Harness racing received a very positive boost in New Zealand Friday morning when TVNZ Breakfast hosts, Toni Street and Rawdon Christie, aired a special segment that was shot at Alexandra Park.
Two months earlier TVNZ had a live interview with harness drivers Todd Mitchell and James Stormont. Video was shown where Stormont fell from his sulky when he horse went down during a race and was trapped in the race bike as his horse ran loose on the track. Mitchell, who was also in the accident, recovered and was able to chase down Stormont’s horse and save him from much more serious injury.
During their appearance on TVNZ, Mitchell told the hosts that harness racing was dangerous when going top speed in a race but that anyone could learn to drive a horse and enjoy the sport and invited Toni and Rawdon to come to the track and try it out.
Well they did! Both Toni Street and Rawdon Christie accepted the invitation from Alexandra Park and came to the track where they were teamed up with Todd Mitchell and driver Zac Butcher. Using double seated jogging carts, donning racing colors, helmets, and safety vests, they went on the track, learned how to drive a horse and then the two teams competed in a mock race.
It was a job well done by the horsemen, TVNZ and Alexandra Park!
You can watch this morning’s segment by clicking below.
By Steve Wolf