Vale Jim O'Connor
Jim often said he had devoted most of his life to the racing industry, and he was not speaking lightly.
He was well known as a rails bookmaker, but it was in the area of Thoroughbred breeding that he really made his mark.
The success of Milluna Stud had a huge impact on SA's status as a breeding centre in the 1960-70s, when the State led the way in breeding top-quality Thoroughbreds.
His first stallion at stud was Red Rumour, quickly followed up by Oh Hello, and the Irish horse Hot Spark. After lengthy negotiations he bought his best sire, Twig Moss, which became renowned throughout Australia as a first-class producer of winners. Jim's other sires included Hunka Papa, New Regent, Damister and Bellwater.
Jim served on the committee of the SA Bloodhorse Breeders Association (now the SA Thoroughbred Breeders Association) for 16 years, and was made a life member of that organisation in recognition of his contribution. He was also a life member of the bookmakers association, and he served on the committee of the South Australian Jockey Club, being involved with every separate sub-committee.
His involvement with racing spanned all three codes - he started his ownership career with harness-racers and owned a few successful greyhounds.
His best racehorse was Farmer's Daughter, which won two Oaks as a three-year-old, and took-out the South Australian Sires Produce Stakes. It was the sale of Farmer's Daughter to America which financed Jim's venture into breeding - she paid for the purchase of Milluna Stud.
Jim also developed strong business ties with Asia through his racing contacts, particularly with racing identity and Singapore Turf Club committee-man Nam Seng Yong.
Jim was awarded an AM in 1989 for his services to the racing industry.