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Geraldine Trotting Club - Loss of Date

Happy Sunrise

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My 2 cents worth because it annoys me!

The confusing (and maybe unscrupulous) actions of HRNZ continue after reading the article on Stuff about how Geraldine Trotting Club may lose their date for 2021. 

Geraldine is battling to hang on to its November trotting meeting at Orari. Denise Weaver, a Geraldine Trotting Club member, sent off a petition to Harness Racing NZ (HRNZ) on Tuesday urging them to reverse a decision to take the meeting from Orari and allocate it to Methven for 2021.

It seems very odd that 2 dates are taken away initially by the HRNZ review, then one is given back and then taken away again. What has changed for this club to lose their November date for a second time? Where are the reasons why by HRNZ? Are Timaru,  Forbury, Westport etc holding onto their dates in the new calendar? Wouldn't there be an outcry from them if it wasn't the case?

Gary Woodham, the new CEO, has been reported to being getting around clubs and committee members as part of his new job but he needs to do more than meet and greet.  I just can't understand the lack of logic by HRNZ in removing the date from Geraldine. Mid - South Canterbury need a back up grass track to act as support for Methven. I do not believe Methven is capable of holding trials / workouts and races under a heavier schedule. If the weather is poor in spring and early summer then they will struggle to manage. Then, like a wee while back, the meeting will be transferred to Ashburton. Motukarara can be a bog in early spring too so both could be out of action in a time of very poor weather. No one wants that as the backbone of the industry is grass track racing. 

It is a also a disservice by HRNZ to expect Geraldine to operate as a trials and workouts track only. If that is the case then HRNZ can pay for the volunteers and maintenance of the track. You can't have your everything your own way and be cheap while you do it. Geraldine TC provides a key service in supporting grass track racing so deserve at least a single race date for their efforts.

Marshall said the Orari meeting was the second biggest in the South Island behind Cup Week in Christchurch, with strong corporate and public support.

Not sure I would go that far as Banks P has some pretty bit crowds over Xmas but Geraldine would leave Oamaru, Rangiora, most meetings at Methven for dead in terms of crowd and business support. Just seems odd that a good track, with big crowds and higher than usual stakes would be struck from the list for no publicly given reasons for a second time.

HRNZ don't seem to show much overt leadership in their dealings. Not from Holden, and now not from Woodham. Time for whoever the hell is in charge to get on the front foot and share some thinking publicly or they will end up alienating communities around the region and erode support for the game.




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