Festive season 150th for racing club

Tapanui Racing Club spokesman Graeme Edgar says the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations this Christmas will be a chance to share memories of past successes. Photo: Richard Davison
Tapanui Racing Club spokesman Graeme Edgar says the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations this Christmas will be a chance to share memories of past successes. Photo: Richard Davison
Tapanui's annual Christmas trip to the races will have added spice this year, as its racing club celebrates 150 years of equine sweat, tears and cheers.

And Tapanui Racing Club spokesman Graeme Edgar is appealing to past and present club members, and the wider community, for archival materials such as photos and historic objects that could be displayed during the event.

He said the committee has been quietly planning the jubilee for the past eight months.

The traditional Christmas race day at Gore will form a bookend to three days of celebration in both Tapanui and Gore, expected to attract a collective 1000-plus participants.

Mr Edgar said the jubilee would follow the typical pattern for such events.

''On the Friday we'll have our meet and greet at our Tapanui racecourse in the A & P showgrounds, where we're hoping to have a display of vintage and historic materials for people to view.

''Saturday is a formal dinner at the Heartland Hotel Croydon in Gore, then on Sunday we'll be going to the races for Christmas.''

Race day on December 22 would be given an extra edge with an expanded stake of $50,000.

''We'd be pleased with 150 to 200 visitors for our special run-up events, and the races themselves attract towards 1000 people, so we're expecting a pretty busy weekend.''

Tapanui residents had thrown themselves behind the event, he said.

''The community has already been very supportive, and we're thrilled to be able to share this landmark with them.

''We've been in touch with former committee members and relatives as far back as 1960, but we'd welcome people spreading the word if they think of anyone else who might be interested.''

Although the last race meet in Tapanui was in 1997, the club remained in ''reasonable'' health, Mr Edgar said.

''We're pleased to have reached 150 years.

''We'll take a closer look at the future for the club once we're past the celebrations.''

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

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