Become Part of the Action
Amateur driving has now been successfully running in New Zealand since 2002. Many hundreds of people have now experienced the thrill of driving a harness horse at one of the many courses run throughout the country.
The reasons for attending our courses vary as widely as the participants themselves. Invariably though it comes back to an avid interest in horses and particularly harness racing combined with a strong desire to experience the action first hand.
The courses cater for all levels of experience, so regardless of whether you have never touched a horse in your life or you are handling and driving them on a daily basis the course is tailored to meet your needs.
Many of our course students have now gone on to obtain their amateur race day licence and are participating on a regular basis in amateur workouts and races. Each region can boast a hotly contested annual race series, which culminates in the successful drivers competing in the NZ championships. So if you fancy the chance of saluting the judge at either Addington or Alexandra Park, then this could be for you.
If that wasn't enough, regular inter-provincial challenges are also staged, as are the opportunities to compete against teams of visiting overseas drivers. Several teams of local drivers have also enjoyed the thrill of travelling to the USA to drive. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to experience this thrilling sport at the level of your choosing.
The best place to gain an introduction into harness racing is to attend one of the two day beginners courses. This course is suitable for those who have little or no experience either handling or driving horses. Under the supervision of experienced tutors you will learn how to safely work around the horse and to gear them up. Then over the course of the two days you will learn to drive a horse, side by side with one of our tutors in the dual sulkies. The course will culminate for you on the second day with a release from behind the mobile barrier in a dual sulky.
If you wish to gain further experience or progress onto becoming an amateur driver then the intermediate course is for you. This course is for those who have previously completed the beginner's course or have the required level of prior industry experience. This course will progress you into the single sulky with more speed work. It finishes with students participating in their own controlled workout.
The next step for those who have successfully completed the amateur courses and wish to become an amateur driver is to complete a series of oral questions on the rules of harness racing with the stipendiary stewards. You are now licensed as a Novice Amateur.
Novice amateurs are required to complete ten workout drives to the satisfaction of the stipendiary stewards. The final stage prior to gaining a full amateur licence is to do a time trial. Congratulations, you are now licensed as a Full Amateur and are ready to go racing!
So if this sounds like something that you would just love to do then you would be most welcome on our next course.
Visit the Contacts page for more information in your area.