Harness Racing community rallies around Katie Cox

by Jonny Turner
Trainers, drivers, and administrators are rallying to encourage their peers in New Zealand harness racing to support Katie Cox in her battle against cancer.

The 33-year-old Cox, who is both a highly popular figure and a highly talented horsewoman, has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer.

Rural personality Craig Wiggins has formed a charitable trust in Cox’s name to help raise funds for her treatment, which includes medication that costs more than $100,000.

Champion reinsman Ricky May and Bruce Taylor have joined Wiggins as trustees.

Leading Southland trainer-driver Kirstin Green was touched when hearing of Cox’s cancer battle, and she immediately wanted to contribute.

Green is pledging to donate one of her driving fees every week for the next month.

The reinswoman hopes the move can be followed by drivers across New Zealand.

“Like everyone else, I was so shocked when I found out about Katie’s diagnosis,” Green said.

“We are in the same industry and around the same age group. Her team is flying, and she is an outstanding horsewoman.”

“I thought if every driver could donate a driving fee each week, it would be a really quick way to raise quite a lot of money. I want to get into it right away, and I hope more drivers will get on board. I am sure they will.”

Harness racing clubs have quickly moved to get behind the efforts to support Cox.
Southern Harness Racing general manager Jason Broad said his organisation had pledged $1000 to the cause, and the group hopes clubs across New Zealand would do the same.

“Southern Harness is right behind Katie and her family during this very difficult time,” Broad said.

“It is great to see so many people in the industry offering their support, and we encourage anyone who can to do so.”

The Northern Southland Trotting Club has also pledged to donate $1000 to Cox’s charitable trust.

“Our committee was unanimous; we really wanted to get behind Katie,” President Greg Tither said.

“We are wishing her and her family the best in this very difficult time.”

“We hope other clubs will be able to come forward and support the cause, as well.”

Invercargill Harness Racing Club President Craig Heyrick has personally pledged $100 to the campaign.

He is calling on club presidents across New Zealand to make a personal donation, as well.

Harness racing owner and journalist Jonny Turner has donated $500 and hopes as many owners can get behind the cause, too.

“I have no doubt Katie’s story will have touched many owners across New Zealand, and I hope they can contribute to the campaign.”

“I am also encouraging my colleagues in the media to get behind the cause, as well.”

“Harness racing is a tight-knit community made up of some great people; I am sure they will.”

Donations to the Whatever with Wiggy Charitable Trust (CC59951) for Katie Cox can be made by bank deposit.
Account name: Katie Cox Appeal
Account number: 06-0837-0390071-01

More information can be found at the Whatever With Wiggy Facebook page.

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