Harness racing in New Zealand

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Harness racing in New Zealand is primarily a professional sport which involves pacing and trotting competitions for Standardbred racehorses. The difference is the horse's gait or running style:


In New Zealand the majority of standardbred races are for pacers and the most lucrative races are in that gait. Pacers are generally faster than trotters.

Ironically harness racing is often called trotting as that was the sport's traditional or "old school" name. [1]


Lawn Derby, pacing un-hoppled. Lawn Derby (AUS).jpg
Lawn Derby, pacing un-hoppled.

Trotting races were held as part of the programme of some of the galloping meetings in the Otago Southland area as early as 1864. The first totalisators were introduced about this time. [2] They faced opposition from a curious alliance of bookmakers and anti-gambling factions but were approved by the Clubs and licensed by the Colonial Secretary. The first trotting race on a racecourse in Canterbury, in 1875, before the totalisator was introduced, the stake was only about a "tenner" (£10), but the match created a lot of interest. About 1880, Lower Heathcote Racing Club was founded, supporting gallops, but added trotting events to its programme, giving smaller stakes. Some years later the club discontinued gallops and became the Lower Heathcote Trotting Club, which gave stakes ranging from £15 to £35. [2]

The New South Wales bred, Lawn Derby, racing un-hoppled, was the first pacer to break the two-minute barrier in Australia or New Zealand when he recorded 1:59.4 at the Addington track in New Zealand in 1938. [3]

From these early stages, the sport has developed with top races and top horses from then right up to the present day.

Prominent New Zealand pacers

The following are some of New Zealand's greatest pacers and races they have won.

Key for 3-year-old and Australian races:

3YO races
Auck Cup
NZ Cup
Inter Dom
Major Aust. races
Other notes
Auckland Reactor Mach ThreeAtomic Lass, by Soky’s Atom2007 NZSS 1st, 2008 NZD 1st2009 1st2008 1st, 2009 5th2009 12th, 2012 7th2009 MM 6th, 2012 HC 2nd
Caduceus U Scott (USA)Little Ada, by Frank Worthy (USA)1953 NZD 1st1954 1st1956 3rd, 1958 2nd, 1959 3rd1956 1st, 1958 1st, 1959 1st1960 1st
Captain Sandy Sandydale (USA)Waikura (USA), by Guy Parrish (USA)1948 1st, 1949 1st1949 2nd1950 1st, 1953 1st
Cardigan Bay Hal Tryax (USA)Colwyn Bay, by Josedale Dictator (USA)1962 1st, 1963 1st1963 1st1961 1st, 1963 1st1963 1stThe 1st horse to win $1M. 154 starts for 80 wins & 45 places.
Changeover In The PocketChaangerr, by Vance Hanover (USA)2007 GND 1st, 2007 NZD 1st2007 4th, 2008 1st2008 3rd, 2009 3rd
Chokin Vance Hanover (USA)Nell’s Pride, by Tuft (USA)1991 NZSS 1st1993 1st, 1994 1st1993 1st1993 1st1993 MM 1st, 1994 MM 1st, 1994 VC 1st
Christian Cullen In The PocketPleasant Franco, by Bo Scots Blue Chip1997 NZSS 1st1998 1st1998 1st1998 1st
Courage Under Fire In The PocketAdvance Debra, by Vance Hanover (USA)1998 NZSS 1st, 1998 GND 1st, 1999 NZD 1st
Delightful Lady Tudor Hanover (USA)Desilu (NZ), by U Scott1980 1st, 1981 1st1980 2nd
Elsu Falcon Seelster (USA)Interchange (NZ), by New York Motoring (USA)2002 GND 1st, 2003 NZD 1st2003 1st, 2004 1st2003 2nd, 2004 2nd2003 3rd2005 1st2005 HC 1st,
False Step Fallacy (NZ)Dainty Direct (NZ), by Dan1956 NZD 1st1957 4th, 1958 1st, 1959 1st, 1960 1st1960 1st
Flashing Red EchelonCourvy Kazi, by Courvosier2007 1st2006 1st, 2007 1st2006 2nd, 2007 4th
Great Evander Bill B Scott (USA)Ayrshire Scott (NZ), by U Scott (USA)
Harold Logan Logan Pointer (USA)Ivy Cole (NZ), by King Cole (NZ)1931 1st, 1932 1st, 1934 3rd1931 1st, 1934 1st, 1936 1st
Highland Fling U Scott (USA)Queen Ayesha, by Frank Worthy (USA)1947 1st, 1948 1st1948 1st
Il Vicolo Vance Hanover (USA)Burgundy Lass (NZ), by Noodlum (NZ)1994 NZSS 1st, 1995 GND 1st, 1995 NZD 1st1995 1st, 1996 1st1995 1st
I’m The mightyquinn Washington V CLove Sign, by Soky’s Atom2011 1st, 2013 1st2011 1st, 2012 1st, 2013 1st
Indianapolis Wrack (USA)Estella Amos (USA), by Dale Axworthy1932 GND 1st1933 1st1934 1st, 1935 1st, 1936 1st1935 1st
Johnny Globe Logan DerbySandfast, by Sandydale (USA)1950 GND 1st, 1950 NZD 1st1951 2nd, 1953 2nd, 1954 1st1953 1st, 1954 1st
Just An ExcuseLive Or DieMy Excuse, by Smooth Fella2003 1st, 2004 1st, 2005 3rd,2004 1st, 2005 3rd
LazarusBettor's DelightBethany, by Christian Cullen 2016 GND 1st, 2016 NZD 1st2016 1st, 2017 1st2016 1st
Lord Module LordshipModule (NZ), by Bachelor Hanover (USA)1978 5th, 1979 1st1978 3rd, 1979 1st, 1980 2nd
Lordship Johnny Globe (NZ)Ladyship (NZ), by U Scott (USA)1961 NZD 1st1964 1st1962 1st, 1964 3rd, 1966 1st1962 1st, 1964 1st, 1967 1st
Monkey King Sands A FlyinTuapeka Vale, by Smooth Fella2005 GND 1st,2008 2nd, 2009 2nd, 2010 1st,2007 2nd, 2009 1st, 2010 1st,2009 1st, 2010 1st, 2011 5th2009 MM 1st
NoodlumBachelor HanoverDeft, by Captain Adios1974 NZD 1st15 straight wins (28 in career)
Our Sir Vancelot Vance Hanover (USA)Teeny Teeny (AUS), by Overtrick (USA)1997 1st, 1998 1st, 1999 1st1997 MM 1st, 1997 WAPC 1st, 1998 WAPC 1st
Robalan Lumber DreamElsinor (NZ), by U Scott (USA)1972 3rd, 1973 4th, 1974 1st, 1975 3rd1971 4th, 1972 1st, 1973 1st, 1974 1stA free-legged pacer
Robin DundeeHal TryaxCherry Blossum, by Dillon Hall1965 1st1963 2nd, 1965 2nd, 1966 2nd1965 1st1965 1st=Dead-heated in Interdom with Jay Ar
Roydon GlenSmooth FellaRoydon Dream, by Lumber Dream1984 GND 1st1985 1st1985 3rd
Smoken Up [4] Tinted CloudCarnlough Bay, by Camtastic2009 3rd, 2010 2nd, 2011 2nd2010 3rd, 2011 1st2010 MM 1st, 2011 MM 1st, 2011 VC 1st
Terror to Love Western TerrorLove To Live, by Live Or Die2012 2nd, 2013 2nd, 2014 1st2011 1st, 2012 1st, 2013 1st, 2014 4th2012 3rd, 2014 4th
Young Quinn Young Charles (NZ)Loyal Trick (NZ), by Hal Tryax (USA)1974 1st1973 3rd, 1974 3rd1973 4th, 1974 3rd1975 1st1975 MM 1st,

Prominent New Zealand trotters

The following are some of New Zealand's greatest trotters and races they have won:

NZ Trotting Derby / Stakes
Dominion Handicap
National Trot
Rowe Cup
Inter Dominion Trotting Championship
David MossGekoj - Proud Countess, by Hickory Pride1993, 19941993
Easton Light Great Evander - Beverley Light, by Light Brigade1972, 197419731976167 starts, 36 wins and 76 placings
I Can DoositMuscles Yankee - Sheezadoosie, by Chiola Hanover20112011, 20122011, 2012
Johnny Gee Johnny Globe - Atone19651970
Lyell Creek Royden Glen (NZ) - Kahlum (NZ), by Noodlum1999, 2001, 20041999, 20002000, 2001, 20042000Raced in America and Europe
Nigel CraigProtector - Pipetre1977
No ResponseHodgen's Surprise - Cordsworth, by Ripcord--197819811979
Petite Evander Great Evander - Thearle (NZ), by Light Brigade21 wins in NZ, 26 wins in America and Europe, 184 starts for 47 wins world wide and over $800,000 stakes
Ordeal Light Brigade (USA) – Arizona (NZ), by U Scott (USA)19601961
Pride Of PetiteRoyal Prestige - Petite Evander, by Great Evander1996, 1997
Take A Moment Armbro Invasion (NZ) - Nakura (NZ), by Jet D'Emeraude2001, 2002, 20032002, 0320012001, 2003

Prominent people

The following are some notable people in New Zealand harness racing history:

Other horses associated with
James (“Scotty”) BryceWinning driver of 4 NZ Cups (Cathedral Chimes, Ahuriri x2, Red Shadow) & 3 Auckland Cups (Ahuriri, Cathedral Chimes, Man O'War)Captain Sandy, Great Hope, Sea Born, Shadow Maid
James Bryce JuniorWinning driver of NZ Cup (Great Hope) & 4 Auckland Cups (Captain Sandy x2, Sea Born, Shadow Maid)Kohara, Red Shadow
Anthony Butt Winning driver of 3 NZ Cups (Blossom Lady, Flashing Red x2), 2 Auckland Cups (Flashing Red & Happy Asset) & 1 NZ FFA (Blossom Lady), Inter Dominion Hall of Fame Happy Asset, Lyell Creek, Simon Katz, Stunin Cullen, Take A Moment
Cecil Devine (1915-1990 [5] Winning driver of 6 NZ Cups (Van Dieman, Thunder, False Step x3, Lord Module) & 2 NZ FFAs (False Step, Lord Module). New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. [6] Bass Strait
Tony Herlihy Winning driver of 3 NZ Cups (Luxury Liner, Christopher Vance & Chokin), 8 Auckland Cups (Chokin x2, Christopher Vance, Comedy Lad, Gotta Go Cullen, Luxury Liner x2, Sharp And Telford) & 7 NZ FFAs (Luxury Liner, Tight Connection, Christopher Vance, Chokin, Brabham, Sly Flyin, Gold Ace), Inter Dominion Hall of Fame, New Zealand Order of Merit
Freeman Holmes (1871-1967 )Was a champion thoroughbred jockey and standardbred driver and trainer of both codes. Winning jockey of the New Zealand Cup and driver of the New Zealand Trotting Cup (Trix Pointer) & 2 Auckland Cups (Graham Direct, Roi L'Or).Bonilene, Frank Worthy, Grattan Loyal, Logan Pointer, Stonewall Jackson,
Maurice Holmes [7]

(1908-1998 )

Winning driver of 3 NZ Cups (Wrackler, Chamfer, Lookaway), 2 Interdominion finals, 2 Auckland Cups (Robin Dundee, Talaro) & 4 NZ FFAs (Harold Logan, Vedette, Lookaway, Robin Dundee). Drove 1666 winners over 49 years. Order of the British Empire. Son of Free Holmes Noodlum, Pot Luck,
Charlie Hunter Winning driver of Auckland Cup (Young Quinn), trainer of 1975 Inter Dominion champions Young Quinn and Castleton’s Pride
John Langdon Winning driver of NZ Cup (Neroship), Auckland Cup (Neroship), Inter Dominion Pacing Championship (Young Quinn) & Inter Dominion Trotting Championship (Castleton’s Pride). Inter Dominion Hall of Fame
Maurice McKendryWinning driver of Auckland Cup (Sir Lincoln)
Sir Roy McKenzie (1922-2007 )Winning owner of 4 Auckland Cups (Garcon Roux, Highland Air, Roydon Glen, Scottish Command)Game Pride, Sundon
Ricky MayWinning driver of 7 NZ Cups (Inky Lord, Iraklis, Mainland Banner, Monkey King x2, Terror To Love x2), 2 Auckland Cups (Terror To Love x2) & 3 NZ FFAs (Iraklis, Monkey King x2).
Todd MitchellWinning driver of 4 NZ Cups (Homin Hosed, Gracious Knight, Just An Excuse x2) & 1 NZ FFA (Just An Excuse)
Reon Murthalong-standing South Island race caller
D D (Denis) Nyhan Winning driver of 3 NZ Cups (Lordship x2, Robalan), 1 Auckland Cup (Lordship) & 5 NZ FFAs (Lordship x2, Robalan x3). Son of Don Nyhan, brother of Barry Nyhan.
D G (Don) Nyhan (1909/10-2009) [8] Winning driver of NZ Cup (Johnny Globe) & 3 NZ FFAs (Johnny Globe x2, Lordship). Son of Dan Nyhan, father of Denis Nyhan & Barry Nyhan.
Mark Purdon Winning driver of 6 NZ Cups (Il Vicolo x2, Adore Me, Lazarus x2, Self Assured), 6 Auckland Cups (Amazing Dream, Auckland Reactor, Dream About Me, Self Assured, Turn It Up, Young Rufus) & 5 NZ FFAs (Il Vicolo, Tax Credit, Young Rufus, Jack Cade, Auckland Reactor, Lazarus). Son of Roy Purdon, brother of Barry Purdon.Pride Of Petite,
Roy PurdonFather of Barry & Mark Purdon. Champion trainer.Comedy Lad, Framalda, Hi Foyle, Luxury Liner, Melton Monarch, Scottish Charm, Sole Command,
Natalie Rasmussen Winning driver of 1 NZ Cup (Thefixer), 2 NZ FFAs (Ultimate Machete, Cruz Bromac), 1 Auckland Cup (Vincent), Inter Dominion Pacing Championship (Blacks A Fake x4, Ultimate Sniper])Chase Auckland, Cruz Bromac, Ultimate Machete
Steven Reid Baileys Dream, Gold Ace, Monkey King
Jack Smolenski (1935-2013)Winning driver of NZ Cup (Arapaho) & Auckland Cup (Arapaho)
Doody Townley (1925-1999)Winning driver of NZ Cup (True Averill), 2 Auckland Cups (Stella Frost & Waitaki Hanover) & 2 NZ FFAs (Stella Frost, Waitaki Hanover).Bellajily, Hano Direct, Rupee, Stylish Major, Sun Chief, Tactile
Peter Wolfenden

(1935 -)

Winning driver of 4 NZ Cups (Cardigan Bay, Garry Dillon, James, Sole Command), 6 Auckland Cups (Armalight, Cardigan Bay x2, Damian, Enterprise, Sole Command) & 2 NZ FFAs (Cardigan Bay x2).

Major New Zealand harness races

NZ trotter Uncle Petrika Uncle Petrika (harness racing-trotter).jpg
NZ trotter Uncle Petrika

In New Zealand the richest and most important race is the New Zealand Trotting Cup, run for open class pacers in November at Addington Raceway. Other major races include the Auckland Trotting Cup as well as the Noel J Taylor Memorial Mile and the New Zealand Messenger Championship for four-year-olds. There are also the New Zealand Derby and the Great Northern Derby for three-year-olds, and the Dominion Handicap and Rowe Cup for trotters. The Harness Jewels raceday (the end-of year championships for two-, three- and four-year-olds) takes place in late May or early June

A marquee event is the annual series which takes place between New Zealand and Australia called the Inter Dominion. The series, which includes a pacing series and a trotting series, is held yearly and rotated around the Australian State Controlling Bodies and once every four years the Inter Dominion Championships are held in New Zealand.

There is also the Australasian Pacers Grand Circuit in which each year points are awarded for placings in the major races in Australia and New Zealand to determine the overall winner.

List of major harness races in New Zealand
Avon City Ford CupSepNZ MetroListedOpen Pace$20,000
Ordeal CupSepNZ MetroListedOpen Trot$20,000
Spring CupSepAucklandListedOpen Pace$25,000
Superstars ChampsOctNZ MetroGroup 24YO Pace$50,000
Searells ClassicOctNZ MetroGroup 3Open Pace$30,000
D G Jones Trotting CupOctBanks PenGroup 3Open Trot$35,000
Kumeu Founders CupOctKumeuGroup 3Open Pace$30,000
Canterbury Park Trotting CupOctNZ MetroGroup 3Open Trot$30,000
Methven CupOctMethvenListedOpen Pace$25,000
Ashburton Flying StakesOctAshburtonGroup 2Open Pace$75,000
Ashburton Trotters Flying MileOctAshburtonGroup 3Open Trot$40,000
Kaikoura CupOctKaikouraGroup 2Open Pace$60,000
Handicap TrotNovKaikouraListedOpen Trot$30,000
New Zealand Sires Stakes NovNZ MetroGroup 13YO Pace$300,000
New Zealand Trotting Cup NovNZ MetroGroup 1Open Pace$750,000
NZ Free-For-AllNovNZ MetroGroup 3Open Pace$50,000
Discretionary TrotNovNZ MetroListedOpen Trot$25,000
New Zealand Free For All NovNZ MetroGroup 1Open Pace$200,000
New Zealand Trotting Free-For-AllNovNZ MetroGroup 1Open Trot$100,000
Dominion Handicap NovNZ MetroGroup 1Open Trot$200,000
Pak'N Save Franklin CupNovFranklinGroup 2Open Pace$80,000
Ladyship StakesDecAucklandGroup 23YO Fillies Pace$70,000
Lyell Creek StakesDecAucklandGroup 2Open Trot$50,000
Northern 4YO Breeders StakesDecAucklandGroup 34YO Mares Pace$40,000
Northern StakesDecAucklandListed3YO Pace$25,000
Queen Of HeartsDecAucklandGroup 1Mares Pace$100,000
Elsu ClassicDecAucklandGroup 23YO Pace$70,000
Trotters Flying MileDecCambridgeGroup 2Open Trot$55,000
Sires Stakes Fillies FinalDecAucklandGroup 13YO Fillies Pace$150,000
National TrotDecAucklandGroup 1Open Trot$100,000
Manukau Summer CupDecAucklandGroup 3Open Pace$45,000
3YO OpenDecAucklandListed3YO Pace$200,000
Auckland Trotting Cup MarAucklandGroup 1Open Pace$250,000 (2019)
Flying MileJanCambridgeGroup 2Open Pace$75,000
Trotting Cup FFAJanCen OtagoListedOpen Pace$25,000
Flying StakesJanCambridgeListedOpen Trot$30,000
Cambridge 4YO ClassicJanCambridgeGroup 34YO Pace$40,000
Waikato GuineasJanCambridgeListed3YO Pace$27,500
Southland CupJanNorth SouthGroup 3Open Pace$55,000
4YO Futurity StakesJanCambridgeGroup 24YO Pace$60,000
Te Awamutu Juvenile StakeJanCambridgeListed2YO Pace$25,000
4YO ClassicJanMarlboroughGroup 24YO Pace$50,000
Caduceus Club Mares ChampionshipJanNZ MetroGroup 2Mares Pace$50,000
Fillies PaceJanNZ MetroListed3YO Fillies Pace$125,000
FFA MobileJanNZ MetroListedOpen Pace$75,000
4YO ChampionshipFebForburyGroup 34YO Pace$30,000
NZ Sapling StakesFebAshburtonGroup 32YO Pace$30,000
Hambletonian ClassicFebAshburtonGroup 33YO Trot$30,000
NZ Breeders StakesFebNZ MetroGroup 1F & M Pace$100,000
City Of Auckland FFAFebAucklandGroup 2Open Pace$60,000
Northern OaksFebAucklandGroup 13YO Fillies Pace$200,000
NZ Kindergarten StakesFebWyndhamGroup 32YO Pace$30,000
Great Northern Derby MarAucklandGroup 13YO Pace$600,000
Cardigan Bay StakesMarAucklandGroup 22YO Pace$50,000
City of Sails FFAMarAucklandGroup 3Open Trot$40,000
Delightful Lady ClassicMarAucklandListed2YO Fillies Pace$25,000
StakesMarCheviotGroup 32YO Fillies Pace$30,000
3YO TrotMarRangioraListed3YO Trot$60,000
Invercargill CupMarInvercargillGroup 3Open Pace$55,000
Canterbury Country Cups FinalMarNZ MetroFeatureOpen Pace$30,000
NZ Trotting DerbyMarNZ MetroGroup 13YO Trot$100,000
Flying StakesMarNZ MetroGroup 23YO Pace$50,000
4YO Trotters ChampMarNZ MetroGroup 34YO Trot$30,000
New Zealand Trotting Derby AprNZ MetroGroup 13YO Pace$300,000
NZ Trotting ChampsAprNZ MetroGroup 1Open Trot$100,000
Fillies ClassicAprAucklandGroup 12YO Fillies Pace$110,000
NZ Trotting OaksAprNZ MetroGroup 33YO Fillies Trot$30,000
Free-For-AllAprNZ MetroGroup 3Open Pace$30,000
Fillies ClassicAprNorth SouthListed2YO Pace$25,000
Easter CupAprNZ MetroGroup 1Open Pace$100,000
Welcome StakesAprNZ MetroGroup 12YO Pace$100,000
North Island Country Cups FinalAprAucklandFeatureOpen Pace$30,000
Noel J Taylor Mile AprAucklandGroup 14YO Pace$100,000
Sires Stakes Trotters ChampionshipAprAucklandGroup 23YO Trot$80,000
Morrinsville Juvenile StakesAprMoriinsvilleListed2YO Pace$30,000
2YO FilliesAprAucklandListed2YO Fillies Pace$150,000
New Zealand Messenger MayAucklandGroup 14YO Pace$200,000
NZ Sires Stakes Fillies ChampsMayAucklandGroup 12YO Fillies Pace$150,000
Rowe Cup MayAucklandGroup 1Open Trot$300,000
Northern Trotting DerbyMayAucklandGroup 13YO Trot$100,000
NZ Trotting StakesMayNZ MetroGroup 32YO Trot$30,000
Southern Country Cups FinalMayInvercargillFeatureOpen Pace$35,000
Southland OaksMayInvercargillGroup 23YO Fillies Pace$50,000
Southern Supremacy StakesMayInvercargillGroup 23YO C & G Pace$50,000
Rangiora ClassicMayRangioraGroup 3Open Pace$60,000
Fillies FinalMayNZ MetroGroup 13YO Fillies Pace$150,000
NZ Sires Stakes Trotting ChampionshipMayNZ MetroGroup 22YO Trot$60,000
Yearling Sales 2YO OpenMayNZ MetroListed2YO Pace$200,000
Cambridge 3YO Trotting StakesMayCambridgeListed3YO Trot$25,000
Memorial NZ OaksMayNZ MetroGroup 13YO Fillies Pace$150,000
NZ Sires Stakes FinalMayNZ MetroGroup 12YO Pace$200,000
Kumeu StakesMayAucklandGroup 34YO Pace$30,000
Winter CupMayNZ MetroListedOpen Pace$25,000
NI Breeders StakesMayFranklinGroup 3F & M Pace$30,000
Yearling Sales 2YO TrotMayNZ MetroListed2YO Trot$60,000
Harness Jewels 2YO DiamondMayAshburtonGroup 12YO Fillies Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 3YO DiamondMayAshburtonGroup 13YO Fillies Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 4YO DiamondMayAshburtonGroup 14YO Mares Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 2YO EmeraldMayAshburtonGroup 12YO C & G Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 3YO EmeraldMayAshburtonGroup 13YO C & G Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 4YO EmeraldMayAshburtonGroup 14YO E & G Pace$200,000
Harness Jewels 3YO RubyMayAshburtonGroup 13YO Trot$100,000
Harness Jewels 4YO RubyMayAshburtonGroup 14YO Trot$100,000
Harness Jewels 2YO RubyMayAshburtonGroup 22YO Trot$100,000
Trotting Breeders StakesJunAucklandGroup 3F & M Trot$35,000
Winter CupJunAucklandListedOpen Pace$25,000
NZ Yearling Sales NHT PaceJunAucklandListed2YO Pace$100,000
Greenlane CupJunAucklandListedOpen Trot$25,000
Thames CupJunThamesListedOpen Pace$20,000

Harness racing clubs and courses of New Zealand

Harness racing is held throughout New Zealand, including courses in some of the smaller centres. The following trotting clubs were listed in the 1972 DB Trotting Annual. [9]

Course, Town/city/province
Northland TCKensington Park
Auckland TC Alexandra Park, Auckland1006m right handed track
Thames TC Alexandra Park, Auckland
Franklin TC Alexandra Park, Auckland
Waikato TCClaudelands Raceway
Bay of Plenty TC Tauranga
Cambridge TCCambridge Raceway
Te Awamutu TCCambridge Raceway
Morrinsville TCCambridge Raceway
Rotorua TC Rotorua
Taranaki TC New Plymouth
Stratford TCStratford
Hawera TC Hawera
Wanganui TC Wanganui
Manawatu TC Palmerston North
Otaki TCHutt Park
Masterton TCHutt Park
Wellington TCHutt ParkThe Wellington TC was created in 1916, and racing commenced at Hutt Park. [10] The TC ceased holding race meetings at Hutt Park in 2002 [11]
Nelson TCNelson
Marlborough TCBlenheim
Westport TCWestport1206m left-handed track
Reefton TCRefton
Greymouth TCGreymouth
Kaikoura TC Kaikoura
Rangiora TC Rangiora
Cheviot TC Rangiora
Hororata TC Hororata
New Zealand Metropolitan TC Addington Raceway Created by amalgamation of the Canterbury Trotting Club and Lancaster Park Amateur Trotting Club. [12] In 1899 it held its first meetings at Addington. In 1998 it amalgamated with the Canterbury Park TC and New Brighton TC into a "new" New Zealand Metropolitan Club.
Canterbury Park TC Addington Raceway In 1922 the Club purchased the lease to Addington Raceway from the NZMTC, which was intending on moving to Riccarton. [13] The NZMTC's move never eventuated so it became a tenant of Canterbury Park TC. In 1998 it amalgamated into "new" New Zealand Metropolitan TC.
New Brighton TC Addington Raceway In 1963 it moved to Addington Raceway. In 1998 it amalgamated into "new" New Zealand Metropolitan TC.
Banks Peninsula TC Motukarara
Methven TC Methven
Ashburton TC Ashburton
Geraldine TC Geraldine
South Canterbury TC Timaru
Waimate TC Waimate
Oamaru TC Oamaru
Kurow TC Oamaru
Central Otago TC Omakau
Waikouaiti TC Waikouaiti
Roxburgh TC Roxburgh
Forbury Park TC Forbury Park, Dunedin
Gore TC Gore
Winton TC Winton
Wairio TC Winton
Wyndham TC Wyndham
Invercargill TCInvercargill1029m left-handed track

The Amberley Racing Club also held trotting races at Amberley Racecourse and eventually an Amberley TC was formed and held trotting meetings. When the Amberley racecourse closed in 1973 the club then held meetings at Rangiora in February and September 1974 and conducted Equalisator meetings at its qualifying trials meetings through until 1980. The Amberley TC held its first full Totalisator meeting on the 23rd of January 1994. [14]

Racing rules

New Zealand racing differs from North American racing in that metric distances are used. Races are at distances between 1600m and 3200m.

Another large difference is that in New Zealand racing the leader does not have to hand up the lead to any horse that challenges, often leaving a horse parked outside the leader in the "death seat", "the death", or "facing the breeze", as this horse covers more ground than the leader.

New Zealand races may have a field of up to 16 horses, although as numbers of horses have reduced some races will have less than 10 starters. This generally means that with the smaller tracks a "three wide train" starts as the field gets the bell at signal their final lap.

There is a system of an 'open lane' or 'passing lane' ('sprint lane' in Australia). These lanes do not operate on all tracks and have been a point of argument between many industry participants.

New Zealand horses are able to easily "cross the Tasman" to Australia, as the rules are similar.

United States and Canada

The association with trotting in New Zealand and the United States has always been strong, with much of the breeding stock coming from America. Particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, New Zealand horses competed in both Canada and the United States. The first New Zealand horse to be raced in America by a New Zealander was the trotter Vodka, the winner of the 1953 Dominion Handicap. He was taken there in 1956 by his owner, J. S. Shaw, won 11 races and was later leased to American interests.

In 1960 Caduceus was the first New Zealand pacer to compete in the Yonkers International Series with his trainer-driver, J. D. Litten. Despite his nine years, Caduceus showed he was the equal of the top American horses, winning the last race of the series, only to be disqualified. He also was leased to American interests and at 10 years of age was still winning races.

False Step was driven in the Yonkers International series during the 1960–61 season by his trainer C C Devine. False Step's performances showed he was one of the greatest pacers in the world. He beat the acknowledged American champion, Adios Butler, in a 1½ mile race. He was sold in America for 115,000 dollars, the fifth-highest price paid for a pacer in the United States.

Arania also entered the series with False Step. She did not do well, but after being leased won several races and proved she was able to race with the best in America, and in fact created a record of 1 min 57 sec for 1 mile in the Lexington Red Mile. [15]

In 1964, Cardigan Bay was to travel to America with reinsman Stanley Dancer, who paid 100,000 dollars for the horse. Cardigan Bay was already an established racehorse in New Zealand, having won the 1963 New Zealand Trotting Cup and other top races in Australia and New Zealand. He went on to win over a million dollars in the United States, the first harness horse ever to do so.

See also

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The Standardbred is an American horse breed best known for its ability in harness racing, where members of the breed compete at either a trot or pace. Developed in North America, the Standardbred is recognized worldwide, and the breed can trace its bloodlines to 18th-century England. They are solid, well-built horses with good dispositions. In addition to harness racing, the Standardbred is used for a variety of equestrian activities, including horse shows and pleasure riding, particularly in the Midwestern and Eastern United States and in Southern Ontario.

Cardigan Bay (horse) New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

Cardigan Bay was a New Zealand harness racing pacer foaled 1 September 1956. Affectionately known as "Cardy", he was the first Standardbred to win US$1 million in prize money in North America. He was the ninth horse worldwide to win one million dollars,. Cardigan Bay won races in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Harness racing in Australia

Harness racing, also colloquially known as trotting or the trots, is a spectator sport in Australia, with significant amounts of money wagered annually with bookmakers and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). In Australia there are 90 harness racing tracks, which hold over 1,900 meetings annually. There are approximately 2,900 drivers and 4,000 trainers with about 5,000 Standardbred horses foaled and registered each year.

The New Zealand Cup for standardbred horses, also known as either the New Zealand Trotting Cup or the New Zealand Pacing Cup is a Group One (G1) harness race held annually by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club at Addington Raceway in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The New Zealand Messenger Championship is a Group One event for 4 year old pacing horses in New Zealand, run at Alexandra Park. In recent years the race has been held in late April or early May. It is on the same race-night as the Rowe Cup and Northern Trotting Derby for trotters and the New Zealand Sires Stakes Championship.

Maoris Idol Australian Standardbred racehorse

Maori's Idol was an Australian Standardbred racehorse. He was the first Australian trotter to break two minutes with a time of 1:59.3 on 19 November 1977 at Moonee Valley. Maori's Idol became one of Australia's greatest trotters, with a record 24 successive race victories before placing third in the 1978 Melbourne Inter-Dominion Final. He is still the trotting record holder with 22 wins in a season. He was so superior to his rivals that he may have gone through his career unbeaten had he been placed to advantage by his connections.

Christian Cullen is a Standardbred stallion and was one of New Zealand's best pacers. Named after the New Zealand international rugby union player, Christian Cullen, he won 22 of his 31 starts, and $NZ1,249,150 in prize money. He is notable in that he won both the Auckland Pacing Cup and New Zealand Trotting Cup races, the richest harness races in New Zealand. A powerful and impressive stallion, he has been particularly successful at stud.

The New Zealand Pacing Free For All is a major New Zealand harness race. It is notable as it is a Group One championship sprint race and has been won by nearly every champion pacer in New Zealand.

The Auckland Pacing Cup which is sometimes referred to as the Auckland Trotting Cup or merely the Auckland Cup is a race held at Alexandra Park on New Year's Eve in Auckland, New Zealand for Standardbred horses. It is one of the two major harness races, along with the New Zealand Cup, held in New Zealand each year for the highest grade pacers. It is a Group 1 championship race and has been won by nearly every champion pacer in New Zealand.

Johnny Globe New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

Johnny Globe was an outstanding New Zealand bred Standardbred pacer that held four world records. He is notable in that he won the NZ Trotting Cup, the richest harness race, and sometimes the richest horse race in New Zealand. Johnny Globe is also notable in winning 15 free for all pacing events, which at the time was a record. He was also a leading New Zealand sire on four occasions.

Indianapolis (horse) New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

Indianapolis was a New Zealand bred Standardbred racehorse. He is notable in that he won three New Zealand Trotting Cup races, the richest harness race, and sometimes the richest horse race in New Zealand. Indianapolis was one of two horses to win the NZ Trotting Cup three times, the other being False Step. He held the world record for a three-year-old, a record which stood for 14 years.

False Step New Zealand Standardbred racehorse

False Step was a New Zealand Standardbred racehorse. He is notable in that he won three New Zealand Trotting Cup races, the richest harness race, and sometimes the richest horse race in New Zealand. False Step is one of two horses to win the NZ Trotting Cup three times, the other being Indianapolis.

The Rowe Cup is a race held annually in May at Alexandra Park, Auckland, New Zealand for standardbred horses. Worth $156,000 and run over a distance of 3200 m, it is one of the major harness races for trotters rather than pacers.

Inter Dominion Trotting Championship

The Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Grand Final was a race for trotters within the overall Inter Dominion series. The series is held each year, and is a harness racing competition for both trotters and pacers that has been contested since 1936 in Australia and New Zealand. The host of the series is rotated between the 6 harness racing states of Australia and the North and South Islands of New Zealand. However, in recent years the Trotting series has mainly been held in Victoria with other Australian states reluctant to host the series. It forms part of the overall Inter Dominion series for pacers and trotters.

The Dominion is a race held at the Addington Raceway each year in Christchurch, New Zealand for standardbred horses.

Gammalite Australian Standardbred racehorse

Gammalite was an Australian bred Standardbred racehorse who was the first Standardbred to win A$1 million in Australia. He was regarded as one of Australia's most successful pacers with 16 Group one wins. He won the Inter Dominion Championship twice and was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.

Inter Dominion

The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition that has been contested since 1936 in Australia and New Zealand.

Terror To Love is a New Zealand standardbred racehorse. He is best known for being a three-time winner of the New Zealand Trotting Cup, in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was trained by Graham and Paul Court.


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