Hugh first rode a motorcycle on his mother's farm when he was nine. By the time he was twelve he was riding his older brother's bike, at fourteen he rode a motorbike to school in Huntly, at seventeen he rode in his first dirt bike event with a self-built bike and won every race with the same determination that was to take him to many victories and by twenty years old he was doing the same in road races.
After winning a host of New Zealand races and titles and three British titles , Hugh went on to claim four world championships on 50cc and 125cc Suzukis. Hugh won the 125cc World Championship in 1963 and 1965 and the 50cc in 1963 and 1964.
He would start 68 World Championship races and win 24 of them and gained 48 podium positions along the way before retiring from road racing in 1966 after the Japanese Grand Prix, much to the Suzuki factory's surprise.
Hugh returned to race off road bikes. He was offered a contract by Suzuki to race their MX machines, but decided to be a development rider for them and turning down the offer of a full ride. He then decided to take on the International Motocross circuit in Europe riding CZ machines he finished in top four positions in over forty races in Europe. He returned to race in New Zealand and was a top racer and multi New Zealand Motocross Champion before retiring in 1973 aged 37 in 1973.
However Hugh soon returned to racing. In the late 1970's and early 1980's he was one of the people who would set up the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register. He also continued to ride in many road race events riding the Ken McIntosh built Vincent racer at many modern events around New Zealand. He also returned to racing in classic machines, winning in Holland and Australia .
In 2008 he set his fastest ever lap around Pukekohe race track at age 72.
In 2014 Hugh published his autobiography “Being There”.
Hugh lives in Hamilton with his wife of many years Janny.
Prepared for the MNZ Hall of Fame by Ian Dawson / Fast Kiwi Media