Reinsman Matthew Williamson and one of Santa's "reindeer" get into the festive mood ahead of the Oamaru Harness Racing Club's annual Christmas races. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Donner and Blitzen and the rest of Santa's reindeer will go
head to head in a charity race in Oamaru today in what is
believed to be a New Zealand first.
As part of the fourth annual Oamaru Harness Racing Club's
Christmas races, punters will be given the chance to own
Rudolph, and the rest, for one race, by way of a silent
Event manager Scott Elliffe said although horses wearing
antlers would play the part of the reindeer, he believed it
was the first race of its kind in the country.
"With the antlers on and all the Christmas bells on they will
look extremely authentic.
"The idea was that while Santa was delivering presents to the
crowd, his entourage decide to have a race. No doubt he will
be a bit miffed."
Mr Elliffe said proceeds from the auction would go to the
Child Cancer Foundation and CanTeen.
"Obviously, we are looking forward to the fun of it, but also
to the fact it is supporting the work of a good cause."
He said about 3000 people were expected to attend the event.