Life after racing in the Chatham's

By Courtney Clarke - HRNZ Marketing

The Chatham Island Races are probably not something you are familiar with but for the Chatham locals the three day carnival is something they look forward to every year.

The Chatham Island Jockey Club established in 1873 is the oldest Jockey Club in New Zealand. Originally the club only ran gallops but in 2006 the pacers were introduced to keep the Club alive.

Throughout the three days – December 27, 31st and 2nd January the club alternates the pacing races and the gallops races and on the final day hold the sought after CI Pacing Cup. Other races that are held on the 1400m track are run over the mile, two miles and 2400m.

The horses are imported from NZ and are generally qualified but too slow for NZ racing. At peak time there have been up to 45 pacers on the Island ready to race at one time.

The horses are trained for three months of the year leading up to race day on the jogger and down at Waitangi Beach, the rest of the year they are turned out to enjoy a life of luxury.

Bruce Hutton travels over to the Chatham Islands in early December to shoe all the horses for the race days, we spoke to him to get all the details about the carnival and life after racing on the Island.


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