Ownership Profile - Setarip Syndicate

New Zealand’s oldest harness racing syndicate is set to celebrate its 50 year anniversary in Southland this September.

A syndicate that celebrates comradery, social outings and rugby ties, the Setarip Syndicate was first formed in on 19 September 1969, after a rule change then allowed more than four people to share in the ownership of a horse.

The syndicate was one of five registered on that day, with Setarip now being the oldest surviving syndicate in the country.

Remarkably, after 50 years the syndicate still has two original members, Joe Wilson the syndicate manager and Clark Neil. Wilson was also able to bring his two sons Paul and Andrew into the syndicate.

Former original syndicate member, the late Ted Mortimer, is also still represented by his family in the syndicate too.

Current members are: Joe Wilson, Clark Neil, Gary Tippett, John Archer, Ron Baron, Murray Brown, Daryl Burgess, Bruce Campbell, Paul Challis, Terry Edgerton, Pauline Flanders, Wayne McCulloch, the Mortimer family, Stephen Sanders, Colin Sanford, Jill Slaughter, Collin Telfer, Nick Wells, Trevor Tomlins, Paul Wilson, John Woodger, Steve Pulley, Dean Mcloud, Carl Hana, Andrew Wilson, Kylie White and Wayne Grey.

The Setarip syndicate pays homage the Pirates Rugby Club, with their registered racing colours the same as the Club’s gold and black playing kit. In fact the name ‘Setarip’ is actually the name Pirates backwards.

All twenty of the original owners in the Setarip syndicate were either Club players, ex-players or supporters of the Pirates Rugby Club.

And although they have been in the game for a long time, and collected 18 individual winners for 25 wins in total so far, the path to success has not been an easy one for the syndicate.

Their first horse they tried with was in 1969, a pacer named Amyas Leigh, and it was without success. In fact many other horses were raced by the syndicate and it wasn’t until 1978 that they tasted their first bit of success with Hispaniola at Winton who was trained and driven by Lyn Thomas.

It would be another 13 years until they won a race again, with wins coming with trotter Rebel Shooter and Rojanaire.  

But since then the wins have kept ticking over, with success with the likes of Quality Time (3 wins), Olegoldandblack, Gabbys Knight, On The Lure, Rocking Lily and Sly Romance (all two wins each).

The group have also stayed loyal with a core group of trainers during their time including Denis Nyhan, Henry Skinner, Ron and Tony Barron, Alex Milne (senior and junior) and currently are with Clark Barron.

Their celebration at Ascot Park in September will no doubt include reminiscent conversations about their various events over the years, with the group having a social focus to their ownership journey having held bus trips and social functions at races, bowling competitions and barbecues in the past.

They encourage others thinking about ownership to get involved, saying the friendships they have formed and the comradery alongside an affordable ownership model are great reasons to start your own ownership journey today.

We congratulate the Setarip Syndicate on reach this fantastic milestone and wish them all the best with their anniversary celebration in September.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in harness racing ownership, email Jess Smith at Harness Racing New Zealand – [email protected]


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