Farmer with eyes set on RWC 201513:08:00, Tue 17 Mar 2015 Kirstie Nisbett
With four sons playing top-level rugby, Braeden and Caroline Whitlock must have great genes to produce such a high achieving sporting family. Working a 700-hectare farm, milking 1800 dairy cows and with a small group of standardbred broodmare pacers, it is any wonder they find the time to watch their sons play a bit of footy.
Travel is far from foreign to the Whitelocks, whether it’s heading away to the trots or watching their boys play rugby. Their horse breeding all started back in the 1980s and had horses that came from the same bloodlines. Their fillies have been as successful as their rugby fanatic sons, with their most successful pacer OBaby winning four Group 1 races. This has meant plenty of time away from their farm and Braeden states that “these excursions abroad wouldn’t be possible without the help of Brent Pocock and wife Nicola”, who manage the big farm when the Whitelock’s travel to race meetings and rugby occasions.
With their official Rugby World Cup package booked with All Blacks Tours for 2015, Whitelock said there is plenty to look forward to aside from the obvious. Heading away with some good friends, they plan to travel Europe and are excited at the prospect of experiencing different cultures that are so different to their regular lifestyle in Linton. Highlights include the phenomenal theatre shows at the West End and the array of attractions and history England in particular holds. “With The Webb Ellis Cup in mind, we cannot forget that the ultimate reason will be to watch and support the All Blacks”.
With thousands of people set to head to England for the cup, there’s no doubt that the Whitelocks are looking forward to the trip, with the hope that one of four sons is certain to be picked in the team for Rugby World Cup. Braeden is always thinking about the rural side of life and says the trip is “a great opportunity for farmers to network with people that are potential customers and farmers, and also a great way to see how people deal with urbanisation and rural issues we are being faced with now”.
Speaking with Braeden, it was hard not to notice the humility that this well-known family has and he says “being able to travel with like-minded people is all part of the excitement, although its great to meet the Welsh and the English.” Whitelock says “not only does All Blacks Tours take the logistics’ out of the picture, offering competitive prices, their tour staff are hand picked to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.”
Official Rugby World Cup 2015 Travel Packages are available from allblackstours.com or by calling 0800 87 2011.