Day At The Track

Kimberly Butt, “It just wasn’t feasible”

12:00 PM 23 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Kimberly Butt,Harness racing
HRNZ photo

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk   

Wedding plans for a well-known racing couple have been put on hold, and Covid-19 is the reason why.

Canterbury-based driver-trainers Kimberly Butt and Jonny Cox had put a circle around April 17, at Darfield’s Bangor Farm. Now that’s off and been rescheduled, with fingers crossed, to October 9.

The decision, Kimberly Butt says was ultimately straight-forward “It just puts a lot of people at ease, it just wasn’t feasible.”

The problem is two-fold. 140 people were on the invite list and large gatherings of people are a no-no at the moment because of the Corona Virus outbreak.

The other revolves around her dad, Anthony Butt, who’s based in Australia and facing lengthy periods of self- isolation if he travels.

“There was no pressure to postpone but he’s a big part of it so it would be rude not to and it was just easier to call it off now.”

Anthony Butt and his partner Sonya Smith live in Sydney and prepare a big team owned by high profile entrepreneurs Emilio and Mary Rosati at Menangle.

As he’s based in Australia he needs to self- isolate for 14 days when he arrives, and then do the same across the Tasman on his return. 

“He’s just too busy training and driving, it’s not so viable.”

Before moving across the Tasman, Butt was best known for his association with star trotter Lyell Creek (34 wins) and his three New Zealand Cups with Flashing Red  (2006-07) and Blossom Lady  (1992).

Kimberly Butt is the fourth generation of her family to be involved in racing, dating back to her great grandfather and seven times leading trainer Wes Butt in the 1940-60s.     

The couple have been together for five years with about a dozen horses in work at their Dunsandel stables, 30 minutes south of Christchurch.

Currently Butt has 114 wins from 1430 drives, since reining her first winner in 2014.  

By October she’s hoping the Corona Virus crisis will be over.  She’s not alone there.

Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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