New Year’s racing event attracts all skill levels



From 80-year-old lifetime members to youngsters trying their hand at owning a horse, everyone has tried their hand at Winton Racecourse on New Years Eve.

Horses from more than 100 trainers from Southland, Otago and Christchurch took to the track as part of the annual Christmas circuit.

The event was one of many around the South Island during the holiday season, which includes meetings in towns such as Roxburgh and Cromwell.

Former Winton Harness Racing Club chairman Neville Skinner said the Christmas circuit gives everyone a chance to get involved due to the diversity of terrain and distances on the different tracks.

“Some of the lower class horses can run on grass on certain tracks and there are a lot of different track lengths so anyone can try.”

Despite a little rain, there was a good turnout for the last day of 2020 at Winton on Thursday.

The races were held later in the day to allow those who did not have a day off to come after completing their work.

“We wanted to do the twilight races for that reason.

“We have a lot of the community here today which made up the big crowd today. “

There was no better time than the holiday season to attract people from across the region to racing events, Skinner said.

“People can go to Queenstown or wherever and stop at one of the races. It tends to draw a bigger crowd. ”

It was a family day that drew a range of people and brought the community together, he said.

He was hoping next year’s circuit would be just as successful.

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