Addington Welcome to The Addington Harness Hall of Fame.

We aim to preserve the great moments of the past at Addington Raceway by providing an interactive virtual presence using the internet to reach millions of people world wide and our local harness racing industry here in New Zealand.

Harness Racing in New Zealand is one of the most popular forms of equestrian sport. There is nothing more exciting than owning and racing a harness horse.

Addington Harness Hall of Fame is proud to be a part of this wonderful club and venue and we will be there for many more years to come bringing you the great moments of the past and those of the future.

Enjoy your visit and thank you for supporting The Addington Harness Hall of Fame.

 

TIMELINE


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BLAST FROM THE PAST


1950 CUP DAY STATISTICS

1950 CUP DAY TOTAL A RECORD

The return of NZ Trotting Cup day to the traditional Tuesday of Carnival Week proved an unqualified success. All the forebodings of the timorous that mid-week racing would decimate the totalisator returns proved groundless, the total of the day, £211,977, being a new record for a days racing in the South Island and also a record for a trotting meeting. Of this sum, £15,278 was invested on the double.

Addington, recognised as the NZ headquarters of trotting, looked better on Tuesday than it has ever looked before. The scene was gayer than ever. Many thousands of people continue to make Cup day at Addington their 'day of the year.' The previous record attendance at any fixture, apart from international rugby tests at Lancaster Park, was recorded on Cup Day last year, October 29, a Saturday. The crowd was 34,000, and the then record total of £211,293 was established, £40,717/10/-being invested on the Cup alone. The year's Cup total was £40,203/10/-, a result far exceeding the expectations of even the most optimistic.

Many workers took the day, or part of it off, and in a number of factories employees requested time off and promised to make it up by working extended hours at ordinary rates. Before 1942, when the Cup was always run on a Tuesday, thousands journeyed to Addington for a two-hour lunch break to see the Cup and one other race, but this year the Cup was not run until 2:17pm. When the 1941 Cup attendance of 19,000 is compared with crowds of more than 30,000 this year and last year, the great strides in the popularity of trotting in Christchurch are measured. The trainers and drivers in trotting are public personalities, and the horses, their breeding, their performances, their best times, and their characteristics are as the A B C to all followers. With races being held on a six-furlong track, the horses are in view without the use of binoculars - except for those not endowed with height jammed in the crowd - and the intimacy of trotting at Addington is one of the causes of the phenomenal increase in popularity with the public.

Additional betting facilities were available on Tuesday, additional turnstiles have greatly reduced the length of queues, and a large marquee erected on the lawn enclosure behind the main stand has improved the catering appreciably. A scheme of tree-planting and attractive gardening displays give the whole scene a pleasant 'new look' and this part of the club's plan is only in its infancy.

To give all patrons a clearer hearing of the commentaries on the races by Mr D B Clarkson (now established as a notable contributor to the enjoyment of a day at Addington) all the loud speakers have been brought across the tracks to the outer fence and a new loud-speaker has been placed on a pole on the lawn inside the track to provide for the thousands who watch the races from there on Cup days. Men to open the gates and rake the track from the outside enclosure are always on duty at meetings at Addington, but the general public do not seem to realise that the inside of the course is always available to them. The inside enclosure is now one huge lawn, the section at the top end having been levelled and grassed.

The grey drabness of the concrete of the stands had largely disappeared under a spray of plastic paint. All the stands would have been painted by now had the supplies of the paint been available.

Another work of priority which could not be carried out before the Cup meeting was the building of semi-permanent seating on the mound in front of the tea kiosk, wittily called by patrons 'Coopers Knob,' after the course superintendent and the prominent landmark on the Port Hills. The open stand will seat about 2000.

"The people would see on Cup day the progress we are making to give them the best facilities." said the president of the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club, Mr C S Thomas. "We are only beginning a long-term programme to make Addington the finest possible trotting course." As the administrative head of the Metropolitan Trotting Club, Mr H E Goggin is responsible for every detail. The totalisator manager (Mr Arthur Toon) had a staff of 423 on Tuesday, and the other workers on gates, stairs and cloakrooms number 180. In addition, 450 were working on catering.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 8Nov50

 
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