Forbury Park Trotting Club general manager Zelda Jordan
wants the public back on course at Forbury Park. Photo by
Getting the public back on course is one of the goals of
Forbury Park's Zelda Jordan.
Jordan was appointed as Forbury Park Trotting Club's general
manager last month, after acting in the role since May. She
is now deep in the world of harness racing, having arrived at
the club in May 2010 after 18 years in the health industry.
''I had had no background in horses at all,'' Jordan said.
''It was just another opportunity in an administration role -
systems and processes and a new change.''
One thing that captured Jordan's attention instantly when she
settled into her original role of office manager was the
links forged between people in the industry.
''There are so many connections and periods of time people
have been involved in it, and the family connection,'' she
It is that sense of family and community that could be the
driving force to getting the public - be it punters or simply
Dunedin people - back on course.
''We've just got so much scope. There's so much potential to
reignite all those relationships we had with the community
which had slipped away over time,'' Jordan said.
''It's a great facility that's under-utilised by the
community as a whole but as a racing venue, people don't use
The trotting club's focus is around race days, developing
racing and improving the facilities, as commercial tenants
have control over other facilities outside race days.
Many harness racing clubs around New Zealand have set up
syndicates to bring new owners into the sport, and it is
certainly an option for Forbury Park.
Jordan acknowledged the support Forbury Park has from owners
and trainers, and is looking forward to developing incentive
schemes to recognise their loyalty.
''It's not just about those who are training and driving.
It's about spectators and owners and syndicates that people
can get in at grass roots [level] without costing a lot of
money,'' she said.
She wants to make sure it is affordable, ''something you do
with your mates or colleagues and it doesn't have to cost a
lot of money but you come down here and have a good time''.
Converting racing fans into members is also a challenge for
Jordan and the management structure.
''We've missed out a whole generation of membership.
''We've got a lot of older people who have been here a long
time and we don't have very many young people coming through,
so it would be good to be able to get some passionate young
people back into the industry again and get them back on
Jordan has authority delegated to her by a board of
management headed by chairman John Henderson, comprised of
two independent appointments and one delegated committee
member. Jordan grew up in Winton and has two sons, Tom (11)
and Harrison (9).