Methven meeting transferred due to storm damage

Methven's opening grass track meeting of the season on Sunday has been transferred to Ashburton.

Winds gusting at over 110 kilometres an hour ripped through the area overnight, causing trees to topple at the Mt Harding racecourse. Debris was also thrown onto the track.

Local officials have been at the scene since first light assessing the damage and it's been decided that Sunday's meeting cannot go ahead.

Instead the meeting will be held on the all-weather surface at Ashburton, 30 kilometres down the road. It's expected there will be minimum disruption to the fields for the 10-race programme.

Under Alert Level Two the meeting will not be open to the public, with essential staff and owners of horses racing at the meeting the only ones allowed on-course.

It's a big blow for the Methven Trotting Club after a highly successful 2020-21 season. Its next meeting is scheduled for October 10 - Methven Cup day - giving the club a month to get it back in shape.

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