Storer blown away by ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’

By Duane Ranger

Even right up until the very second his name was read out, Reg Storer, had no idea who they were talking about when it came to announcing one of the major awards at last Saturday night’s Woodlands Stud 2017 Canterbury Breeders, Owners, Trainers & Drivers Associations Awards Dinner in Christchurch.

The 70-year-old long-time supporter of harness racing was bestowed with the ‘Woodlands Stud Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing Award’.

“I wondered who they were talking about. I never had a clue. I was looking all over the room thinking who is this person? Then when my name was read out I almost had a heart attack. I couldn’t believe it.

“This is very humbling. It’s something I will treasure forever. My jaw dropped to the floor and to be honest I still can’t believe it,” New Brighton-based Storer said.

If anyone deserved recognition it was Storer. The award was just the tonic he needed. He is overcoming cancer, and the motor industry in Christchurch has been ‘kicked in the guts’ since the earthquakes

Storer (Storer Motors) has been a long-time sponsor of harness racing in Canterbury.

“The old health hasn’t been the best and there’s been a huge downturn in the motor industry in the last 18 months especially. I think since the earthquakes we would have lost 3,500 customers. They have just disappeared.

“But I’m a positive person and always like to be happy and look at the positive side of life. This award was amazing – just what I needed,” Storer said.

Storer has sponsored numerous races at Addington Raceway over the years. The Group Two New Zealand Trotting Oaks is synonymous with his name. He has also been very active in Canterbury Kidz Kartz.

Storer said he had been involved in harness racing for almost 40 years. The first horse he co-owned was Premium Reserve, who won 12 races and $63,036.

Some of the horses Storer has also owned include Ross The Boss (10 wins in NZ and many more in the USA) and Chattanoogachoochoo (five wins)

"I've also got shares in a Somebeachsomewhere entire named Cable Beach with my very good friend Terry McDonald. I was so pleased when he was named ‘Pacing Owner of the Year’

“It was a great night for two old-time buddies,” said Storer.

Sitting across from Storer at his table were Colin and Julie De Filippi. A night after de Filippi joined the 2,000 wins driving club, his wife was bestowed with the ‘Woodlands Stud Accomplishment Award’.

A record 220 people attended the Awards ceremony, which was MC-ed by Addington Raceway caller, Mark McNamara. Woodlands Stud Ltd was the principal sponsor.

Twelve awards were handed out. Results from the Woodlands Stud 2017 Canterbury Breeders, Owners, Trainers & Drivers Association’s Awards Dinner in Christchurch last Saturday night were:

New Zealand Cup Golf Week Trotting Owner of the Year: Ken Ford (Marcoola).

Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association Pacing Breeder of the Year: Gavin Chin and Brian West (Lazarus).

Junior Driver-of-the-Year: Sheree Tomlinson.

NZ Cup Golf Week Pacing Owner of the Year: Terry McDonald.

Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Back In The USSR (Don Bates).

Canterbury Trainers & Drivers Association Drivers Award: Dexter Dunn.

NZ Cup Golf Week Owner of the Year: Greg Hope.

Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association Trotting Breeder of the Year: Darryl Brown (Eyre I Come).

Natalie Rasmussen & Mark Purdon Trainer's Award: Brad Mowbray.

Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Juliana (dam of Dark Horse).

Woodlands Stud Accomplishment Award: Julie De Filippi.

Woodlands Stud Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing: Reg Storer