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National Council



A Lose/Lose Situation

Hands up those who are of a more mature vintage, who recall doing crazy things like climb all over machinery, vehicles, trees or anything else that, these days, would be considered foolhardy at best, or just plain stupid.

That’s what I thought, and those of you with hands still in your pockets, are either suffering from memory loss, or led extremely sheltered childhoods. Back in those days, such behaviour would probably have resulted in a serious parent ear-bashing, or a clip round the ear, or both.

Those of you who read the Trainers & Drivers website regularly will remember seeing details about the new Health & Safety regulations again and again and, etc. Unfortunately the dire predictions contained in some of that information, have recently become a reality for prominent North Canterbury trainer Phil Burrows. As you have probably heard, back in April this year, his son and his mate were playing on the property’s water truck (see first paragraph) when Phil began to use it for its’ designated purpose, tragically resulting in serious injuries to his son’s young friend.

That’s how easy it is, just one moment in time can change your whole life. There is no positive side to the incident, the obvious damage to the young boy, the distress of his parents, the utter shock and guilt for Phil, and the lingering memories for both families. Yes, it could have been worse, but both Phil and his son will, for many years, have to live with the guilt of not only what happened on the fateful day, but also the financial consequences.

As a result of charges brought by Health & Safety and the subsequent compensation awarded to the injured boy’s family, the Burrows family will be under a great deal of financial pressure for some years. There is no question that the compensation is deserved, but it is a high price, and a constant reminder of what can happen as a result of a momentary lapse of concentration. That’s what I mean by a lose/lose situation.

The point of further highlighting this awful occurrence, is to stress how easy it is for a life-changing incident to suddenly come out of just a normal day to day task. No one wants to put themselves through what the Burrows, or the other, families are going through, and, let’s face it, a horse training establishment is a prime site for such happenings.

Don’t be the next one in hospital, or court.

Pete Cook

Footnote: Anyone wishing to donate any assistance to the Burrows family can do so, either through myself, or direct to Phil. Anything would help relieve the pressure.


This week’s update was going to be a summary of what was discussed at this week’s Greater Canterbury Branch AGM, but instead it’s going to be an expression of frustration, aimed at anyone interested enough in our game to read this column.

A few weeks ago, the Branch arranged a meeting of licence-holders and HRNZ officials to discuss the Handicapping system, despite the fact that our National Council had already put in a submission to the Handicapping Sub-Committee, containing almost all of what the people at that meeting asked for!

More than ninety licence-holders turned up that night to see what was up, and yet less than 10% of that number attended the AGM, despite the new Addington CEO giving up his time to come along to put a face to the name, and hear what people had to say. Happily, those who did bother to turn up were impressed by his attitude and early thoughts.

The frustrating aspect, apart from obvious apathy, is that in the next few weeks there will be people coming up to the likes of Chair Ken Barron or myself at the races, whingeing about this and that, and asking what the Association is going to do about it. At the risk of sounding like a bit of an ego trip, it may come a surprise to some that there are many other things involved in running the Industry than what directly affects you personally, and the likes of Rob Lawson, Ken Barron, Gordon Lee, Todd MacFarlane and others spend hours of their own time in discussions with various sectors, their only reward being a sense of satisfaction that they are helping ALL licence-holders. They don’t win all the time, but it won’t be for a lack of trying, despite sometimes fighting through disillusionment.

What can be done about it….not a lot, really. However, just before you pick up the phone to call HRNZ and complain about something, perhaps it might pay to bear in mind that by doing so, you are basically undermining an outfit that was established to represent you, that has a permanent position on the HRNZ Board, and would be pleased to see you at a meeting, or even welcome you (gasp) onto a Branch Committee.

End of lecture.

Pete Cook

Annual General Meeting & A Study

Next Tuesday 12 September the Greater Canterbury Branch will hold its’ AGM in the Hinton Room (next to Spectators) at Addington Raceway with a 6.30pm start.. Special guest will be new Addington CEO Peter Jensen. All license-holders are welcome.


The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has recently appointed IER Pty Ltd to undertake a size and scope study of the racing industry in New Zealand. This will provide us with an evidence-based assessment that will illustrate the size and importance of the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing industries in New Zealand and follows on from similar reports undertaken by IER.

The study will outline the economic and social importance of the racing industry in New Zealand with a particular focus on the activity of racing clubs, governing bodies, participants and racing’s customers. The report will provide a nationwide assessment of these impacts, as well as providing key impacts and indicators at a regional level.

Important measures such as economic impact, job creation, tax benefit and tourism generation will be featured, while the social and community impacts will highlight the role that racing plays in the community in areas such as community building, volunteerism, history and heritage, community engagement, charity support and many more.

From 15 September, IER will engage with participants in the industry to gather important information which is critical to the development of the study. It’s important to note that the information captured by IER will not be published or shared with any other person and will be only used in aggregate format. Assistance in the collection of data from participants is strictly confidential and voluntary.

In order for the racing industry to present strongly in the future, a reliable and factual assessment of the industry and its participants is required. The size and scope study plays an important role for NZRB, the three racing codes, clubs and participants to engage with Government, local councils, economic development corporations, tourism, media and sponsors, commercial partners and community organisations.

We encourage you all to participate. Your support, as a valued member of our industry, will help to ensure that the study accurately reflects the New Zealand racing industry and the important contribution it makes.

Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner




Canterbury Combined Awards Dinner

The Canterbury Trotting Owners, the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders and the Canterbury Trainers and Drivers Associations are delighted to be hosting the fourth Annual Canterbury Awards Dinner, which is again being sponsored by Woodlands Stud.

The event is being held in Silks Lounge at Addington Raceway on Saturday 09 September 2017.

The evening will comprise a superb buffet dinner, an introductory drink and antipasto platters, interspersed with the presentation of around twelve Awards.

The Master of Ceremonies will be Mark McNamara – race caller extraordinaire!

The criteria for the Award recipients differs from those presented at the HRNZ Annual

Awards in that they may not necessarily be given to the season's leaders.

Tickets have been priced to ensure great value for money for all.

Tickets purchased before 01 September are priced at $50 incl GST each

Tickets purchased after 01 September are priced at $60 incl GST each

Table of ten purchased before 01 September is priced at $450 incl GST

Table option not available after 01 September

Refunds may be considered until 01 September. No refunds thereafter.

Junior drivers/stable hands/cadets subsidised by Phillip & Glenys Kennard.

Introductory drinks served from 6.30pm onwards, with the function itself commencing at 7.15pm.

Numbers are limited to 300.

To purchase tickets or request more information, please contact Robyn Boyle on 027 217 3643, 383 0503 or by email: boyles4@xtra.co.nz

So whether you're looking for a great night out, an excuse to get dressed up, or want to join in on the celebration of Canterbury's harness racing achievers, this is the event to attend.

Awards Dinner bank account details 021266-0034800-00

(please include your full name as a reference)

Click here to download the full details as a PDF








Terms & Conditions of Training


Click here to read download a PDF copy