Who will be Cadet of the Year?

The 2022 SENZ Cadet of the Year winner will soon be crowned.

The final stage of the competition is upon us with the four finalists excelling in all of their regional challenges. They will now battle it out for the right to call themselves the SENZ Cadet of the Year.

Representing Canterbury is the regional winner Carter Dalgety and runner-up Tom Bamford. Travelling up from the deep south to contest the title is the Southern regional winner Oliver Kite and the Northern regional winner Zev Meredith will also make the trip down.

All four finalists have displayed a comprehensive range of skills in their horsemanship, driving and all-round general knowledge to set the stage for an exciting and competitive final.

The final competition has been designed to call on not only the contestant’s equine knowledge but to also challenge the finalists in a diverse range of practical, theoretical, and technical tasks. Each phase of the competition will be evaluated and marked, and the Cadets will earn points for each task based on performance, accuracy, and speed.

The final will be held throughout Christchurch on Wednesday the 7th of December.

The winner will be announced at the 2023 Annual Harness Racing Awards Function on March 4.

But first we thought you would like some insights into the four finalists and find out what makes them click.

How did you get into harness racing?

Ollie: I saw the jog frame going around the track over the back fence from home at Tony Barron’s when he lived down south. So I asked if I could help out in weekends and holidays and thankfully, he said yes, and it just went from there.

Zev: Misbehaving at school so got into Kidz Kartz through the neighbour working at the Pukekohe track.

Carter: From what I believe I was born at the hospital, brought home, and was put straight into the sulky. It's deep in my blood on both sides of the family.

Tom: Grandfather was a hobby trainer. I would always go to the races with Dad then I finished school and went to Uni for a year and hated that and the rest is history.

Your proudest moment in racing so far?

Ollie: My proudest moment would have to be winning my first race (Barika at Winton, Sept 10, 2020).

Zev: Third in the Junior Driver Champs.

Carter: Winning on Krug in a race named in honour of my Grandfather Jim.

Tom: Winning my first race and my dad and sister were there to see it (Lavra Segil, Addington May 17, 2022).

What's the ultimate goal?

Ollie: To try and have a good crack as a junior driver and try look at opening up to the training ranks later on.

Zev: Win a New Zealand Cup.

Carter: Win a New Zealand Cup.

Tom: Group 1, everyone wants to win one either training or driving.

Why do you think you have got what it takes to win Cadet of the year?

Ollie: Because I have competed in it before which will hopefully give me a bit of an advantage.

Zev:  Plenty of determination and very competitive.

Carter: My only hope would be to try bribe the judges with some chocolate and wine or something

Tom: I think the competitiveness in me will carry me a long way, 2nd is the first loser!

Best horse you have seen?

Ollie: Winx

Zev: Sundees Son

Carter: King Of Swing in the flesh, Bulldog Hanover from afar

Tom:  Sundees Son, he is just a freak!

Favourite sports team?

Ollie: All Blacks

Zev: Red Bull V8 Racing

Carter: Crusaders

Tom: All Blacks

Who's your celebrity crush?

Ollie: Kylie Jenner

Zev: Mila Kunis

Carter: Megan Fox

Tom: Margot Robbie

Best place you have visited?

Ollie: Gold Coast

Zev: Kaikoura or Morton Island in Australia

Carter: Las Vegas

Tom: I love Melbourne

Tell us something few people know about you?

Ollie: I have two sisters

Zev: I am pretty open about everything in my life, so I don’t really know

Carter: Gold medal Judo fighter in Canterbury and Silver in South Island

Tom: I was born in Brunei and lived there until I was 10

What would you like to do better?

Ollie: Just keep improving to be the best I can

Zev: Control my bad language

Carter: Make more money with my head rather than my hands

Tom: Be better at backing myself, I often doubt myself!



  Oliver Zev Carter Tom

Instagram or Tik Tok

Tik Tok Tik Tok Tik Tok Tik Tok

KFC or McDonalds


Netflix or Disney+

Netflix Netflix Netflix Netflix

Mince or Steak + Cheese

S+C S+C S+C Mince

Summer or Winter

Summer Summer Summer Summer

Dog or Cat

Dog Dog Dog Dog

Long black or soy decaf mochaccino

Long Black Mochaccino Mochaccino Neither

Chocolate or chips    

Chips Chips Chips Chips

Pub or restaurant

Pub Pub Pub Pub

Txt or talk

Talk Talk Talk Talk

Right or left handed

Left Right Right Right

Gym or run

Run Neither Gym  Run

Rich or kind

Kind Kind Rich Kind



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