Koru Care Southland makes return at Invercargill

By Jonny Turner

A familiar sight will be back at Ascot Park racecourse today, and it is not a horse or driver.

It is the Koru Care Southland colours, which will return to Southland harness racing meetings starting with today’s quickfire action in Invercargill.

The green and white Koru Care Southland silks were a familiar sight on Southland tracks for many seasons, especially when worn by champion reinsman Dexter Dunn.

The silks were first worn by Dunn a decade ago, with a sponsor donating to Koru Care Southland at each meeting Dunn competed at.

Though other drivers got behind the scheme following Dunn’s move to North America, the idea had been shelved in recent seasons.

But the concept has been brought back into action following a casual conversation between Koru Care Southland chairman Chris Reynolds, trainer Clark Barron, and driver Brent Barclay.

“I caught up with Clark and Brent, and we talked about the idea of bringing the colours back,” Reynolds said.

“Clark was able to sort it out, and Brent will wear the colours on Wednesday.”

“It is great to get them back out there.”

It is hoped that the return of the Koru Care Colours will raise awareness about the concept, which will result in sponsors getting behind the cause.

During its more than ten years in operation, the collaboration with the Southern harness racing industry has made a significant contribution to Koru Care Southland.

Koru Care Southland is a charitable trust, best described as a group that makes dreams come true for children with different illnesses and disabilities.

The organisation arranges domestic and overseas trips and experiences for Southland children facing health challenges.

“Koru Care Southland has had more than 750 kids go on our trips to places like the Gold Coast and Los Angeles.”

“The relationship with harness racing has been great, and the best thing is it gets our name out there.”

“A lot of people will say that they saw our colours at the races, so it has been great promotion for us.”

Being a non-profit organisation based on volunteer contributions, all money raised by Koru Care Southland goes directly to the children they help.

Brent Barclay will wear the Koru Care Southland colours in their return at Ascot Park.

And they look a big chance of making it to the winner’s circle.

Barclay drives in eight of nine races and rates Sherwood Maggie as his best winning hope.

Though the Brian Norman trained mare steps up in grade, she looks well-placed from a handy draw in race 7.

Miki’s Beauty (race 2), Duke Of Scotland (race 4), Velocity Jet (race 6), Raknruin (race 8), and Ramblin Rover (race 9) also look like genuine each-way hopes for Barclay.

Sponsors pay $250 each meeting to support Koru Care Southland when their colours are worn by a leading driver at each Southland harness racing meeting.

Anyone interested in getting behind the cause can call Chris Reynolds on 0274 828 043 or contact the Southern Harness Racing office."

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