News & Events

Wolfenden & Butchers steal the show

By Michael Guerin

Racing legend Peter Wolfenden was the supreme winner at the Alabar North Island harness racing awards on Saturday night.

But it was the father and son team of David and Zac Butcher who stole the show.

The biggest evening on the northern harness racing social calendar attracted nearly 350 guests and after a night of 20 racing and breeding awards, it was Wolfenden who was given the ultimate compliment.

He joined the distinguished list of horseman to have won the Alabar Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing trophy. Wolfenden could not be there to receive the award for his amazing training and driving dating back to the greatest of them all, Cardigan Bay.

His son Glen accepted on his behalf.

“Dad will get a real thrill out of this,” he told the audience.

While Wolfenden was the supreme winner, the most touching moment of the night came when young driving star Zac Butcher was given the Racing Achievement Award. Butcher credited his father, champion driver David, for so much of his success so David was invited on stage to share the moment with his son.

It was then David was presented with an envelope from Harness Racing New Zealand confirming he would represent New Zealand at the World Drivers Championships in France next year. The announcement left both Butchers stunned before David summed up the moment by yelling out to his wife in the crowd, “we are going to Europe, baby!”.

The two premier equine awards of the night went to I Can Doosit (trotter) and Sir Lincoln, who won the pacer of the year. Breckon Bloodstock continued on from their winning ways at the New Zealand awards a month ago by claiming three awards, with I Can Doosit joined by Twist And Twirl and deceased broodmare Sheezadoosie among the winners.

To view and order photos from the evening, visit

The winners were:

2YO Male Pacer Five Card Draw
2YO Pacing Filly La Norvic De Milo
2YO Trotter Prime Power
3YO Male Pacer Ideal Scott
3YO Pacing Filly Twist And Twirl
3YO Trotter Cyclone U Bolt
Filly/Mare O Baby
Trotter I Can Doosit
Pacer Sir Lincoln
Broodmare Sheezadoosie
Stallion Bettors Delight
Owner Lincoln Farms
Breeder Breckon Bloodstock Ltd
Groom Joe Moka
Amateur Driver Jeff Darby
Licence to Train/Owner Trainer Rob Lawson
Junior Driver Zac Butcher
Driver Todd MacFarlane
Trainer Barry Purdon
Racing Achievement Zac Butcher
Outstanding Contribution Peter Wolfenden