News & Events

Former HRNZ Chairman recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

HRNZ is delighted by the recognition of former HRNZ Chairman, Mr Jim Wakefield in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Mr Wakefield was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his services to harness racing.

Jim Wakefield represented the NZ Trotting Owners Association on HRNZ’s Executive from 2000 to 2010, being Chairman from 2000 to 2003. During this time Jim played a key role in promoting a number of changes, in particular the development of the Racing Act 2003 on which the current industry is structured.

From 2003-2006, he was HRNZ’s inaugural appointment to the New Zealand Racing Board. In partnership with his wife Dr Susan Wakefield, Jim has bred and raced a number of horses, including leading performers Sparks A Flyin, London Legend, Bettor’s Strike and Texican.

Mr Pat O’Brien, HRNZ’s Chairman, said “this award is thoroughly deserved and is due recognition of Jim’s outstanding contribution to the industry in a number of areas over an extended period.

“As HRNZ’s Chairman Jim was a strong and passionate leader with great integrity. Not only has he has provided a significant contribution as an administrator, Jim has been, and continues to be, heavily involved as a breeder and owner.

“Harness racing is certainly richer for the involvement of Jim Wakefield and it is great for him to be officially recognised through the awarding of an MNZM.”