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.
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.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.
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.
From these early stages, the sport has developed with top races and top horses from then right up to the present day.
The following are some of New Zealand's greatest pacers and races they have won.
Key for 3-year-old and Australian races:
|Horse||Sire||Dam||3YO races|| Auck Cup || NZ Cup || NZ FFA || Inter Dom ||Major Aust. races||Other notes|
|Auckland Reactor||Mach Three||Atomic Lass, by Soky’s Atom||2007 NZSS 1st, 2008 NZD 1st||2009 1st||2008 1st, 2009 5th||2009 12th, 2012 7th||2009 MM 6th, 2012 HC 2nd|
|Caduceus||U Scott (USA)||Little Ada, by Frank Worthy (USA)||1953 NZD 1st||1954 1st||1956 3rd, 1958 2nd, 1959 3rd||1956 1st, 1958 1st, 1959 1st||1960 1st|
|Captain Sandy||Sandydale (USA)||Waikura (USA), by Guy Parrish (USA)||1948 1st, 1949 1st||1949 2nd||1950 1st, 1953 1st|
|Cardigan Bay||Hal Tryax (USA)||Colwyn Bay, by Josedale Dictator (USA)||1962 1st, 1963 1st||1963 1st||1961 1st, 1963 1st||1963 1st||The 1st horse to win $1M. 154 starts for 80 wins & 45 places.|
|Changeover||In The Pocket||Chaangerr, by Vance Hanover (USA)||2007 GND 1st, 2007 NZD 1st||2007 4th, 2008 1st||2008 3rd, 2009 3rd|
|Chokin||Vance Hanover (USA)||Nell’s Pride, by Tuft (USA)||1991 NZSS 1st||1993 1st, 1994 1st||1993 1st||1993 1st||1993 MM 1st, 1994 MM 1st, 1994 VC 1st|
|Christian Cullen||In The Pocket||Pleasant Franco, by Bo Scots Blue Chip||1997 NZSS 1st||1998 1st||1998 1st||1998 1st|
|Courage Under Fire||In The Pocket||Advance Debra, by Vance Hanover (USA)||1998 NZSS 1st, 1998 GND 1st, 1999 NZD 1st|
|Delightful Lady||Tudor Hanover (USA)||Desilu (NZ), by U Scott||1980 1st, 1981 1st||1980 2nd|
|Elsu||Falcon Seelster (USA)||Interchange (NZ), by New York Motoring (USA)||2002 GND 1st, 2003 NZD 1st||2003 1st, 2004 1st||2003 2nd, 2004 2nd||2003 3rd||2005 1st||2005 HC 1st,|
|False Step||Fallacy (NZ)||Dainty Direct (NZ), by Dan||1956 NZD 1st||1957 4th, 1958 1st, 1959 1st, 1960 1st||1960 1st|
|Flashing Red||Echelon||Courvy Kazi, by Courvosier||2007 1st||2006 1st, 2007 1st||2006 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 3rd||1931 1st, 1934 1st, 1936 1st|
|Highland Fling||U Scott (USA)||Queen Ayesha, by Frank Worthy (USA)||1947 1st, 1948 1st||1948 1st|
|Il Vicolo||Vance Hanover (USA)||Burgundy Lass (NZ), by Noodlum (NZ)||1994 NZSS 1st, 1995 GND 1st, 1995 NZD 1st||1995 1st, 1996 1st||1995 1st|
|I’m The mightyquinn||Washington V C||Love Sign, by Soky’s Atom||2011 1st, 2013 1st||2011 1st, 2012 1st, 2013 1st|
|Indianapolis||Wrack (USA)||Estella Amos (USA), by Dale Axworthy||1932 GND 1st||1933 1st||1934 1st, 1935 1st, 1936 1st||1935 1st|
|Johnny Globe||Logan Derby||Sandfast, by Sandydale (USA)||1950 GND 1st, 1950 NZD 1st||1951 2nd, 1953 2nd, 1954 1st||1953 1st, 1954 1st|
|Just An Excuse||Live Or Die||My Excuse, by Smooth Fella||2003 1st, 2004 1st, 2005 3rd,||2004 1st, 2005 3rd|
|Lazarus||Bettor's Delight||Bethany, by Christian Cullen||2016 GND 1st, 2016 NZD 1st||2016 1st, 2017 1st||2016 1st|
|Lord Module||Lordship||Module (NZ), by Bachelor Hanover (USA)||1978 5th, 1979 1st||1978 3rd, 1979 1st, 1980 2nd|
|Lordship||Johnny Globe (NZ)||Ladyship (NZ), by U Scott (USA)||1961 NZD 1st||1964 1st||1962 1st, 1964 3rd, 1966 1st||1962 1st, 1964 1st, 1967 1st|
|Monkey King||Sands A Flyin||Tuapeka Vale, by Smooth Fella||2005 GND 1st,||2008 2nd, 2009 2nd, 2010 1st,||2007 2nd, 2009 1st, 2010 1st,||2009 1st, 2010 1st, 2011 5th||2009 MM 1st|
|Noodlum||Bachelor Hanover||Deft, by Captain Adios||1974 NZD 1st||15 straight wins (28 in career)|
|Our Sir Vancelot||Vance Hanover (USA)||Teeny Teeny (AUS), by Overtrick (USA)||1997 1st, 1998 1st, 1999 1st||1997 MM 1st, 1997 WAPC 1st, 1998 WAPC 1st|
|Robalan||Lumber Dream||Elsinor (NZ), by U Scott (USA)||1972 3rd, 1973 4th, 1974 1st, 1975 3rd||1971 4th, 1972 1st, 1973 1st, 1974 1st||A free-legged pacer|
|Robin Dundee||Hal Tryax||Cherry Blossum, by Dillon Hall||1965 1st||1963 2nd, 1965 2nd, 1966 2nd||1965 1st||1965 1st=||Dead-heated in Interdom with Jay Ar|
|Roydon Glen||Smooth Fella||Roydon Dream, by Lumber Dream||1984 GND 1st||1985 1st||1985 3rd|
|Smoken Up||Tinted Cloud||Carnlough Bay, by Camtastic||2009 3rd, 2010 2nd, 2011 2nd||2010 3rd, 2011 1st||2010 MM 1st, 2011 MM 1st, 2011 VC 1st|
|Terror to Love||Western Terror||Love To Live, by Live Or Die||2012 2nd, 2013 2nd, 2014 1st||2011 1st, 2012 1st, 2013 1st, 2014 4th||2012 3rd, 2014 4th|
|Young Quinn||Young Charles (NZ)||Loyal Trick (NZ), by Hal Tryax (USA)||1974 1st||1973 3rd, 1974 3rd||1973 4th, 1974 3rd||1975 1st||1975 MM 1st,|
The following are some of New Zealand's greatest trotters and races they have won:
|Horse||Breeding||NZ Trotting Derby / Stakes|| Dominion Handicap ||National Trot|| Rowe Cup || Inter Dominion Trotting Championship ||Notes|
|David Moss||Gekoj - Proud Countess, by Hickory Pride||1993, 1994||1993|
|Easton Light||Great Evander - Beverley Light, by Light Brigade||1972, 1974||1973||1976||167 starts, 36 wins and 76 placings|
|I Can Doosit||Muscles Yankee - Sheezadoosie, by Chiola Hanover||2011||2011, 2012||2011, 2012|
|Johnny Gee||Johnny Globe - Atone||1965||1970|
|Lyell Creek||Royden Glen (NZ) - Kahlum (NZ), by Noodlum||1999, 2001, 2004||1999, 2000||2000, 2001, 2004||2000||Raced in America and Europe|
|Nigel Craig||Protector - Pipetre||1977|
|No Response||Hodgen's Surprise - Cordsworth, by Ripcord||-||-||1978||1981||1979|
|Petite Evander||Great Evander - Thearle (NZ), by Light Brigade||21 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)||1960||1961|
|Pride Of Petite||Royal Prestige - Petite Evander, by Great Evander||1996, 1997|
|Take A Moment||Armbro Invasion (NZ) - Nakura (NZ), by Jet D'Emeraude||2001, 2002, 2003||2002, 03||2001||2001, 2003|
The following are some notable people in New Zealand harness racing history:
|Person||Achievements/Comments||Other horses associated with|
|James (“Scotty”) Bryce||Winning 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 Junior||Winning 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||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.||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 |
|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 McKendry||Winning 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 May||Winning 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 Mitchell||Winning driver of 4 NZ Cups (Homin Hosed, Gracious Knight, Just An Excuse x2) & 1 NZ FFA (Just An Excuse)|
|Reon Murtha||long-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)||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 Purdon||Father 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 |
|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).|
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.
|Avon City Ford Cup||Sep||NZ Metro||Listed||Open Pace||$20,000|
|Ordeal Cup||Sep||NZ Metro||Listed||Open Trot||$20,000|
|Spring Cup||Sep||Auckland||Listed||Open Pace||$25,000|
|Superstars Champs||Oct||NZ Metro||Group 2||4YO Pace||$50,000|
|Searells Classic||Oct||NZ Metro||Group 3||Open Pace||$30,000|
|D G Jones Trotting Cup||Oct||Banks Pen||Group 3||Open Trot||$35,000|
|Kumeu Founders Cup||Oct||Kumeu||Group 3||Open Pace||$30,000|
|Canterbury Park Trotting Cup||Oct||NZ Metro||Group 3||Open Trot||$30,000|
|Methven Cup||Oct||Methven||Listed||Open Pace||$25,000|
|Ashburton Flying Stakes||Oct||Ashburton||Group 2||Open Pace||$75,000|
|Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile||Oct||Ashburton||Group 3||Open Trot||$40,000|
|Kaikoura Cup||Oct||Kaikoura||Group 2||Open Pace||$60,000|
|Handicap Trot||Nov||Kaikoura||Listed||Open Trot||$30,000|
|New Zealand Sires Stakes||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 1||3YO Pace||$300,000|
|New Zealand Trotting Cup||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Pace||$750,000|
|NZ Free-For-All||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 3||Open Pace||$50,000|
|Discretionary Trot||Nov||NZ Metro||Listed||Open Trot||$25,000|
|New Zealand Free For All||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Pace||$200,000|
|New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Trot||$100,000|
|Dominion Handicap||Nov||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Trot||$200,000|
|Pak'N Save Franklin Cup||Nov||Franklin||Group 2||Open Pace||$80,000|
|Ladyship Stakes||Dec||Auckland||Group 2||3YO Fillies Pace||$70,000|
|Lyell Creek Stakes||Dec||Auckland||Group 2||Open Trot||$50,000|
|Northern 4YO Breeders Stakes||Dec||Auckland||Group 3||4YO Mares Pace||$40,000|
|Northern Stakes||Dec||Auckland||Listed||3YO Pace||$25,000|
|Queen Of Hearts||Dec||Auckland||Group 1||Mares Pace||$100,000|
|Elsu Classic||Dec||Auckland||Group 2||3YO Pace||$70,000|
|Trotters Flying Mile||Dec||Cambridge||Group 2||Open Trot||$55,000|
|Sires Stakes Fillies Final||Dec||Auckland||Group 1||3YO Fillies Pace||$150,000|
|National Trot||Dec||Auckland||Group 1||Open Trot||$100,000|
|Manukau Summer Cup||Dec||Auckland||Group 3||Open Pace||$45,000|
|3YO Open||Dec||Auckland||Listed||3YO Pace||$200,000|
|Auckland Trotting Cup||Mar||Auckland||Group 1||Open Pace||$250,000 (2019)|
|Flying Mile||Jan||Cambridge||Group 2||Open Pace||$75,000|
|Trotting Cup FFA||Jan||Cen Otago||Listed||Open Pace||$25,000|
|Flying Stakes||Jan||Cambridge||Listed||Open Trot||$30,000|
|Cambridge 4YO Classic||Jan||Cambridge||Group 3||4YO Pace||$40,000|
|Waikato Guineas||Jan||Cambridge||Listed||3YO Pace||$27,500|
|Southland Cup||Jan||North South||Group 3||Open Pace||$55,000|
|4YO Futurity Stakes||Jan||Cambridge||Group 2||4YO Pace||$60,000|
|Te Awamutu Juvenile Stake||Jan||Cambridge||Listed||2YO Pace||$25,000|
|4YO Classic||Jan||Marlborough||Group 2||4YO Pace||$50,000|
|Caduceus Club Mares Championship||Jan||NZ Metro||Group 2||Mares Pace||$50,000|
|Fillies Pace||Jan||NZ Metro||Listed||3YO Fillies Pace||$125,000|
|FFA Mobile||Jan||NZ Metro||Listed||Open Pace||$75,000|
|4YO Championship||Feb||Forbury||Group 3||4YO Pace||$30,000|
|NZ Sapling Stakes||Feb||Ashburton||Group 3||2YO Pace||$30,000|
|Hambletonian Classic||Feb||Ashburton||Group 3||3YO Trot||$30,000|
|NZ Breeders Stakes||Feb||NZ Metro||Group 1||F & M Pace||$100,000|
|City Of Auckland FFA||Feb||Auckland||Group 2||Open Pace||$60,000|
|Northern Oaks||Feb||Auckland||Group 1||3YO Fillies Pace||$200,000|
|NZ Kindergarten Stakes||Feb||Wyndham||Group 3||2YO Pace||$30,000|
|Great Northern Derby||Mar||Auckland||Group 1||3YO Pace||$600,000|
|Cardigan Bay Stakes||Mar||Auckland||Group 2||2YO Pace||$50,000|
|City of Sails FFA||Mar||Auckland||Group 3||Open Trot||$40,000|
|Delightful Lady Classic||Mar||Auckland||Listed||2YO Fillies Pace||$25,000|
|Stakes||Mar||Cheviot||Group 3||2YO Fillies Pace||$30,000|
|3YO Trot||Mar||Rangiora||Listed||3YO Trot||$60,000|
|Invercargill Cup||Mar||Invercargill||Group 3||Open Pace||$55,000|
|Canterbury Country Cups Final||Mar||NZ Metro||Feature||Open Pace||$30,000|
|NZ Trotting Derby||Mar||NZ Metro||Group 1||3YO Trot||$100,000|
|Flying Stakes||Mar||NZ Metro||Group 2||3YO Pace||$50,000|
|4YO Trotters Champ||Mar||NZ Metro||Group 3||4YO Trot||$30,000|
|New Zealand Trotting Derby||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 1||3YO Pace||$300,000|
|NZ Trotting Champs||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Trot||$100,000|
|Fillies Classic||Apr||Auckland||Group 1||2YO Fillies Pace||$110,000|
|NZ Trotting Oaks||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 3||3YO Fillies Trot||$30,000|
|Free-For-All||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 3||Open Pace||$30,000|
|Fillies Classic||Apr||North South||Listed||2YO Pace||$25,000|
|Easter Cup||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 1||Open Pace||$100,000|
|Welcome Stakes||Apr||NZ Metro||Group 1||2YO Pace||$100,000|
|North Island Country Cups Final||Apr||Auckland||Feature||Open Pace||$30,000|
|Noel J Taylor Mile||Apr||Auckland||Group 1||4YO Pace||$100,000|
|Sires Stakes Trotters Championship||Apr||Auckland||Group 2||3YO Trot||$80,000|
|Morrinsville Juvenile Stakes||Apr||Moriinsville||Listed||2YO Pace||$30,000|
|2YO Fillies||Apr||Auckland||Listed||2YO Fillies Pace||$150,000|
|New Zealand Messenger||May||Auckland||Group 1||4YO Pace||$200,000|
|NZ Sires Stakes Fillies Champs||May||Auckland||Group 1||2YO Fillies Pace||$150,000|
|Rowe Cup||May||Auckland||Group 1||Open Trot||$300,000|
|Northern Trotting Derby||May||Auckland||Group 1||3YO Trot||$100,000|
|NZ Trotting Stakes||May||NZ Metro||Group 3||2YO Trot||$30,000|
|Southern Country Cups Final||May||Invercargill||Feature||Open Pace||$35,000|
|Southland Oaks||May||Invercargill||Group 2||3YO Fillies Pace||$50,000|
|Southern Supremacy Stakes||May||Invercargill||Group 2||3YO C & G Pace||$50,000|
|Rangiora Classic||May||Rangiora||Group 3||Open Pace||$60,000|
|Fillies Final||May||NZ Metro||Group 1||3YO Fillies Pace||$150,000|
|NZ Sires Stakes Trotting Championship||May||NZ Metro||Group 2||2YO Trot||$60,000|
|Yearling Sales 2YO Open||May||NZ Metro||Listed||2YO Pace||$200,000|
|Cambridge 3YO Trotting Stakes||May||Cambridge||Listed||3YO Trot||$25,000|
|Memorial NZ Oaks||May||NZ Metro||Group 1||3YO Fillies Pace||$150,000|
|NZ Sires Stakes Final||May||NZ Metro||Group 1||2YO Pace||$200,000|
|Kumeu Stakes||May||Auckland||Group 3||4YO Pace||$30,000|
|Winter Cup||May||NZ Metro||Listed||Open Pace||$25,000|
|NI Breeders Stakes||May||Franklin||Group 3||F & M Pace||$30,000|
|Yearling Sales 2YO Trot||May||NZ Metro||Listed||2YO Trot||$60,000|
|Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond||May||Ashburton||Group 1||2YO Fillies Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 3YO Diamond||May||Ashburton||Group 1||3YO Fillies Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 4YO Diamond||May||Ashburton||Group 1||4YO Mares Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 2YO Emerald||May||Ashburton||Group 1||2YO C & G Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 3YO Emerald||May||Ashburton||Group 1||3YO C & G Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald||May||Ashburton||Group 1||4YO E & G Pace||$200,000|
|Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby||May||Ashburton||Group 1||3YO Trot||$100,000|
|Harness Jewels 4YO Ruby||May||Ashburton||Group 1||4YO Trot||$100,000|
|Harness Jewels 2YO Ruby||May||Ashburton||Group 2||2YO Trot||$100,000|
|Trotting Breeders Stakes||Jun||Auckland||Group 3||F & M Trot||$35,000|
|Winter Cup||Jun||Auckland||Listed||Open Pace||$25,000|
|NZ Yearling Sales NHT Pace||Jun||Auckland||Listed||2YO Pace||$100,000|
|Greenlane Cup||Jun||Auckland||Listed||Open Trot||$25,000|
|Thames Cup||Jun||Thames||Listed||Open Pace||$20,000|
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.
|Northland TC||Kensington Park|
|Auckland TC||Alexandra Park, Auckland||1006m right handed track|
|Thames TC||Alexandra Park, Auckland|
|Franklin TC||Alexandra Park, Auckland|
|Waikato TC||Claudelands Raceway|
|Bay of Plenty TC||Tauranga|
|Cambridge TC||Cambridge Raceway|
|Te Awamutu TC||Cambridge Raceway|
|Morrinsville TC||Cambridge Raceway|
|Taranaki TC||New Plymouth|
|Manawatu TC||Palmerston North|
|Otaki TC||Hutt Park|
|Masterton TC||Hutt Park|
|Wellington TC||Hutt Park||The Wellington TC was created in 1916, and racing commenced at Hutt Park. The TC ceased holding race meetings at Hutt Park in 2002|
|Westport TC||Westport||1206m left-handed track|
|New Zealand Metropolitan TC||Addington Raceway||Created by amalgamation of the Canterbury Trotting Club and Lancaster Park Amateur Trotting Club. 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. 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|
|South Canterbury TC||Timaru|
|Central Otago TC||Omakau|
|Forbury Park TC||Forbury Park, Dunedin|
|Invercargill TC||Invercargill||1029m 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.
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.
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.
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.
Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance, for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.
Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait. They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, or spider, occupied by a driver. In Europe, and less frequently in Australia and New Zealand, races with jockeys riding directly on saddled trotters are also conducted.
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 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, 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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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