Racing club secretary not one to wager

Ellie Barron drives Holdon Toyaspurs in the Pick and Shovel junior drivers trot at the Oamaru Racecourse yesterday. Photo: Hamish MacLean
Ellie Barron drives Holdon Toyaspurs in the Pick and Shovel junior drivers trot at the Oamaru Racecourse yesterday. Photo: Hamish MacLean
She will never win the trifecta.

Oamaru Harness Racing Club secretary Jemma Barltrop, of Dunedin, grew up in Oamaru immersed in the racing scene.

Jemma Barltrop
Jemma Barltrop
But despite a serious harness racing pedigree, the former Waitaki Girls' High School pupil does not punt like a pro, she said. In fact, she never bets.

Since she was 12 months old, she has spent time at TABs.

As a teenager, she came to the Oamaru Racecourse and ran results.

Her father John Mudie ran the TAB in Oamaru for 20 years and then was Oamaru Harness Racing Club secretary for the next 20 years, before Ms Barltrop took over in 2016.

And still at the Oamaru Harness Racing Club summer meeting at the Oamaru Racecourse she was not placing bets.

''I've been coming here a long time,'' Ms Barltrop said. ''You'd think I'd be either rich or poor by now, but nope.''

Yesterday's meeting featured nine races in what was somewhat of an industry day.

Among the crowd of a couple hundred at Oamaru, families picnicked on the grounds in ''perfect race day conditions'' yesterday.

And while in the third race, Gavin Smith tipped out of his sulky, he managed to hold on to the reins of Miss Pinocchio and both the horse and driver escaped injury and the day remained pleasantly ''straightforward''.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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