William Smith invents the first washing machine for clothes.


August 28 - "Great maritime strike" (the first of NZ's 3 major waterfront strikes) spreads to Lyttelton.

October 28 - Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries. The Act provided for women between the ages of 25 and 60 to have their names placed on the jury list on the same basis as men if they so desired. The first female juror, Miss E.R. Kingsman, served at the Auckland Supreme Court in 1943.

Dutch artist Petrus Van der Velden settles in Christchurch.

Featherweight boxer 'Torpedo' Billy Murphy becomes the first Kiwi to win a wotld title.

Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries


The monthly meeting of the Trotting Association was held last night, at the Empire Hotel. Mr Quill, the delegate for the Geraldine Racing Club, moved "That the name of the Association be altered from the Canterbury to the New Zealand Trotting Association." This was seconded by Mr H. Mace (New Brighton), and carried. It was also decided that Rule 143, referring to the operation of the new rules, be suspended till the next meeting. Mr J. S. Williams and Mr A. I. Rattray were unanimously elected President and Secretary respectively of the new Association. The following Clubs were then accepted as affiliated to the Association, namely : Southland, Cromwell, Heathcote, New Brighton, Lancaster Park (Trotting), Canterbury (Trotting), North Canterbury, Geraldine, Timaru (Trotting), Ohoka and Eyreton, Tinwald, Hororata, Waimate, Little River, Ellesmere, South Canterbury, Greymouth (Trotting), Auckland (Trotting) Nelson (Trotting). It was decided that each Racing Club should be entitled to send one delegate, and each Trotting Club two delegates to the Association. Several other clubs wrote for particulars as to the mode of affiliation.

Credit: Star 4 Jun 1890



...Shut the tote - They're coming down the straight...Remarks in this and other publications recently about the malfunctions of totalisators at various Canterbury clubs, recalls the alleged 'good old days' of early trotting when the totalisator often commanded more newspaper space than the results of the races.

Malfunctions in the totes of those days were almost always of human interference with any errors very much intended. Nearly every racecourse riot in the 1880s and 90s involved some totalisator fraud and it is perhaps not surprising legal measures were necessary to convince the betting public that the machine had an advantage over the bookmakers. Bookmakers did not figure very strongly in early trotting for the trotting clubs were almost always insolvent or near to it, and they desperately needed the tote percentage they got. From the bookies they got very little and for their part the bookmakers soon lost interest in trying to predict the result of some trotting races.

Unfortunately some of the early clubs were inclined to let their financial embarrassment convince them that a little fraud on the public was really in the best interests of trotting, and at one stage things got so bad that trotting was in danger of losing it's appeal. Some of these clubs were themselves fraudulent, for though they had an elected list of officers much like today, these men often had no say in the running of the club at all and one prominent Christchurch club was said in the 1890s to consist of three directors who did quite nicely out of the day's sport.

The blatant attempts to make money from the public's pocket is quite well documented. The most commomn method of making sure those 'in the know' got their money was to leave the tote open long after the race had started and sometimes not long before it finished. This was because the trotters in those days were animals of very unpredictable gait and even if one was 'set up' to win it could easily ruin it's chances during the race. So the tote remained open until as long as possible for 'late' investments. The public soon caught on to this and contemporary reports indicate that the crowd near the windows often increased at closing time as punters tried to find out which horses the 'insiders' were going for.

Another trick of the tote operators (they were privately operated then) was to alter dividends during the race. The owners and their friends would place their bets on the likely winner as the horses went to the post which drastically cut the win dividend in the event of an outsider winning. At an Epsom meeting in 1895, there was a very blatant fraud along these lines. An outsider was showing 75 on the win at the start, 50 after the first lap and 25 when it ultimately won. The public though were sick of this sort of thing and they started a demonstration - some of the wiser ones having stayed and watched the tote instead of the race. The tote owner was angry that anyone in his employ should be defrauding the public and called for an inquiry. He lost some of his indignation when it was discovered that the extra tickets were held in his name. All was not lost however, for the inquiry conducted by the club was chaired by the tote propietor's brother-in-law who unaccountably found there was no case to answer. There was another riot at Epsom just before the First World War over similar goings on.

The press was enraged also at a Canterbury meeting held about the same time. There were seven horses in the race and so widespread was the knowledge of who had been 'selected' to win, that no tickets were purchased on five of the runners. 'A palpably got up thing' snorted one paper and called for the banning of some trotting clubs from operating. There is no doubt that some of these clubs were doing nothing at all for the sport.

One problem was that the totes were very primitive and wide open for any 'funny business'. Some of the early ones marked up the number of tickets held on any horse in chalk and more than one operator was caught 'adjusting' the number after the race to cut his losses. A campaign by the press in the 1890s weeded out many of the bad elements who were destroying trotting by tote frauds and the like. They called for better starting arrangements (any connection between some drivers setting off and the starter calling 'go' was very tenuous), closing the totes at the correct time, reforming clubs along proper lines and cessation of the apparently common practice of drivers taking out their frustrations by whipping each other rather than the horses.

Big money was being involved in totes at this time and in 1891 the turnover for trotting was over $160,000.

The formation of the Trotting Conference in 1896 was the turning point for the confidence men though from time to time sharp practices continued. One which was often used concerned off-course betting. In those days money from off the course could be telegraphed to the tote. This was often well informed money and the punters concerned had to be careful that tote owners didn't promptly back the horse with bookmakers off the course. One trick known to have worked was for one of the punters group to go to the local post office an hour before the off-course money came through and give the telegragh operator dozens of bogus telegrams to go to various destinations. This kept the operator busy over the period when tote agents were desperately trying to get through to the bookmakers. It also prevented other money coming from off the course.

Another rather blatant 'rip off' known to have operated in Canterbury was for the club to have races which were restricted to horses belonging only to members. These provided a real windfall, for not only could the dividend be 'influenced' by the fact that the 'insiders' knew which would win, but also the advertised stake money was pure fiction, the money in these races being 'donated' to the club - in other words they didn't pay out.

It doesn't pay to be too harsh on some of the early trotting men for some of these little tricks arose originally from the need to finance the clubs. They didn't see that they were achieving the reverse of what they intended by alienating many of the public. Certainly these days in trotting we don't have the cheeky frauds of the olden days. The only thing is that if our indicator boards don't start showing prices which are more realistic we may once again see an angry public.

Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 1Jul76



Stewards - Messrs S P Andrews, Henry Mace, J S Williams, H J Derritt, W Tonks, D Barns, Thos Marr. Starter - Mr H J Derritt. Hon.Treasurer - Mr Henry Mace. Secretary - Mr A L Rattray.

Consequent upon the fine weather that prevailed on Saturday, there was a large attendance of the public at the Lancaster Park Trotting Club's meeting - the initial trotting gathering of the season.

The track was in splendid order, and the sport shown was of an interesting description, inasmuch as, although there were no very close finishes, some high class trotting was seen, and in the two chief contests in harness, records were established. It was quite evident some were "on strike" and maybe will be seen to better advantage on some other occasion.

Punctuality was not the order of the day, and it was getting late - a full hour after the appointed time - before the last race was started. Messrs Hobbs and Goodwin worked the totalisator, and during the afternoon passed through the machine the goodly sum of 1692.

In regard to the actual racing, the first event was chiefly remarkable from the fact that Kangaroo's chance of winning was so lightly esteemed that the horse started without having a single supporter on the machine, in which 127 had been invested. the backers of the other horses had therefore their money returned less the commission. Kangaroo, who is a grey gelding, by Diomedes, hailing from the Bays, trotted in good form, and might have bettered considerably the time made had he been pushed.

Of the seven starters for the Two Mile Harness Trot, the Ashburton horse, Robin Hood, was most fancied. None of the starters, however, had any show with the scratch horse, Kentucky, who had passed everything bar the favourite before the third lap had been completed. On the fifth round Kentucky passed Robin Hood and won pulling up, having compassed the two miles in some 15sec less than the previously excellent record. There was some cavilling at the start, it being alleged that Kentucky was under way when the order to go was given, but if any slight advantage was thus gained it could not have affected the result.

Sixteen went out for the Saddle Trot, two miles, the winner turning up in Butterfly, who paid her backers the very substantial dividend of 30 3s. In the Selling Harness Trot the uncertain Billy the Nut proved much too good for the ten opposed to him, and the second and last big dividend of the day was declared, Billy's supporters receiving 13 16s as a reward for their confidence in him. The horse, on being submitted for sale, was bought in by his owner at the upset price.

The form Kentucky displayed over two miles, notwithstanding that he had been penalised 15sec, pointed to him as the most likely to appropriate the longer distance event, but strange to say he was supported with no amount of spirit, Joe being made favourite. Kentucky's display was certainly most disappointing; he did not get away so well as the previous event, and when the horse did start he went in an erratic fashion. On the first round no part of the gap between him and the other constestants was made up, while in the second round Kentucky commenced to kick, went off the track, and ran the sulky against the fence. The driver was thrown out, but not hurt, and no very serious damage was done to the vehicle, the horse getting clear away from it at once. With nothing behind him Kentucky proved to those present that he could gallop as well as trot, for he went at a great pace round the track and out through the crowd to the back of the stand, where he was secured, luckily without having hurt himself in any way. While these little incidents were in progress Joe was steadily threading his way through the horses in front of him, and when half the distance had been completed had only Robin Hood to pass. He got in front of the Ashburtonite two laps before the finish, but had to be kept going to the end, passing the post about 20 yards in advance of Robin Hood. The time was returned as 8min 38sec, or some 4 seconds better than the best previous record for the distance.

The Selling Saddle Trot was a very soft thing for the Ashburton pony Maud, who, starting at the limit, increased the advantage every round and distanced all competitors. Robin Hood was not to be denied in the next event, and came in an easy winner. The Pony Trot was a runaway affair for Grace Darling, who on previous occasions has should her ability to go fast.

Particulars of the various events are appended:-

HANDICAP MAIDEN TROT (Saddle) of 20 sovs, One mile.

Mr J Hill's g g Kangaroo, aged, 8sec (Owner) 1.
Mr G Goodger's blk m Apology, 5yrs, 4sec (Mitchell) 2.
Mr P Dixon's b g Highfield, aged, Scr (Day) 3.

Poppet 2sec, Apprentice 4sec, Last Chance 4sec, Maid of Roclea 8sec, Arawa 10sec also started. Butterfly and Black Bess were scratched.

Won easily by 20 yards. Time, 3min 20sec. 127 investments on the machine, none were on the winner.

HANDICAP TROT (Harness) 30 sovs;5 sovs of stake to go to the second horse. Two miles.

Mr R Sutherland's b h Kentucky, 5yrs, scr (Farrar) 1.
Mr C Harold's b g Robin Hood, aged, 20sec (Owner) 2.
Mr E Clark's ch g Venus, aged, 10sec (Owner) 3.

Siberia 10sec, Scamp 12sec, La Grippe 25sec, Billy The Nut 25sec also started.

The scratch horse, who trotted in grand form, passed two the first round, two more the second, and by the time the third had been completed had only Robin Hood in front. On the fourth round Kentucky went to the front, and won easily, in the splendid time of 5min 38sec. Of 274 investments on the machine 55 were on the winner. Dividend - 4 9s 6d.

LANCASTER PARK HANDICAP TROT (Saddle) 40 sovs; 5 sovs of stake to go to second horse. Two miles.

Mr F Wright's b m Butterfly, aged, 45sec (Owner) 1.
Mr J Buggy's g m My Dream, aged, 40sec (Munro) 2.
Mr E Clark's ch g Venus, aged (Owner) 3.

Victor scr, Joe 23sec, Star of Honor, 28sec, Westleigh 30sec, Pankonche 33sec, Tatta 35sec, Miss Alice 38sec, The Demon 40sec, Gipsy's Warning 42sec, Highfield 45sec, Poppett 48sec, Maid of Roclea 52sec and Maid of Lusky 52sec also started.
Robert Grey and Black Bess were scratched.

Butterfly early in the race obtained such a strong lead that most of the other starters seeing that pursuit was useless pulled up, and Mr Wright's mare finished well in front of My Dream, Venus a bad third. Time, 5min 52sec. Only 10 of the 335 tickets on the machine were on the winner. Dividend - 30 3s.

HANDICAP SELLING TROT, winner to be sold for 15 sovs. Two miles.

Mr E Ralph's b g Billy The Nut, 23sec (Barrett) 1.
Mr A Gosling's b m Miss Axe, aged, 25sec (Owner) 2.
Mr G Adcock's br m Hippias, aged, 37sec 3.

Scamp 10sec, Barry 15sec, The Maid 20sec, Minto 23sec, Foveaux 28sec, Tom 30sec, Shuttle 33sec were the other starters.

Billy The Nut came in a winner by some 40yds, Miss Axe just defeating Hippias on the post for second place. Time, 6min 38sec. Of 138 tickets on the machine nine were on the winner. Dividend - 13 16s. Thewinner was bought in by the owner.

HANDICAP TROT (Harness) of 35 sovs; 5 sovs from stake to go to second horse. Three miles.

Mr G A Holmes' b g Joe, aged, 10sec (Hamil) 1.
Mr G Harold's Robin Hood, aged, 30sec (Owner) 2.
Mr H Paul's b m Siberia, aged, 15sec (Munro) 3.

Kentucky 15sec behind scr, Zealandia scr, Young Irvington 30sec, Maid o' Lusky 38sec, Billy The Nut 42sec also started.

After going one round, Kentucky became unmanageable, ran off the track, and getting rid of the sulky, out of which the driver was thrown, galloped out of the ground. Joe, the favourite, trotted in fine style, and, although urged the whole way, did not seek to break, and won a good race by twenty yards, his time for the three miles being 8min 38sec - a record. Totalisator dividend - 2 11s.

HANDICAP SELLING TROT (Saddle) of 15 sovs; winner to be sold for 15. Two miles.

Mr P W Price's b m Maud, aged, 23sec (Owner) 1.

Highfield scr, Johnny 7sec, Tinker 8sec, Willie Reilly 10sec, Minto 15sec, Kilbrony 15sec, Celina 15sec, Vivian 15sec, Bedford 15sec, Foveaux 20sec, Monopoly 20sec were the other starters. Toby was scratched.

Won with the greatest of ease. Monopoly and Highfield finiahed next to the winner, but were beaten out of a place. Time, 6min 4sec. Totalisator dividend 1 19s 6d. The winner was bought in.

HANDICAP TROT (Saddle) 30 sovs; 5 sovs of stake to go to second horse. One mile.

Mr C Harrold's b g Robin Hood, aged, 25sec (Owner) 1.
Mr J E Tomlinson's b m Pale Face, aged, 25sec (Hill) 2.
Mr J Roderique's blk h Victor, aged, scr (Owner) 3.

Kitty 10sec, Star of Honor 15 sec, The Demon 20sec, My Dream 30sec, Doll 20sec, Butterfly 21sec, Tommy II 25sec, Apology 25sec, Maid of Roclea 29sec also started. Kentucky, Miss Irwell, Robert Grey and Black Bess were scratched.

Robin Hood won easily by 40 yards. A good third. Time, 2.56. Totalisator dividend 1 13s 6d.

PONY TROT (Saddle) 15 sovs. Two miles.

Mr C Harold's g m Grace Darling, aged, 12sec (Owner) 1.
Mr P Whitehead's br m Thislixum, aged, 20sec (Owner) 2.
Mr J Dewey's blk g Sambo, aged, 20sec (Owner) 3.

Twilight 5sec, Bobby Burns 15sec, Daybreak 15sec, Romeo 15sec, Jessie 15sec, Curacoa 15sec, Toby 17sec, Jemmy II 17sec, Meg 22sec, Mountain Maid 25sec, Maori Maid 20 sec.

Won very easily. Time 6min 29sec. Totalisator dividend 1 13s

Credit: The Press 11 Aug 1890


LANCASTER PARK TROTTING CLUB: Saturday 1 November 1890

Stewards - Messrs S P Andrews, H Mace, J S Williams, H J Derritt, W Tonks, D Barns, T Marr. Clerk of the Scales - Mr J Kerr. Starter - Mr H J Derritt. Handicapper - The Committee. Treasurer - Mr H Mace.

A fine afternoon favoured the Lancaster Park Trotting Club on Saturday for the meeting, and the attendance was very fair. Fifteen horses saddled up for the first event, won by Jimmy II, Apology and Lady Lynn (favourites) being beaten off. Potatau from scratch in the Mile Harness race, trotted grandly, and won easily.

The third race of the meeting, the Pony Handicap in Saddle, resulted in a complete boil over, Bantam, the favourite, being beaten outside a place, while Taradale, on whom there were but 3 invested out of 181, and with something to spare from Chuznee and Shakespeare, the two latter showing splendid form, however.

Then Mount Joy came out and won the principal event, putting up very good time for a small one. Gipsy's Warning and Silver Pine were most fancied, and they filled the places, but had they not broken up several times they would perhaps have troubled the winner.

The fifth race produced perhaps the very best finish seen at the Park between four horses, and was in doubt right up to the winning post, old Potatau only snatching the victory in the last few strides, Burwood, Fair Nell and Elsie Gay being so close that few but the judge could tell how to place them.

A strong favourite in Whisper got home in the Pony Harness Race, and Gipsy's Warning, who was made favourite for the Mile Saddle Race, got home, backers receiving the smallest dividend of the day, however, on pony Whisper. Billy-the-Nut, who won the Three Mile Harness Race, was well handled by Munro, but was hardly sach a good favourite as Elsie Gay, who could only get third, and this race concluded a very good meeting.

The totalisator handled 1519 for the day.

The following are the results:-

HANDICAP MAIDEN of 20 sovs. One mile.

Mr A Hulme's r g Jimmy II, aged, 10sec (Needham) 1.
Mr W Nankerville's ch m Miss Small, aged, 6sec (J Wright) 2.
Mr W Fallon's b m Doll, scr (Owner) 3.

Chance 5sec, Bowie 5sec, Sarah 5sec, Masher 5sec, Apology 6sec, The Maid 6sec, Dick Turpin 8sec, Apprentice 8sec, Annie Laurie 8sec, Maxy Cobb 8sec, Lady Lynn 10sec, Prince 12sec also started.

Jimmy II was in front at the end of the first lap, and was never after headed, winning by fifteen lengths from Miss Small, the others pulling up. Doll was a bad third. Time, 3min 12sec. Dividend - 14 5s.

HARNESS TROT of 20 sovs. One mile.

Mr H Mace's ch g Potatau, aged, scr (Harvey) 1.
Mr J Farrar's ch g Burwood, aged, 10sec (Owner) 2.
Mr J Kerr's b h Flora, 10sec (W Kerr) 3.

My Dream scr, Elsie Gay 5sec, Barry 15sec, Apology 15sec, Mignonette 15sec, Tom 19sec, Taradale 19sec also ran.

Potatau threaded his way through the field in grand style, and finally won easily by twelve lengths from Burwood. Flora, three lengths away, just beat My Dream. Time, 3min 1sec. Dividend - 9

HANDICAP PONY TROT (in saddle) of 15 sovs. Two miles.

Mr F Whitehead's b m Taradale, aged, 42sec (Owner) 1.
Mr B Edward's b g Chuznee, aged, 20sec (Owner) 2.
Mr W Horner's g g Shakespeare, aged, scr (Horner) 3.

Toby 35sec, Billy Button 40sec, Lily 40sec, Bobtail 42sec, Dorothy 48sec, Dora Thorn 48sec, Daybreak 52sec, Bobby Burns 52sec, May 52sec, Rosalie 55sec, Bantam 60sec.

Taradale came through her field, and won cleverly, though both Chuznee and Shakespeare trotted in grand style. Time, 6min 17sec. Dividend - 54 6s.

SPRING HANDICAP TROT (in saddle) of 55 sovs; 10 sovs for second.

Mr J M Reid's b m Mount Joy, aged, 24sec (S Price) 1.
Mr W Sutherland's b g Silver Prince, aged, 20sec (Grant) 2.
Mr J P Horner's b m Gipsy's Warning, aged, 24sec (Kerr) 3.

Magpie scr, Maori Girl 6sec, Dick 10sec, Butterfly 10sec, Maid of Roclea 12sec, Wanda 12sec, Flora Temple 16sec, Bourdi 23sec, Hurricane 23sec, Lady Agnes 30sec, Iolanthe 35sec, Robert Grey 36sec.

Iolanthe was soon displaced by Mount Joy, who went to the front, and was never headed. Silver Prince showed a lot of pace and ran second, though he broke frequently. Gipsy's Warning a fair third. Time, 5min 48sec. Dividend - 7 14s.

HANDICAP TROT (in harness) of 25 sovs. Two miles.

Mr H Mace's c g Potatau, aged, 7sec behind scratch (Harvey) 1.
Mr J Farrah's b g Burwood, aged, 20sec behind (Owner) 2.
Mt T Walker's b m Elsie Gay, aged, 10 sec (Owner) 3.

My Dream scr, Zealandia 10sec, Fair Nell 13sec, Scamp 25sec, Lena 25sec, Dollie 25sec, Rambler II 25sec, Mignonette 30sec, Poppet 32sec, Boulanger 35sec.

Boulanger led for over once round, when Burwood, who commenced very well, gradually drew to the head of affairs, Fair Nell, Elsie Gay, My Dream and Potatau also making up their handicaps on the leaders. In the final round Burwood was closely pressed by Fair Nell and Elsie Gay was close in the wake of the latter, Potatau coming like a steam engine behind the trio. Rounding the first turn Elsie Gay on the outside tried to pass the leaders but failed, at the next turn she was level with Fair Nell, and at the final bend Burwood broke and she got her head in front and was a length or two to the good half way up the straight when Potatau came very fast and both Elsie Gay and Fair Nell broke simultaneously, but were speedily steadied again and thus let Burwood in once more, and a chain from the winning post the quartette were head and head. Potatau having most "way" on winning by a clear length, the judge deciding the triangular duel for second money in favour of Burwood. The excitement was keen. Time, 5min 51sec. Dividend - 5 7s.

HANDICAP PONY TROT (in harness) of 15 sovs. 14 hands 1 inch or under. Two miles.

Mr F Hill's b m Whisper, 17sec (Harvey) 1.
Mr J Dewey's blk g Sambo, aged, scr (Owner) 2.
Mr A McRae's b m Mountain Maid, 15ssec (Douglas) 3.

The Spy 10sec, Thislirum 12sec, Jessie 12sec, Dora Thorn 15sec, Meg 17sec also started.

Won all the way. Dividend - 1 13s 6d.

HANDICAP SADDLE TROT of 25 sovs; 5 sovs for second. One mile.

Mr J P Horner's b m Gipsy's Warning, 12sec (W Kerr) 1.
Mr E W Osborne's b m Iolanthe, 6yrs, 17sec (Owner) 2.
Mr W Horner's g g Shakespeare, aged, 3sec (Owner) 3.

Butterfly 5sec, Primrose II 8sec, Venus 8sec, Silver Prince 10sec, Miss Alice 12sec, Chuznee 14sec, Apology 15sec, Lady Agnes 15sec, Miss Small 15sec, Nellie 17sec, Apprentice 17sec, Robert Gray, Prince also started.

Gipsy's Warning caught Iolanthe in the final round, and won by several lengths, a good third. Time, 2min 58sec.

HANDICAP TROT (in harness) of 30 sovs; 5 sovs for second. Three miles.

Mr J Buggey's b g Billy The Nut, 50sec (Munroe) 1.
Mr J Kerr's b m Flora, 35sec (W Kerr) 2.
Mr T Walker's b m Elsie Gay, 20sec (Owner) 3.

Potatau 10sec behind, Flora Temple 27sec, Burwood 35sec, Poppett also started.

Billy led all the way, winning after a good race by ten lengths from Flora; a fair third. Time, 9min 13sec. Dividend - 3 0s 6d.

Credit: The Press 3 Nov 1890


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