Day At The Track

CEO acknowledges ATC president’s passing

03:21 PM 12 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Kerry Hoggard cuts the ribbon on the display suite
Kerry Hoggard cuts the ribbon on the display suite earlier this year, with Colliers International representatives – marking the start of Alexandra Park’s urban village development.

“Kerry Hoggard’s sad and sudden passing is a huge loss for the New Zealand harness industry, the country’s business community, and his beloved Auckland Trotting Club,” says Dominique Dowding, chief executive of Alexandra Park today.

Ms Dowding’s comments follow news that Mr Hoggard passed away yesterday. He was the current president of the Auckland Trotting Club – a role he’d held since 2013, and was vice-president from 2010. He had been on the club’s board since 2004 and was a member for 16 years.

“He was a visionary and a commercial genius. He was absolutely loyal to the club and completely committed to harness racing in New Zealand. Kerry’s work and focus was all about helping the families involved in harness racing get ahead and achieve their dreams.”

She says as a long-time harness racing administrator, Mr Hoggard understood the need for club consolidation in New Zealand and was at the forefront of driving positive change for the industry. At Alexandra Park he was also hugely successful at lifting stake levels to some of the highest in the country.

“We are so incredibly sad. Kerry backed his board and they completely backed him. He commanded respect from the members, our patrons, owners and breeders because he was literally one of them.”

Ms Dowding says Mr Hoggard was at the forefront of the collective vision to make the Auckland Trotting Club completely financially self-sustainable so it could rely less on income derived from racing.

“He was committed to securing a strong financial future for Auckland Trotting Club Inc to ensure it would continue racing throughout this century– something it has been doing since 1890 with the club celebrating 125 years of harness racing in Auckland this year.”

A key part of that vision is the development of a comprehensive new urban village in part of the club’s carpark on Green Lane West. Earthworks ahead of construction have just begun, with residents set to move in from 2017. Another component of the club’s vision currently under construction is a new training centre and headquarters for Super 15 rugby franchise, The Blues.

“As well as all the governance and management changes he’s overseen to improve how we operate as a commercial business and sector leader, the fact that so much construction is currently underway at Alexandra Park is testament to Kerry’s view that if harness racing was to survive and grow in New Zealand’s largest city, we needed to change. At Alexandra Park, these fundamental changes will be his ongoing legacy.”

Kerry Hoggard was also one of New Zealand’s most successful businessmen. For half a century he was involved in FERNZ later to be known as Nufarm - a company he helped grow from a small local fertiliser firm to a publicly-listed entity with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales.

Ms Dowding says the Auckland Trotting Club’s AGM on 29 October will be dedicated to Kerry Hoggard and all that he has achieved for our club and harness racing across New Zealand, as well as the club reaffirming its determination to deliver the vision that Mr Hoggard drove.

“Our thoughts and love are with his wife Marilyn, son Andrew, and family at this time,” says Ms Dowding. 



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