Beaumont club going strong

The Beaumont Racing Club remains a constant in an ever-evolving thoroughbred landscape.

This week the club has been preparing for its annual race meeting at Wingatui on Monday.

Unlike other small racing clubs across New Zealand, the Beaumont club committee and members can do so without wondering whether it will be their last.

The Messara Report and a subsequent venue plan by New Zealand Thoroughbred racing have put forward sweeping changes to thoroughbred racing venues across New Zealand.

The Beaumont club will largely be unaffected by any of the proposed changes, which include closing down southern racing venues.

The main chance of upheaval comes from suggestions in the Messara report to change the number of race day licences issued in the lower South Island.

The Beaumont Racing Club, though, is a step ahead of some clubs that will be affected by proposed changes to thoroughbred venues.

It went through a self-rationalisation process when closing its racecourse at Beaumont and moving to Wingatui.

Though it is a move that has been highly successful for his club, president Phil Williams said it was not a move that would work for everybody.

''We realise that some clubs will have to move, but we think that the three Otago clubs that race in the holiday period - Waikouaiti, Kurow and Cromwell - should retain their identity.

''They all have crowds that come just at that time of year and those meetings may not work elsewhere.

''Although we can see the point of rationalisation, those Otago clubs have a pretty good case to stay where they are.''

Shifting to another course has been a successful formula for the Beaumont club.

That success was detailed in the venue plan that New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing released earlier this year.

''The club is going really well. We have made money the last five seasons.

''We have got good reserves and we have a really good group of sponsors and we try to look after them.''

Williams said that working with the Forbury Park Trotting Club to host a dual-code race meeting was a key part of the club's continued success.

''The dual-code has been a real success for us and we had a lot of people on course each time we have run it.''

The Beaumont Racing Club will again host a dual-code race day in conjunction with the Forbury club on Monday.

Seven harness and six galloping races have been scheduled.

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