The Northern Branch of the Trainers & Drivers Assn. recently held its’ Annual General Meeting, under Chair, Jay Abernethy.
Among matters discussed were more top and shell being applied to Alexandra Park for the Auckland Cup meeting, the only grass track meetings in the North this season would be staged at Otaki and Tauherenikau, however there is discussion over the possibility of the Hawera meeting going ahead next season, and while this years Northern Awards were not held, planning was already underway for next year’s event.
Various aspects of the new whip rule were covered off, and there were still concerns over the interpretation & consistency of enforcing the rules.
The Branch support for junior drivers travel to the NZ Champs earlier this year had been well worth-while, and details of the current series were discussed. A proposal to have Kidz Karts participants spend time in a stable over the holidays, if of a suitable age, was considered meritorious.
Jay advised that local trainers were to be invited to Auckland Trotting Club Race Committee meetings on a rotational basis, and it was suggested that Club representatives be invited to T&D Committee meetings in return.
Other issues discussed included having two Clerks of the Course at all meetings, which was supported in principal but cost factors would most likely govern this, improvement to the condition of the ATC float park, the recently introduced rule that horses have to trial behind respective starting methods prior to race days, which the Branch did not support, and that Amateur drivers events were being held regularly.
Dave Neal/Pete Cook