Catherine McDonald to step down

A key member of Harness Racing New Zealand's management team, Catherine McDonald is moving on.

As General Manager - Racing, Marketing and Communications, McDonald has been at the forefront of some of the biggest changes the sport has seen in a generation.

But now she's stepping down as HRNZ makes adjustments to the way it operates.

"Catherine has made a genuine contribution to the team and the industry and we will miss her here inside the organisation," says HRNZ Chief Operating Officer Mauro Barsi.

"But we are going to separate out the Racing and the Marketing and Communications functions and we will be recruiting for these two roles shortly."

McDonald joined HRNZ in 2020 and among the big changes she's overseen include the changing of the horses' birthdays to January 1, the subsequent revamp of the racing calendar, and the introduction of new initiatives like the Grand Prix day at Addington and Invercargill Cup Day as well as the Autumn Carnival at Alexandra Park.

"We have had to make some tough decisions and some were not always popular but we always did what we thought was in the best interests of our sport and its participants."

McDonald doesn't know what's next, with her last day being February 2.

"We certainly wish her all the best for the future and thank her for all her hard work," says Barsi.


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