Picnic race meeting popular

There was a close finish to the Lake Hawea Pace but Kia Clutha Connection (right) just sneaked...
There was a close finish to the Lake Hawea Pace but Kia Clutha Connection (right) just sneaked past Line A Love for victory. PHOTOS: SEAN NUGENT
Close to 2000 people young and old turned out for the Hawea Picnic Races yesterday but you could almost guarantee no-one had been to the event more times than Ken McLeod.

The Wanaka man first attended the races as a young boy in the 1950s and has been involved in putting the event together since the late 1960s.

"Our family used to have horses so I guess that's where it all started," he said.

"I'm not a great horseman but I've always had something to do to help out."

People just could not get enough of the bacon butties being served up by Lake Hawea Volunteer...
People just could not get enough of the bacon butties being served up by Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade members (from left) Lily Graham, Amie Capell, Martin Roberts and Gus McAllister.
There had been both change and consistency over that 60-year period.

"There are more pro trainers than there used to be but it's always been a family day out."

For a time crowd numbers dwindled and Mr McLeod was pleased to see people returning to the event.

Wanaka man Ken McLeod has been to every Hawea Picnic Race day since the late 1960s.
Wanaka man Ken McLeod has been to every Hawea Picnic Race day since the late 1960s.
Organiser Paul Cunningham believed numbers looked similar to the record-breaking crowds seen last year.

There were 10 races on the card in the afternoon, following a morning of eventing for the Hawea Wanaka Pony Club.

There was plenty of fun and entertainment for families and a classic car collection was also on display.

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