The Forbury Park Trotting Club has recorded a significant
turnaround, logging a profit of more than $50,000 for the past
The club made a $144,585 loss in the 2011 financial year but
with tighter margins and improved revenue, its finances have
taken a turn for the better.
The club recorded a profit of $50,488, which president Peter
Gillespie said was a pleasing result that came from a lot of
"We have to be pretty happy with that. We had 18 meetings
last year, which was a couple down on last year, but,
overall, it has been a fairly busy year." The ground floor of
the main stand was fully tenanted and a high standard of food
meant people were now keen to dine at the races, he said.
A Christmas meeting next month had already attracted 400
The club and its general manager, Paul Knowles, had settled
an employment dispute but Gillespie said the terms of the
settlement had to remain confidential. He confirmed Knowles
no longer worked there. Zelda Simpson was the acting general
A couple of motions were defeated at the club's annual
meeting on Wednesday night.
A motion to scrap the board of management was defeated, along
with a suggestion that stabling fees for resident trainers be
cut from $70 a month to $35 a month.
Gillespie said the next 12 months would be spent consulting
everyone concerned, with the view of rewriting the club's
The four major harness tracks around the country were set up
with a board to run the facility and a committee to run the
racing. It was questioned whether this was the appropriate
structure for Forbury Park.
Gillespie said he wanted everybody included in the
consultation, including Harness Racing New Zealand.
The club had set a goal of hosting the Harness Jewels in 2017
and that meant all facilities had to be up to scratch.
"There is quite a financial commitment to do that. It
requires top-class stabling facilities to get the best horses
in the country down here."
Gillespie said that previously, decisions were made ad hoc,
but he hoped this would change with a more strategic plan
Graeme Anderson, Ken McFarlane and Marty Denton were elected
to the club's committee, and Ken Campbell and Kerry Dance
were re-elected. Ray Fidow and Leon Crawford did not seek