Butcher to compete in World Drivers Champs

03:16 AM 02 Sep 2012 NZST
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Annette Hudson of the Les Girls Number 2
Annette Hudson of the Les Girls Number 2 - Syndicate embraces David Butcher after De Lovely's win.
Duane Ranger photo

Cambridge harness racing driver David Butcher will become very familiar with the French language in June next year, as he has been selected to represent New Zealand in the prestigious 2013 World Driving Championship, in France. The championship will run from June 7 to June 15.

Harness Racing New ZealandĀ Board Chairman, Gary Allen, offered some kind words in support of Butcher's selection.

"The Board selected David Butcher for the 2013 World Drivers Championship on the basis of his continued excellence as a driver over an extended period of time. It is our belief that he is well and truly worthy of this tremendous opportunity."

With 1,872 career wins and 34 Group 1 wins in New Zealand alone, David Butcher's talent as a driver is beyond dispute and he has been at the very top of his sport for a long time.

From his early days as a record setting junior driver to his modern day success behind the likes of top performers Elsu, Changeover, Gaelic Skipper, Smooth Performer, De Lovely, Lauraella, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Mr Metallica and Tintin In America, Butcher has excelled.

Topping 100 wins in a season for the last three seasons further enhanced his reputation as one New Zealand's top tier drivers and was compelling proof that he is worthy of wearing the black colours with the silver fern in France.

Butcher will be seeking to emulate the feats of Kevin Holmes (1978), Robert Cameron (1983), Tony Herlihy (1985), Maurice McKendry (1991) and Mark Jones (2001) who are New Zealand's five previous winners of the championship.

Butcher was made aware of his selection in a special presentation at the North Island Harness Racing Awards held in Auckland last (Saturday) night.

by Andrew MORRIS

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