Two Coast meetings move to Canterbury

Two up-coming West Coast meetings are heading over the hill.

The Reefton Trotting Club’s meeting set down for Friday March 11 has been transferred to Addington and the Westport Trotting Club’s meeting on Sunday March 13 will now be on the grass at Rangiora.

The Sunday meeting will be hosted by both clubs under the Westport banner.

Westport president Johnny Reedy says “logistically everything was against us.”

The concern was that if the meetings weren’t moved to Canterbury then the fields would be severely impacted by horses and licence-holders opting not to head over to the coast.

"With Covid the way it is people are reluctant to travel and we don’t know where it will end up,” says Reedy, “there were 6,000 cases today”

Reedy was keen initially to try and get both meetings on the grass at Rangiora but it was decided that would put too much stress on their grass track there.

“This is a compromise,” says Reedy, “Addington will take the licence for the Friday.”

Addington agreed to the new race date after an approach from Harness Racing New Zealand.

"Addington is happy to help us out to ensure our participants have another opportunity to race and we don’t lose a race day," says HRNZ's General Manager - Racing, Catherine McDonald.

While the situation’s not ideal, McDonald says it’s the best in the circumstances.

“A Sunday meeting on the grass at Rangiora should get big fields and we are expecting a bumper day.”

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