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The late Lorraine Grant was a trailblazer, though it appears she didn’t want to make a big deal about making her way in what was a male-dominated industry.   “Really driving is all in the hands and feet, sex makes no difference," she said at the time, "Of course, there will always be those against women drivers, but I was surprised by a lot of the others." She’d been involved with horses since she was a teenager and in the 1960s helped her husband Murray Watson at their Methven property in Mid Canterbury.   He died in hospital after a race crash at Motukarara in October, 1971. "I felt I had to keep on, I didn't want to see all the work he'd done go to waste, or the horses go to someone else," she said. "And that's what he would have wanted." According to HRNZ statistics her best year would be 1993.  As a driver she won 8 from 35 that year and in 25 years of training (1972-97) there were 46 wins from 219 starters. But it’s her association with stable star Rainbow Patch (10 wins – 51 starts) that saw her make New Zealand Cup history.   In 1995 she was the first woman to drive in the country’s most important race. The combo started as the rank outsider, and finished last in the 14-strong field, with Mark Purdon and  Il Vicolo winning the first of their two New Zealand Cups.  It would be 20 years before a female driver would take out the Cup, with Australian visitor Kerryn Manning winning with Arden Rooney, just a week after Michelle Payne created history by being  the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. Natalie Rasmussen, of Blacks A Fake fame, but now very much at the heart of the all-powerful All Stars stable with Purdon, would repeat the dose with The Fixer in 2018. Lorraine Grant finished race driving and training in 1997, and after suffering health issues, died a year later, aged 54. ​   Harness Racing New Zealand

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk     Alta Christiano,  a Group One winning son of Christian Cullen,  has died in Australia as the result of a colic attack, aged 10. His death occurred at the Tipperary Equine Stud in New South Wales, where he was earmarked as a stallion of immense potential. The first four sires in his pedigree were all champion, premiership-winning sires (Christian Cullen, Fake Left, Vance Hanover and Noodlum) and he had the former NZ Broodmare of the Year, Black Watch as his fourth dam.  In his first season he left 78 foals, among them the talented I'm a Blake, Fake News and While They Pray. Alta Christiano was bought by North Canterbury trainer Paul Kerr Kerr  for $50,000 at the 2011 Australasian Classic sale.  He won his first four races including the Kindergarten Stakes in New Zealand and was sold to clients of high profile Australian trainer Gary Hall in Perth in 2013. Leg injuries were a problem during much of his racing career  though he ended up winning 13 races overall.   Hall had said :  “Of all the top sons of Christian Cullen he had the gait that was closest to ‘Cullen’ himself as I’d seen. He’s got all the attributes you could want in a horse – he’s fast, he can stay and he’s great gaited.” Alta Christiano had just completed his busiest ever season, covering in excess of 160 mares and, according to Tipperary, had advanced bookings for 40 mares next season.​ Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

This is not how winning your first trainer’s premiership is supposed to feel. But it still doesn’t detract from the countless hours of hard work Robert Dunn and son John have put in to almost certainly taking out the title for this strangest of all seasons. The almost certainly part comes from the fact the Dunn stable sits 10 wins clear of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen (79-69) on the premiership table with effectively only two more months of racing to go IF we get back to the track early June. Already the Purdon-Rasmussen stable has declared they are done for the season so that leaves Michael House on 60 wins as the only real danger but he would need to train 20 winners in two months without the Dunns training another one. So take it as done (excuse the pun), Robert Dunn is the premiership winner for 2019-2020. Like all of us Dunn has other things on his mind at the moment but when asked about the premiership he quickly races through the mental steps. “I think we have to go close depending on when racing comes back,” says Dunn. “But you never can be sure with Mark and Nat” Then he pauses, remembers they are done for the season and realises he has won his first title. “I suppose when you think about it like that, we have won it. “Not the way you would want to win it but it is still special to win.” The reality is Dunn would almost certainly have won the premiership even if the world had never heard of Covid-19. He and John had more winter firepower than the All Stars and the latter stable wouldn’t have chased anyway. And nobody can begrudge them their victory, Robert having been an elite level horseman for 40 years and John probably the biggest mover in New Zealand harness racing in the last decade. The win is built on hard work, which starts at the yearling sales and runs through two inter-island stables that race at tracks from Invercargill to Alexandra Park. That is made possible by having the two stables, the main base with John overseeing it in Canterbury and the Auckland base at Franklin which has 14 horses and has become not only an Alexandra Park force but a huge help for making up fields at the Auckland track. All the horses at both barns are spelling at the moment and Dunn isn’t sure when the horses at Pukekohe will be allowed back on the Franklin Park track. But many of the southern horses are spelling on the property so once the country returns to Level 3 and race training is allowed again then the Canterbury stable could have 10-14 horses in work. “We want to support racing when it comes back,” says Dunn. “Our horses have been out for a week but if they (HRNZ) are looking at racing again by late May or early June then we will have horses for then. “We have always been big on supporting racing, we send horses all over the place and we want to support this when it comes back.” Then some time around August, when hopefully racing will be back full time, albeit with many changes, Dunn can raise a glass to what he has achieved. “I have always wanted to win the premiership and a few times in recent years I thought I had a chance but then Mark and Nat would win 10 races in a week or something like that and I would be behind again. “So to maybe finally get it will be special, even if it is not the way I would have liked.”   By Michael Guerin

COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Update related to what trainers can and cannot do their own property. HRNZ has received a number of enquires over the weekend, related to what trainers are able to do on their own properties and how this relates to the updated Order and Direction that was issued on Friday. MPI confirmed to HRNZ late on Friday (after the update had gone out) that the guidance in the Order & Direction continues to be apply, however there are exceptions for trainers on their own property. The interview with Peter Jensen that we posted on Saturday, was recorded on Saturday morning, and was designed to reflect the latest MPI position. Trainers on their own property can continue to work their team and educate younger horses as long as the horses are already on the property and that no-one (employee, neighbour, friend etc.), has to travel to the property for this purpose.  The only exception to the above is if a trainer cannot legitimately find a suitable spelling property for a horse(s). An employee can travel for the purpose of lightly exercising horses that are confined to stables or small yards. This is in the interests of animal welfare and keeping horses safe.                   o If this applies to you, you should have registered with MPI and be ready to respond to any questions they have.  Employees can travel to a property for the purpose of caring for and feeding horses who are spelling.                   o In both of these cases, you must have provided anyone travelling, for the purpose of caring for horses, with the completed letter that explains why they need to travel. This template was sent to everyone last week; please contact HRNZ if you need another copy.  It is our expectation that no horses will be fast-worked, while Alert Level 4 in place. This is to limit any potential for injury and any unneeded pressure on the health system and emergency services.  No horses may be transported to another property unless it is being moved to a spelling/agisment property. It is important to note that the Order and Direction issued on Friday still applies unless the circumstances described above apply to you. Should you require any clarification of any of the above, please contact Darrin Williams or Peter Jensen at HRNZ.    Harness Racing New Zealand

In light of the government’s announcement that the country will move to COVID-19 alert level 4 at midnight tonight (25 March) only “essential services” are permitted to operate. Our advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries confirms that training centres, training stables, agistment properties and stud farms where horses are in containment are considered essential services under animal welfare considerations. Businesses with more than five people (including the owner) working at each business site, and those businesses with less than 5 people who cannot achieve social distancing between staff, are required to register.  The criteria and registration form can be found here. The businesses will need to answer 11 questions to provide assurance they have a plan and process to manage infection risks. Much of this will be covered in the HRNZ protocols which will be distributed later today. In addition to this HRNZ, the New Zealand Trainers and Drivers Association and the Standardbred Breeders Association will provide a template to assist with completing the paperwork in a further communication later today. MPI has requested that all businesses which need to register do so by 5pm on Friday, 27 March 2020. Businesses will be able to continue operating while going through the registration process.   Harness Racing New Zealand

The announcement from the government yesterday that New Zealand is moving to Alert Level 4 has seen racing across all codes cease until at least April 23rd. This will result in a significant restructuring of the balance of the current season. At present, we have no more insight into when racing might resume than the public does, however we need to be prepared to race again as soon as a revised Alert level allows us to do so.   The HRNZ board has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Harness Jewels and has formally advised the host club, Waikato BOP Harness, that this is the case. There has been no decision reached yet regarding what this means for where the 2021 Harness Jewels will be held. HRNZ understands that the connections of those horses striving for qualification will be disappointed by this news, however it is important that this be communicated as early as possible to allow connections to make decisions regarding the placement of their horses. All codes will be under significant financial pressure as the TAB is impacted by the suspension of most global racing and sports. This is the most significant factor, along with the uncertainty around when racing will resume, in the board’s decision to cancel the Harness Jewels.   A number of feature races were due to take place over the next four weeks, including a number of Group Ones; New Zealand Derby, Easter Cup, NZ Trotting Derby, with the Rowe Cup due to run on May 1st.  The suspension of racing will also affect qualification for the feature race administered by the New Zealand Sires Stakes board, including the new Harness Millions races. Any decisions on rescheduling these very important races will be a key element of the season review that the HRNZ team is currently working on. The NZSS board is committed to working with HRNZ and the industry to find a workable solution. HRNZ will continue to issue regular updates the harness racing community as the situation evolves. 021 320 106 021 998 982     HRNZ

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk    At just 14 hands high it was no surprise when the racemare formerly known as Trina Jaacka got the nickname Peanut.  Now she lives in Balfour in Southland,  with owner Jane Orr describing  her as like “a little Labrador who follows you around the paddock.” “She’s a kind little soul”. After her deeds on the track which included one win for Southland trainer Murray Brown the now 13 year old is enjoying life after racing .  “She was bred by Charlie and Ailsa Smail, and bought off Shannon and Archie Armour for my daughter Madeleine four years ago to learn to ride,” says Orr. Her latest exploit has been pulling a wagon for eight days at the Goldfields Cavalcade. It was her first attempt and Jane Orr’s fourth. The 28th Cavalcade  was held in  South Otago and Eastern Southland  with  the finish at Owaka in the Clutha District,  with Peanut covering around 25 kilometres a day.    “She worked hard, but she enjoyed it.” And Peanut clearly looked good doing it too. So good that she was the winner of the 2020 Cavalcade photo competition. A shortlist of the ten best looking Standardbred photos was drawn up, and after an on line vote Peanut took out the first prize of a $250 voucher courtesy of Dunstan Horse Feeds. Other Standardbreds living on the Orr farm include  6-race winners Hurricane Banner and The Receptionist.  “ I love promoting my little standy for life after racing, she has attended Waimea Plains Pony Club, pony camps, in December last year Madeline did the Wyndham A & P Show SB classing, pony trot and jumping,  also I’ve joined the Gore Shafts n Wheels Club for driving her.” The 2021 Calvacade will finish in Twizel,  Peanut may just be getting a trip north.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Following the abandonment of the two-day Manawatu meeting this week, a replacement meeting has been scheduled for this Thursday night (March 26) at Cambridge Raceway. HRNZ would like to take the opportunity to extend our apologies to the connections of horses who were due to race at Manawatu this week. We regret having to make the difficult decision to cancel this meeting after the Government advice that Level 2 is now in place under the new Covid-19 Alert System. We continue to be focused on the health and well-being of our participants, along with keeping racing going as long as we can in the very difficult environment that we are all having to adjust to. The approved Programme is online to view here. Nominations close with HR Waikato on Tuesday at 11:00am.   HRNZ

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that two of our industry participants have made the finals for this year’s Norwood Rural Games Awards. The awards are held to celebrate sports with animal and rural backgrounds in conjunction with the New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North on March 14 and 15, the Norwood Awards are to be held on Friday 13 March at Awapuni Racecourse. Sarah O'Reilly has made the final three for the Fonterra New Zealand Rural Youth of the Year, with last year’s NZ Junior Driver Championship and Australasian Young Drivers Championship victory putting her in contention.  Ricky May made the final cut for the second year in a row for the prestigious Toyota Lifetime Legacy category. The award is for sportspeople who have consistently delivered at the elite level in their sport – fitting for a seven time New Zealand Cup winning driver, with strong rural roots through his career in farming. Harness Racing New Zealand congratulates Sarah and Ricky on this huge achievement to just make the finals. We wish them all the very best for the Awards on March 13. Full information on the Rural Games can be found at www.ruralgames.co.nz The finalists are: Norwood New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year: Tony Bouskill – Fencing – Hawke’s Bay Scott Forrest – Tree Climbing – Kawerau Alan Oldfield – Blade Shearing – Geraldine Skellerup New Zealand Rural Sportswoman of the Year: Darcell Apelu – Wood Chopping – Mount Maunganui Pagan Karauria – Wool Handling – Alexandra Steph Tweed – Dog Trials – Waipara Fonterra Young New Zealand Rural Sportsperson of the Year: Ritson Galloway – Duck Calling – Manawatu Chris Lord – Wood Chopping – Otorohanga Sarah O’Reilly – Harness Racing – Rakaia Levno Contribution to Rural Sport: Doug Laing – Shearing – Napier Gemma Oliver – Rodeo – Winchester Sally Mallinson – Sheep Dog Trials – Geraldine  Toyota Lifetime Legacy: Greg Herrick – Shearing – Carterton Ricky May – Harness Racing – Methven Sheree Taylor – Wood Chopping – Te Aroha     Harness Racing New Zealand

The Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games is expecting a few more four-legged visitors through its support of animal welfare organisations. Retired Working Dogs, Greyhounds as Pets, Life After Racing and Canine Friends Pet Therapy Dogs, will bring a new dimension to the Games says founder Steve Hollander. "Dogs and horses are a huge part of many successful farms and families and have been for generations. I’m thrilled that we’ve had sponsors come on board to help each of these charities to raise their public profile during the Games." Retired Working Dogs, sponsored by Coprice, is a charity that finds forever homes for retired working dogs. Fundraising Manager, Karen Cox says some dogs come from large stations and are unable to keep up with the demands of a busy working life but would suit a smaller farm or lifestyle block, while others have sustained career ending injuries. A different kind of working dog is represented by Greyhounds as Pets, sponsored by Garrards Horse and Hound. The charity has been at the Rural Games for the past two years says Greyhounds as Pets Head of Marketing and Communications Katherine O’Connor. "The Games allow us to showcase the true nature of greyhounds to families - they are the perfect pet to adopt and quickly become part of the family," she says. Harness Racing New Zealand has a vision for Standardbred welfare where "Every Standardbred horse should be treated with respect, compassion and understanding and shall receive a standard of care which allows them to enjoy a good quality of life while in the racing industry and on retirement." Harness Racing New Zealand will have a presence at the Rural Games for the first time. "Our mission is to work with the racing industry (trainers, breeders, and owners) rehoming groups, government organisations and welfare groups to enable the care of the Standardbred horses to exceed the current animal welfare standards. Standardbreds can have successful careers after racing in many equestrian disciplines. Our aim is to increase awareness of their suitability for showing, sports horse activities, trekking and so much more," says Harness Racing New Zealand’s General Manager Corporate Services, Liz Bishop. The other charity is Canine Friends Pet Therapy. Their volunteers take well-behaved dogs into rest homes, hospices, special education units and hospitals around the country. Ann Evans, the Manawatu Events Coordinator and Liaison Officer of Canine Friends Pet Therapy says dogs make a genuine difference to the outlook of people who are going through a difficult time - and that’s something we really see a lot in the rural community. "For those who have retired from farm life, or who are too ill to be on the farm - they really miss the daily interaction with their animals so seeing and interacting with dogs can make a huge difference to their outlook." Steve Hollander says the addition of the charities will be a welcome addition to the 2020 Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games and will be a huge hit with our competitors and attendees - young and old alike. Reprinted with permission of Voxy.co.nz

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour Podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing and Airpark Canterbury. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world. This week’s show features Sarah O’Reilly following her win in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship; Phil Kennard, part-owner of InterDom Pacing Champ Ultimate Sniper, and Graeme Henley of Alabar Stud NZ. Jess Smith

Heats seven to nine of the of the 2019 Hanley Australasian Drivers Championship were held at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday with three first time AYDC winning drivers saluting. Series leader Sarah O'Reilly extended her lead in the series to 11 points, with the final race held at Alexandra Park on Friday night. With 17 points awarded to the winner of the final race, Cameron Hart would have to win or finish second with O'Reilly finishing down the track to upset the kiwi. Victories tonight were shared by New Zealander, John Morrison, West Australian, Corey Peterson and Queensland representative Matt Elkins, with the Australians both saluting for the first time on New Zealand soil. Elkins drove Ripsnorter for trainer Michael House to an all the way victory in heat seven of the series with the Brisbane local thrilled with his first AYDC win, ''It was great to tick a New Zealand winner off my bucket list'', he said following the win. Series leaders Sarah O'Reilly and Cameron Hart again both drove consistent races to fill the placings. Western Australian Corey Peterson drove Sheikh Yabooty to a fast finishing win from a near impossible four pegs position in heat eight. In a tight finish, Sheikh Yabooty prevailed over the favourite Matai Minky for Corey Peterson and Play Ball for Victorian Zac Phillips. Peterson was appreciative for the Manawatu Club hospitality after his victory ''Thanks to the Manawatu Harness Racing Club for a great few days in Palmerston North, with some great times had by all.'' In the final heat of the night, Ace Stride backed up his Tuesday win with another first over crush victory for South Island representative John Morrison. O'Reilly drove another placegetter, her fourth for the series along with two winners, with Matt Elkins rounding out the trifecta. The AYDC drivers now fly north to Auckland for the final heat at Alexandra Park on Friday and to experience the Inter Dominion on Saturday night to complete their trip.   Courtney Clarke Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator | Harness Racing New Zealand Inc

Addington Raceway and Events Centre Hello Everyone, Last two racing meetings for the year – Friday 13 & 20 December This Friday the first race is at 5.30pm and next Friday has a start time of 11.30am. Be sure to get on track to enjoy a great couple of days of racing! Spectators is open for some great burgers & pizzas, as well as some quick treats from the IRT Stables BBQ!  To book a table with all the Christmas trimmings, please 03 338 9094 or email info@addington.co.nz to check availability.   Limited spots left. Thank you everyone for a fabulous year! We wish to thank you all for your support in 2019.  It is extremely appreciated.  We have loved hosting you all on course!  Bring on 2020! Merry Christmas We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.  Good luck with all your racing over the New Year period. Back on Track Buffet $35 pp Special Offer – January We look forward welcoming you back on Friday 24 & 31 January for some excellent racing. To kick start the year, we are offering a back on track buffet special offer!  Only $35 per person!!  Bookings are essential.  To book please call 03 338 9094 or email info@addington.co.nz Take care, travel safe and we look forward to seeing you in January. From all the Addington team   INNOVATIVE RACE MEETING AT WINTON  The Winton Harness Racing Club are trialling a great new innovation at their meeting at Central Southland Raceway in Winton this Sunday 15 December. To promote exciting racing every race will be subject to a maximum field of just ten horses. The concept is being tried to give a tighter class of racing and with smaller fields every horse in each race will have a better chance in the running. The ten horse limit should provide a good show for spectators with good quality racing. Ten races are scheduled for the day with the feature race being the AON Insurance Equine Stakes. With the Christmas season upon us the club is treating the children on course to free mini jeep rides while Santa will also pay a visit with some treats for the kids. Kidz Kartz will be on course to race and there will also have a Whitebait stand which is a fundraiser for Kidz Kartz, the whitebait having been donated by Gerald Cayford. The first race is scheduled from 12.17pm and admission to the course is free. Tent sites are still available for this meeting and at the Wairio Trotting Club’s meeting at Winton the following weekend on Saturday 21 December. Lindsay Beer Promotions Officer Southern Harness Racing 03 217 4288 021 351 499   SOUTHERN HARNESS RACING CHRISTMAS FUNCTIONS Christmas is on the way! And so are our pre-Christmas race meetings. December is a fantastic month for racing with pre-Christmas events at Winton – Winton Harness Racing Club (Sunday 15 December) and Wairio Trotting Club (Saturday 21 December). There are tent sites available at all three meetings for your Christmas function or get together. Contact us today for full details and conditions. Lindsay Beer - 021 351 499 / lindsay.beer@xtra.co.nz   Women changing the look of Rangiora Harness Racing Club  By SHELLEY TOPP The Rangiora Harness Racing Club’s administration team has three new women members.  Denise Carlson and Melissa Higgins have both joined the committee and Miranda Donnell is the club’s new secretary and administrator. The women will seek to attract more people to the club’s meetings, particularly women, promote harness racing and  and help lift the club’s social media profile. Two of the women, Denise and Melissa  already had a connection with the club before joining the committee as their husbands are also committee members. Miranda, who lives near the Rangiora racecourse, wanted to be part of something in the local community.  "When I met with some of the committee members I could see how passionate they were about the club and I thought it would be nice to be part of that,’’ she said. "Rangiora harness racedays bring back fond memories of when we used to go when the kids were young.  They loved it.  We did too.'' Melissa has a family connection with harness racing. "My parents have owned horses since I was born and my Dad trained his first winner late last year,’’ she said.  "I have been involved with in harness racing all my life. I love the people you meet following your horses to different places to race.'' Denise is also a regular on raceday, supporting her husband Ray, who is the club’s vice-president. "Joining the committee seemed like a natural step,’’ she said."The raceway is in a beautiful location, the vista is amazing. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't enjoyed coming to the races at Rangiora. There is nothing quite like going to a country harness race meeting. I've been to quite a few around New Zealand and I haven't come across a better country course (than Rangiora) yet.'' Denise and Melissa have replaced Maria Perriton, the former sole woman committee member, who resigned this year after 13 years’ service. Club president, Greg Wright said only four other women had been committee members in the club’s 69-year history. "However, racing, like most other institutions, has evolved over the last decade to accept and expect women committee members,’’ he said. "I hope our current, more diverse, committee will be able to develop a better presentation of racing and our club's meetings in particular to appeal to a wider audience.’’    Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club We are thrilled to confirm that we have been granted a one day racing licence to race on the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Grass track racing at it's very best. The tentative Programme is already posted on the HRNZ Website. It is planned to host 9 races on the day, with minimum stakes of $10,000 per race (The highest stakes of any grass track meeting in the North Island.) Features will be the Otaki Trotting Cup for the pacers run over 3000 metres from the stand with a stake of $12,000 and the Wellington Trotting Cup for the trotters run from a stand over 3000 metres with a stake of $12,000. The Friday prior to our KCHRC Otaki race meeting (being Friday 31st January 2020) will see Manawatu Harness race at Manawatu Raceway. Therefore horses who wish to travel from the South Island or upper North Island to race 2 days could nominate for both meetings. Grass track horses could race at Rotorua on Sunday 26th January, then a week later race at Otaki on the grass. Sunday 2nd February will be an Interislander Summer Festival of Racing Race day at Otaki. The Committee is working tirelessly to make this day a major success. Hosting Kidz Kartz from Taranaki, free children's entertainment, an All Up Place competition with a prize of $500. Recently Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club held it's AGM. After 20+ years at the helm President Mary Colman retired to take the role of immediate Past President, and was honoured with a Life Membership of the Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club. The new Club President is Chris Craddock who had served as Vice President for the proceeding 10+ years. (With harness family roots originating in ‘the Buller’, Westport.) Kapiti Coast Harness has a new expanded Committee and is really looking forward to hosting an outstanding day on the Otaki Maori grass track Race Course on Sunday 2nd February 2020.   Cheviot Harness Racing Club – Stallion Tenders The Cheviot Harness Racing Club has one stallion tender on offer. PEGASUS SPUR – sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Paramount Gee Gee 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Please send all tenders to kirsten_mcnabb@yahoo.co.nz

Pacing & Trotting (with confirmed barrier draws) The following lists here shows the confirmed Grand Final fields (including confirmed barrier draws) for both the Pacing & Trotting IRT ID19 Series, to be held at Alexandra Park on Saturday 14th December 2019.   Harness Racing New Zealand

The Hanley Formula Australasian Young Drivers Championship begins on Saturday. The first heat is at Addington Raceway on Saturday with two more heats being run at Methven at Sunday, two at Manawatu on Tuesday and Thursday and the final heat at Alexandra Park next Friday. Please click here to see the driver profiles.   Harness Racing New Zealand

More Christmas racing at Invercargill Racing at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill this Saturday from 12.02pm. A free bag of lollies for all children on course after Race 6 while all losing tote tickets up to race five will go in the draw for a meal voucher from Level 1 Restaurant & Bar. Winton Harness Racing Club at Central Southland Raceway, Winton, Sunday 15 December – free Mini Jeeps, a visit from Santa and a whitebait stand on course raising funds for Kidz Kartz. Wairio Trotting Club, Saturday 21 December, Central Southland Raceway at Winton. $2 Mini Jeep rides and a visit by Santa. Tent Sites are still available at all meetings and BYO is permitted. Contact us today for full details and conditions. Lindsay Beer - 021 351 499 / lindsay.beer@xtra.co.nz SOUTHERN HARNESS RACING CHRISTMAS FUNCTIONS Christmas is on the way! And so are our pre-Christmas race meetings. December is a fantastic month for racing with pre-Christmas events at Invercargill (Saturday 7 December) plus two at Winton – Winton Harness Racing Club (Sunday 15 December) and Wairio Trotting Club (Saturday 21 December). A room cancellation at Invercargill means we have a hospitality area overlooking the winning post available for a group while there are tent sites available at all three meetings for your Christmas function or get together. Contact us today for full details and conditions. Lindsay Beer - 021 351 499 / lindsay.beer@xtra.co.nz Methven Trotting Club The rain has slowed the snow has finally left the might of the Southern Alps and Methven folks thoughts are turning to the upcoming meeting of their local trotting club on Sunday December 8. The track is in good nick and the club is looking for a host of summer holidaymakers to join those just looking for a relaxing day with barbeque and drinks. The feature races are the Methven Four Square Pacers Green Mile and the Fast Track Insurance/Greg and Nina Hope Racing Trotters Green Mile with the club hoping both will include intermediate and up and coming types with the crème being in Auckland for the Inters. The other attraction will be two heats of the Australasian Young Drivers Championship a first for Methven and possibly the grass track a first for many Aussie competitors. Of particular interest to Mid Canterbury racegoers will be a rare Mid Canty flavour with both John Morrison and Sarah O’Reilly amongst the competitors sure to be crowd favourites. Lots of luck to all. Numerous giveaways and spot prizes, lolly scrambles, the red robed white whiskered one will make an appearance for the little ones and as always the wonderfully politically incorrect ‘Babes in a barrow’ race where competitors race around the birdcage with the female half in a wheelbarrow and the male pushing to the accompaniment of a raucous and generally ‘helpful’ crowd. In another innovative move the farmer first health clinic will be on hand to help with any rural folks and horse people’s health concerns, great initiative Wiggy, people make good use of it, so see you all at Methven Sunday week where the sun always shines. Free health checks at Methven Races GlobalHQ will be taking its health and wellbeing caravan to the Methven Races on the 8th December. The caravan will be providing free health checks for anyone attending the Methven races on this date. Dr Sue Fowlie and her nurse will be available to see anyone who would like a health check as GlobalHQ help to make sure that Farmers and the likes are being regularly checked out. So when you are on course on the 8th December look for the bright orange caravan and pay them a visit.   Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club We are thrilled to confirm that we have been granted a one day racing licence to race on the Otaki Maori Race Course, Otaki on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Grass track racing at it's very best. The tentative Programme is already posted on the HRNZ Website. It is planned to host 9 races on the day, with minimum stakes of $10,000 per race (The highest stakes of any grass track meeting in the North Island.) Features will be the Otaki Trotting Cup for the pacers run over 3000 metres from the stand with a stake of $12,000 and the Wellington Trotting Cup for the trotters run from a stand over 3000 metres with a stake of $12,000. The Friday prior to our KCHRC Otaki race meeting (being Friday 31st January 2020) will see Manawatu Harness race at Manawatu Raceway. Therefore horses who wish to travel from the South Island or upper North Island to race 2 days could nominate for both meetings. Grass track horses could race at Rotorua on Sunday 26th January, then a week later race at Otaki on the grass. Sunday 2nd February will be an Interislander Summer Festival of Racing Race day at Otaki. The Committee is working tirelessly to make this day a major success. Hosting Kidz Kartz from Taranaki, free children's entertainment, an All Up Place competition with a prize of $500. Recently Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club held it's AGM. After 20+ years at the helm President Mary Colman retired to take the role of immediate Past President, and was honoured with a Life Membership of the Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club. The new Club President is Chris Craddock who had served as Vice President for the proceeding 10+ years. (With harness family roots originating in ‘the Buller’, Westport.) Kapiti Coast Harness has a new expanded Committee and is really looking forward to hosting an outstanding day on the Otaki Maori grass track Race Course on Sunday 2nd February 2020. Cheviot Harness Racing Club – Stallion Tenders The Cheviot Harness Racing Club has two stallion tenders on offer. DOWNBYTHESEASIDE – a son of Somebeachsomewhere Equal fastest 2yo in Standardbred history, paced 1.49 - Breeders Crown Final 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $6,000+GST. PEGASUS SPUR – sire of Speeding Spur Sire of Speeding Spur – now competing at the highest level in the USA Sire of Paramount Gee Gee 2019/20 Service Fee RRP – $3,000+GST. Please send all tenders to kirsten_mcnabb@yahoo.co.nz

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