Taking your family on holiday can have its stresses.
But imagine if you also had 20 horses to take with you.
That is the challenge the Williamson family, of Oamaru,
contend with each summer as they follow the circuit of race
meetings in the South.
On Saturday, owner and trainer Phil Williamson, his three
sons, his daughter and five of his horses were a prominent
presence at the Hawea Picnic Race Day.
''It's a holiday - a holiday with horses,'' Mr Williamson
said as he prepared two of his trotters for the next race.
Mr Williamson likened horse racing to dairy farming as he
explained to the Otago Daily Times the commitment
''It's like milking cows. Horses have to be worked every day,
so we take them with us when we come over here, so a change
is like a holiday.''
The Hawea meeting might be a small one on the racing
calendar, but the family takes it just as seriously as any
Prize money of about $5000 helps defray some of the expense.
When asked if the Hawea meeting had changed much over the
years, Mr Williamson was clear that apart from small
improvements, ''everything's the same'', and that was the way
he liked it.
''It's all good.
''It's one of those things you would like to see continue and
hopefully there are enough people in behind the scenes to
keep it going.
''If the local community keep it going, we'll keep coming.''
Yeverley McCarthy has spent 35 years making sure the event
Selling raffles outside the office on Saturday, she said it
was not ''a struggle'' because ''we have got it down to a
''The thing for us is to know we have got the entries.
''If we have got the entries then it runs itself, pretty
Mrs McCarthy believed the meeting attracted the public
because it was a family event.
''We don't get that hooney lot that go to the rodeo; we don't
get the 16- to 20-year-old boys and girls who are out to get
Mrs McCarthy believed the event would still be around 20
years from now, provided younger people got involved.
''The population of Hawea has quadrupled in the time we've
been running it. So there are going to be people who have a
mutual interest in running something like this.''
Treasurer Sharryn Catto said attendance on Saturday appeared
to be similar to the previous year, and income was a little
Any profits are distributed to community groups.
One of those in the prize money on Saturday was Eddie Murphy,
of Waikouaiti, with his 7-year-old trotter When the Boys
''He's had one win before. He's only had 30 starts,'' Mr
''He's a 7-year-old battler,'' driver Wayne Low, of Waimate,
Mr Murphy, who has attended Hawea for 20 years, said a win
was less about the money than about the ''bragging rights''.