Mark Purdon is a driver and trainer of standardbred racehorses in New Zealand. He was associated with many champions and is the leading trainer and one of the leading drivers of harness horses in New Zealand.He was inducted into the Inter Dominion Hall of Fame.
Mark has trained on his own account and in partnership as follows:
In mid November 2020, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen announced they would cease their training partnership as from 31 December 2020. They would lease their Rolleston stables to Hayden and Amanda Cullen and although staying involved, when required, they would not be managing the day to day training operation. Mark (aged 56 years old) and Natalie (43) intended to take a break after working with horses for a combined 70 years.
Their last night as a partnership was the 2020 Auckland Pacing Cup meeting at Alexandra Park in which they managed to quinella the Cup with Amazing Dream and Spankem.
Top horses Mark has been associated with include:
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.
Young Quinn, a New Zealand standardbred racehorse, was successful in period where his competition in the sport of trotting was particularly strong. Foaled in 1969, he was by Young Charles out of Loyal Trick by Hal Tryax (USA). Named after Brian "Snow" Quinn, a champion New Zealand sheep shearer, he was trained and driven by the great Charles Stewart Hunter (Charlie). He was nicknamed 'Garbage' as a result of his habit of eating anything in sight, as a young horse. It was later revealed by cardiograph tests that Young Quinn's heart weighed 13 lb, only 1 lb less than that of the great racehorse Phar Lap.
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.
Auckland Reactor is a New Zealand standardbred racehorse bred by Dr. Tony & Anne Parker. He has been crowned New Zealand Horse of the Year in two seasons. He was also given the nickname The Reactor Factor because most Trainers supposedly feared him.
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.
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:
Peter Tom Wolfenden is a former New Zealand driver and trainer of Standardbred racehorses. He is most notable for his victory in the New Zealand Trotting Cup when he drove New Zealand's top pacer Cardigan Bay. He won the New Zealand drivers' premiership 14 times, including eight consecutive years from 1974, and twice won the Australasian Drivers Championship. He represented New Zealand seven times in the World Drivers Championship in harness racing, placing second in 1977 and third in 1971. He had 1762 career race wins in New Zealand as a driver, and 798 as a trainer.
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.
The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition that has been contested since 1936 in Australia and New Zealand.
Free Holmes was a driver of standardbred racehorses in New Zealand, possibly the most famous that New Zealand has ever had.
The Inter Dominion Hall of Fame is an organization created to recognise and honour those whose achievements have enriched the world of the Harness racing industry, particularly in the Inter Dominion series. The hall of fame was created to honor the standardbred annual races of the Inter Dominion which includes the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship and the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship. The races are held in a rotating cycle in Australia and New Zealand. The 2020 race is being held in New South Wales.
David James "Doody" Townley was a driver of Standardbred racehorses in New Zealand. He was associated with many champions and was a leading driver of harness horses in New Zealand.
John Langdon is a former driver of standardbred racehorses in New Zealand. He was associated with many champions and was a leading driver of harness horses in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Derby is a classic event in New Zealand for 3 year old harness horses, run at Addington during the autumn.
The New Zealand Sires Stakes 3yo Final is an event for 3 year old pacing horses in New Zealand. The race is one of the major harness races in New Zealand and is contested by the top three-year-old horses, who have to qualify in heats run throughout New Zealand in the preceding six weeks. It is run on the same day as the New Zealand Trotting Cup.
Chokin is a New Zealand Standardbred racehorse who was notable in winning the New Zealand Trotting Cup, which is New Zealand's most prestigious horse race. Chokin is also one of the few horses to have won Harold Park Paceway's prestigious Miracle Mile Pace twice.