Day At The Track

New NZ harness gearing up champion

02:16 PM 12 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Dylan Ferguson
Dylan Ferguson
Royden Williams photo

The fourth annual Hilux Rural Games were held in Palmerston North last weekend, and included the second annual running of the Harness Racing New Zealand Harness Gearing Up Competition.

A field of six competitors, including last year’s winner Jay Abernethy, went head to head in time trials to find the two fastest qualifiers to make the final on the day, with the finalists being Dylan Ferguson and Kyle Marshall.

The contest was to gear up a pacer with basic harness minus the sulky, and Ferguson managed a narrow victory over Marshall clocking in at 2m50s. Marshall was second and Jay Abernethy was third.

Thanks also to the other competitors Jo Stevens, Allen Pyers and Ken Tarrant.

Ferguson was presented with the trophy, the Cranbourne Cup trophy won by Blossom Lady during her illustrious career, along with prizes presented by Toyota’s General Manager of Marketing, Andrew Harris.

During the afternoon members of the public were invited to have a go at gearing up a harness horse under the watchful eye of our horsemen and provided a great hands on memory to a captive audience.

The contest was keenly followed by a strong crowd of Palmerston North locals and also tourists who flocked to see horses at the games.

All Black great Sir Brian Lochore was also present to witness the final, admitting he was a keen follower of the racing industry and enjoyed following harness racing. He was able to spend time with the competitors following the event.

A huge thanks must go to the Manawatu Harness Racing Club team of John Doody, Allen Pyers and Dan Lynch for the organization of the competition and running of the event with Andre Neill.

The event provided the perfect entrée leading in to the Palmerston North Gold Cup Festival to be held at the end of this month.

HRNZ Marketing

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