Television is invented by Scotsman John Logie Baird.
American engineer Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fuelled rocket.
May 29 - NZ's first sports broadcast - a rugby match from Lancaster Park. Commentator Allan Allardyce was soon to pioneer broadcasts of racing, cricket and hockey for station 3YA. He also gave live coverage of Kingsford-Smith's landing at Wigram in 1928.
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
August - The first race meeting to be broadcast in NZ (and probably the first full day's coverage in the world), was at the CJC meeting at Riccarton. Alan Allardyce, who had just pioneered Rugby commentaries, was not permitted to broadcast from the stands in case he should distract the patrons. He sat on a haystack on the far side of the course with a private telephone line to station 3AC, Christchurch. One of the jockeys reported "a crazy b.... sitting on a haystack talking to himself".
Crowds round the inside totalisator.£39,708 was on the totalisator on Cup Day 1926.
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 16Nov88
1926 DOMINION HANDICAP
The Dominion Handicap which is the most exclusive, contest in New Zealand for unhoppled trotters only, provided a thrilling finish after Master Audo had led for a mile and threequarters. The two big guns, Money Spider and Peterwah set to work and down the straight they came inch by inch and fought out the last part of the event. Peiterwah beat Money Spider by a neck. Five lengths away came Escapade, who was not quite herself.
It was a wonderful exhibition of trotting and Peterwah was given a rousing reception on returning to scale. Peterwah was bred in America, where he was purchased by R. C. Fisken, of Gisborne, who drove his good horse. Peterwah is by Etawah, 2.3, from Janava and is destined to prevail in the fastest classes in the Dominion.
Credit: NZ Truth 11 Nov 1926
1926 NEW ZEALAND FREE-FOR-ALL
The Free-for-All was won by J. R. McKenzie's wonder horse, Great Bingen, which, after making a recovery from his indisposition, beat a select field of the eight best horses in training.
It was unfortunate that Waitaki Girl and Acron should break at the start and a greater pity that Native Chief should tangle and lose fully three lengths. Hendricksen allowed him to find his feet and moved him up gradually until he was in fourth place. He got that position four furlongs from home and putting in a sensational run in the straight he gained the distinction of beating all but Great Bingen. The first half-mile was negotiated in 1.6 and the last in 1.3, the concluding two furlongs were cut out in 3O l/5secs.
After tne race J. R. McKenzie stated that, he was so delighted With Great Bingens performance and the fact of his good horse having regained his health sufficiently to win that he had decided to donate half of the stake to Lady Truby King's fellowship fund.
Credit: NZ Truth 18 Nov 1926
1926 NEW ZEALAND DERBY
Though only four three-year-olds went out to contest the New Zealand Derby stakes, the contest was one of the best nerve tingles of the meeting. The coupled youngsters Richore and Shadowland were elected a few tickets better favorites than Rey Logan.
Richore broke at the start and lost about eight lengths. He ran up to the leader with a round to go but when the speed was turned on over the final quarter he quickly took the knock. He finished third, but don't forget that he was 50 yards behind the second horse.
Tomkinson had the bat on Shadowland at the end of half a mile, to which the three-year-old responded. He got to the front, but Rey Logan was doing his work on the bit and so with Shadowland in front, Richore alongside of him, and Rey Logan trailing, they set out to complete the final circuit.
Two furlongs from home Rey Logan set out to beat his two rivals, the fourth candidate, Petronius, being well down the course. Richore was soon left behind, and Rey Logan and Shadowland set out to fight out every inch of the straight, Shadowland getting to the judge a neck in front of Rey Logan.
Credit: NZ Truth 18 Nov 1926
1926 NEW ZEALAND TROTTING CUP
Two of the possibilities in Native Chief and Queen'a Own spoilt their chances by an inaccurate beginning and Great Bingen took i11 during the early part of the race and was pulled up. Of the 14 acceptors Black Admiral was not started. The favorites were Ahuriri, the coupled horses, Acron and Great Bingen, Native Chief and Waitaki Girl.
Had Native Chief not misbehaved at the start he may have occupied a winning place. As it was the pace he had to go for the first half-mile to regain his lost ground took all the steam out of him and he died right away three furlongs from home. From the word go Ahuriri never looked like getting beaten when the field had gone a furlong. He was in fifth place, where Bryce was content to allow his candidate to shelter from the wind till a mile and a-half had been completed. At this stage of the race he dashed into second place where he stayed till well into the home stretch, where he gave him a tap with the whip and home he came winning comfortably by twp lengths. Prince Pointer, who filled second place, began smartly and went into the lead at the two-furlong disc and acted as a pacemaker right into the home stretch, though he beat Talaro by five lengths for second money. He had no chance of finishing m front of the winner.
Talaro went a stinging good race. He led for a quarter- of a mile where he dropped in behind Prince Pointer. Even when Ahuriri collared his position three furlongs from home he boxed on in determined style and gathered third money. Considering the ground he lost at the start Jack Potts went a wonderful race to occupy fourth place to which is attached 300 sovs. Acron and Man-o-War had every chance. Waitaki Girl and Sheik battled hard through their field but neither ever threatened danger.
This is the second time that Ahiiriri has annexed the New Zealand Trotting Cup. He won it last year he is owned by R. N. Morten who bred him, and is trained by J.Bryce.
The first mile was cut out in 2.l3 2/5; the mile and a half in 3.20 4/5 and the full journey in 4.25.
His connections must have been confident.
The judicial stewards severely cautioned J. Bryce, driver of Ahuriri, for interfering with Talaro and fined him £15.
Credit: NZ Truth 11 Nov1926
In 1925 and the following year Ahuriri was successful in the Cup. His dam was the great mare Muricata. Muricata was by Mauritius, imported from America by the late R McMillan in 1905, and was a son of Bingen, Mauritius served a few mares before being sent to Australia, amongst them being Queen Wave,the dam of Muricata. Muricata was a roan mare favouring her dam in colour and a great trotter in her time, winning freguently against the pacers. The late Mr N L Price, who trained her for most of her races, once stated that she was the only trotter he had ever known who could change from trotting to the pacing gait at top speed, and for that reason he was always on "pins and needles" when racing her in trotting races.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 31 October 1945
The outside Public Grandstand was burnt down in September 1926 and the origin of the fire remains a mystery. The first sign was at 5:00am and the Caretaker and Fire Brigade were reported to be on the scene promptly. As seems to be the pattern with grandstands of this period the fire quickly gained such a hold that nothing could be done to save the building and a few hours after the outbreak all that remained was a heap of embers. The loss of this stand was a severe blow to the NZMTC almost on the eve of its three day Cup Meeting and also to the Canterbury Park Trotting Club whose most important Meeting was at New Year. The two Clubs received a great deal of sympathy in the loss stand which was much patronized and with the Cup Meeting being in November the opinion was expressed that the public could be inconvenienced very considerably if the weather was unfavourable. The Executives of the Canterbury Park and NZ Metropolitan Clubs met promptly to consider what steps could be taken to replace the stand and to provide accommodation for the outside public. In August 1928 it was minuted that a tender of £8,000 submitted by Hammett and Sons, for the erection of an outside Public Stand was accepted.
Credit: NZMTC: Historical Notes compiled by D C Parker