in racing since 1960 and owned some of the really great horses to race in this country, Mary is one of the “grand dames” of South African racing whose passion for the sport is as strong as ever.

“I married into racing,” she said, and after the death of her first husband, the late Herman Brown – father of leading South African trainer Herman Brown senior and grandfather of Herman Brown junior now training overseas – she married the late John Liley who had been involved in jump racing in New Zealand.

They bought New Zealand horses to race in South Africa including great horses like Bold Monarch, Sun Monarch and the horse she believed was the best she ever owned, Be Noble.

After John died Mary sold off her breeding mares and with Tony Rivalland as her trainer continued racing her horses. “I am still racing and still buying horses and still enjoying it” Mary quipped and, as it seems, still having success.

During the month, four of her horses won five races on the polytrack at Greyville which was an outstanding single-month achievement for an owner.

Well done Mary

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