Southern Harness Newsletter

Welcome to our latest newsletter.  Since our last newsletter in November there has been plenty happening, the Programming Committee have been meeting regularly to finalise programmes through to the end of the season.  In January Southern Harness announced that all MR (non-win) race stakes would increase to $10,000, this is guaranteed through until the end of this season.  The $1,500 HRNZ bonus for your first win is on top of this.

Race meetings coming up feature some very good races and have stakes to match.  A special thanks to all sponsors who have helped achieve this.

  • Southland Awards Ladyship Final, Invercargill 6 April, $20,000
  • Aldebaran Park Super Gold Chip Trotters Final, Winton 13 April, $20,000
  • Winton Businesses Cup, 13 April, $15,000, this is the last chance to qualify for the $25,000 Regent Car Court Country Cup Handicap Pace on Diamonds Day  
  • Diamonds Day, Invercargill 27 April, over $250,000 of stakes on offer. Features are the Diamond Creek Farm 2yo Classic (Grp 2), Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final (Grp 2), Macca Lodge/Nevele R Stud Southland Oaks Final (Grp2), Regent Car Court Country Cups Handicap Pace.
  • Nugget Final (Pacers), Invercargill 4 May
  • Gold Chip Final (Trotters) & Ladyship Final (Fillies/Mares), Invercargill 3 June
  • Nugget Final (Pacers), Invercargill 8 June

There is some exciting racing coming up so support Southern racing and good luck!

John Earl

As per our directive effective 1 December 2018 Southern Harness is requesting that ALL nominations be made online.  A big thank you to the trainers in the southern region who have made an effort to help us achieve this.  There are however a few Canterbury stragglers that have yet to get on board with this.  It is an easy process, just contact HRNZ to get a username and password, nominations can be done through the Trainers Login on the HRNZ website or via the app on your phone.  Please watch the following tutorial;

Southern Harness are happy to provide training if necessary. Once you have done it a few times you will be amazed how easy it is.  This is also a useful tool for gear changes, horse movements, stakes enquiries etc.

Note:  This is for nominations only and all other communication will be as in the past.
TEAM TEAL CAMPAIGN                                        
The nationwide campaign rolled out by HRNZ got underway on the  2nd of February through to the 10th of March.  The five Southern Harness member clubs that raced during that period really got on board with this worthy cause to join the fight against ovarian cancer.  $11,124.50 was raised in the deep south!  Highlights of the campaign were;

  • Ellie Barron being appointed the Teal Ambassador for the Southern region
  • Four wins by female drivers wearing the teal driving pants at Gore 9 Feb
  • A trifecta by the female drivers at Gore 9 Feb
  • Six wins by the Teal pants in total
  • Contributors to the $600 for each Teal Pants win were HRNZ, Aldebaran Park, Woodlands Stud, Southern Harness Racing, Gore HRC, Invercargill HRC and the Northern Southland TC
  • ‘Dash for Cash’ featuring Ellie Barron, Kirstin Barclay and Tom Kilkelly at NSTC Cup Day raised over $3,000!
  • $500 donation from the Caduceus Club of Southland
  • $500 donation from the Southern Bred Southern Reared Group         
  • $500 donation from Gerald Cayford
  • $500 donation from Regent Car Court
  • $300 donation from Ellie Barron                
  • $250 donation from the Yaldhurst Hotel
  • $250 donation from McEwan Bloodstock
  • $200 donation from the Robin Dundee Club
  • $200 donation from Barclay/Ellis Harness Racing
  • A Teal purse donated by Alisa Smail for auction went for $140

A huge thanks to all the breeders, owners, trainers, drivers, administrators and raceday patrons that got on board with this major fundraising initiative and donated generously.  All contributions have been forwarded to the Women’s Cancer Foundation to be used specifically for ovarian cancer research in NZ and Australia.           


Congratulations to the Northern Southland Trotting Club who were selected as the HRNZ ‘Club of the Month’ for March……..

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce a new monthly feature, Club of the Month.  Similar to the Stable Shout concept where we recognize trainers who are exceeding expectations in terms of owners experiences, the Harness Racing New Zealand owners subcommittee wish to also acknowledge clubs who have gone above and beyond to ensure all owners (winning or otherwise) are looked after and appreciated on race day.

David Ryan is a Canterbury based member of the Westview Racing Syndicate and had the following to say about Northern Southland following his horse Spellbound winning there on March 9 2019.  “From the moment we stepped into the secretary’s office until we stepped off the course we could not have been looked after better.  We were directed to the Alabar sponsored owners room and were made to feel very welcome.  The viewing from there is probably the best on course and throughout the day we were fed and watered by a very gracious host.  We were lucky enough to win the Caduceus Club of Southland/Alabar Fillies Classic and then we were treated again to outstanding southern hospitality.  When the following race concluded I politely told our host we should probably move on from the winners bar but they were having none of that, and insisted we stay as long as we liked.  His comment was ‘we don’t do that down here’.  I would like to thank Alabar for their continued sponsorship of the owners bar and to Alabar and the Caduceus Club for sponsoring our race.  In conclusion I can highly recommend racing at Northern Southland and I’m really hoping we can return next year to give back to a club that goes above and beyond for its owners.”

We congratulate the Northern Southland Trotting Club for their outstanding service to owners and encourage other owners to nominate a club they have had a positive experience with by emailing Jess Smith – [email protected]


This year the winner of the award is Southern Ambassador Ellie Barron.  Congratulations Ellie!

Ellie received numerous nominations for her work during the Team Teal campaign.  Some of the work included walking around with donation buckets, encouraging Kidz Kartz to be involved, Social Media posts, the Dash for Cash in costume (ran down the straight at Invercargill in costume to raise money for the campaign), and staying in her ambassador colours for the majority of the race meetings to help raise awareness.

Ellie was delighted to win the award but said she would have done the same amount of work regardless of the award being up for grabs, "As nice as it is to be recognised it was more important to raise as much awareness for the campaign as I could within six weeks, I didn’t get as many wins as I would have liked in the Teal Pants but I was able to do my bit getting amongst the community that we work in and the support was unbelievable really." Ellie added that she was humbled to be nominated because she knew that all of the female drivers in New Zealand were driven by the campaign".

Denise Smythe of Flair South Island explained that the decision was not an easy one, "So many women have worked so very hard for this campaign and have done so much to raise awareness for this dreadful disease, we hope all participants are very sure that each of their efforts are worth much praise and appreciation."


Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Aaron Swain at McMillan Equine Feeds a promotion has been running during the Southern Harness Racing 2018/19 season.  At every Sunday race meeting the winning trainer of every race has received a free bag of McMillan Equine feed.

At two intervals during the season a draw has been made from the winning trainers for two trainers to win an additional half tonne (20 bags) of feed each, winners are Shane Matheson and Syd Breen.

Southern Harness would like to take this opportunity to thank Aaron and the team from McMillan Equine Feeds for this promotion which has now concluded for this season.


Hospitality packages and rooms are still available for all race meetings through until the end of this season, for more information please contact Lindsay Beer 021 351 499.


Sat 13 April                  Winton HRC
Tue 23 April                 Invercargill HRC (Easter Tuesday)
Sat 27 April                  Invercargill HRC (Diamonds Day)
Sat 4 May                    Invercargill HRC
Sat 11 May                  Winton HRC
Sat 18 May                  Gore HRC
Sat 25 May                  Invercargill HRC
Mon 3 June                 Invercargill HRC (Queen’s Birthday Monday)
Sat 8 June                   Invercargill HRC
The Southern region will be hosting an Owners Day during the 2019/20 Season, this will be along the same lines as the ones hosted at Addington and Alexandra Park this season.
More details to follow.
NZRB CEO John Allen and his team will be travelling around the country in May hosting their informative ‘Industry Conversations’.  Dates and details to follow.


Related Category News

11 September 2020

Methven Trotting Club

The Methven Club would like to make all aware that at their meeting this Sunday conditions will be similar to recent Addington meetings that is:

10 September 2020

Oamaru Race Track - an update on the All Weather Track

After feedback from drivers following on from the Kurow Harness Racing Meeting where drivers felt the screening between races of the running line was not effective, the club would like to advise the following: