YEAR: 2015


Addington Raceway and Events Centre claimed a major coup last month when they were recognised at the Champion Canterbury Business Awards. Awarded the title in the Retail/Hospitality Category for medium to large enterprise, Addington saw off all competitors - continuing the rise and rise of the business side of the operation at harness racing headquarters in the South Island.

The advent of events such as Christmas at the Races as well as a high patronage prior to rugby matches at the next door AMI Stadium has undoubtedly lifted the profile of the Addington landscape with more and more foot traffic making its way through their doors.

Addington chief executive, Dean McKenzie said the award was justification for all the hard work put in by the team. "Although our business has been part of the fabric of our city for over 100 years, it would be fair to say it has changed dramatically, particularly in the past few years," McKenzie said. "Receiving this award certainly makes it feel like all the hard work has not gone unnoticed, which is always nice."

Described in the Awards winners list as Canterbury's leading multipurpose racing and events venue, Addington received their award for providing an exceptional hospitality and entertainment venue for its guests.

McKenzie said the success wouldn't have happened without a lot of input from behind the scenes. "I am sure our Board will join with me in thanking all our customers, members, suppliers and key partners who have all played a massive role in the transformation of our business. Without them we would simply not be where we are today. But above all, we would like to thank and acknowledge our team for their hard ongoing work, enthusiasm and dedication to the organisation."



YEAR: 2011


As this issue of the 'Weekly' was busy winging its way around the countryside to land in your mailboxes, members of the Inter-Dominion Events Committee were holding a telephone conference to discuss the staging of this month's Championships. And it's pretty much a 'given' that they will not be run in Canterbury, either at Addington or Ashurton, and will thus move to Auckland.

Like many areas of Christchurch, Addington Raceway did not escape the wrath of last week's devasting 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Earlier this week, Addington Raceway's CEO Shane Gloury said these damages were "the least of my worries" as paramount discussions over the staging of the Inter-Dominions continued.

"Overall the Raceway came through the earthquake not too bad," Gloury said. "The damage is similar to last time (September 4 earthquake) but more extensive, and it's only really the top floor of the main stand that got hit. The track suffered some damage, with hairline cracks, but it was fairly minor."

Racemeetings scheduled for tomorrow night (Thursday) and Sunday could not proceed and were transferred to Rangiora. "There's issues with the glass windows on Level Three plus the structural integrity of the public stand, because the Structural Engineer still hasn't given us the 'all-clear' yet," Gloury said on Monday.

In the bigger picture though, the damages to Addington Raceway were quickly fixable and not the reason why it simply wouldn't be right to hold this season's Inter-Dominions there. Obviously the likely shift to Auckland has serious ramifications for the numerous sponsors involved, who will struggle to get any 'local' value out of the money they've put up so far, not to mention the virtual nightmare of all horses, owners and attendees having to alter travel plans to the other end of the country.

Gloury said there's the argument that the Series is not for another few weeks, and by then Christchurch will be in need of an event like this to lift spirits and morale - but acknowledged that on the other hand, would carry on and running it be in Christchurch's best interests, given the likely drain on resources of the city and the state of essential services which might not be anywhere near back to normal by then.

Credit: John Robinson writing in HR Weekly 2March 2011


YEAR: 1934


A source of occasional amusement to spectators on the Addington trotting grounds is the "Scotsmen's Grandstand" on the far side of the course. Along the fence between the course and the road a long line of heads appears during the running of each race, and further back a line of sheep trucks left standing by an indulgent Railway Department provides precarious standing-room for still others who lack either means or inclination to secure entrance to the course.

Those on the course no doubt imagine that the "Scotsmen" must have a very dull and uncomfortable time in their exclusion from the privileges of financial spectators. But a visit behind the scenes would prove that the excluded form a community with an identity of its own, and that they have certain conveniences which they would not exchange for all the grandstands and totalisators in the world.

Yesterday the "Scotsmen's grandstand" was full to overflowing, though it appears that its capacity is limited only by the number of bicycles which it is possible to place against the fence, and the number of motor-trucks and other trade vehicles which happen to be parked in the road behind. At a rough estimate, the unofficial attendance at Addington for the New Zealand Cup was very nearly 300.

Balanced on the saddles and handle-bars of bicycles, with elbows discreetly disposed between the spikes of the barbed wire, the greater number of these keen sportsmen scanned the course at their ease or, when the making of a bet seemed to require consideration in a more comfortable position, dropped to the ground for a study of a rumpled newspaper. Besides the fortunate ones who commanded a direct view over the top of the fence, there were many who peered through holes in the corrogated iron, or stood on the tops of trucks, cars and carts.

It is pleasantly sheltered and sunny behind the "Scotsmen's grandstand." There is no need to risk cramped limbs by remaining perched on a bicycle bar between races, and the possible ways of whiling the time away are many and various. There is no well-appointed tea-kiosk where patrons may sit at decorous ease while the band plays on the lawn; but there is a most efficient pie-and-tea cart, round which a convivial group may stand eating and drinking its sixpenny-worth with equal enjoyment and considerably less restraint. There were even rumours yesterday that an enterprising person had been selling beer in small quanities, but if it were so, the unlicensed trader made no great effort to advertise his business.

When a race is in progress, the "Scotsmen" make up in enthusiasm what they lack in numbers as compared with the official spectators opposite. There is a general scramble for good positions, and a running fire of comment all along the fence.

Perhaps it is not clear just why such excitement is possible outside the area where betting is officially permitted. But an explanation will reveal another reason, and perhaps the most cogent, why the "Scotman" prefers his own way of enjoying a race meeting. For his grandstand is the happy hunting-ground for those sporting gentlemen, who for obvious reasons are not welcome on racecourses, but who none the less are most accommodating in the taking of bets, and allow their clients to risk sums which no totalisator would accept.

All along the fence can be heard subdued cries of "What's wanted, gents?" and there is no lack of response. Apart from these practitioners, there are others provide amusement in the form of certain games not favourably regarded by the police; and these seem to do very well in competition with the main business of the day.

So much for the "Scotsmen's grandstand." Not a mere scattering of the inevitable few who look continually for "something for nothing" and not exactly what it appears from the inside of the course; but a community which has gathered round it its own facilities as may best serve its own enjoyment. However questionable those facilities may be, there is no doubt that the "Scotsmen" seem to be well satisfied.

Credit: THE PRESS 7 Nov 1934


YEAR: 1904


The large attendance which thronged the enclosures of the Metropolitan trotting grounds on each of the three day's racing provided by the Metropolitan Club served to forcibly illustrate what a popular pastime that class of sport can be made if it is properly catered for, and it can be said without exaggeration that it has become a serious rival to the runners in the public fancy. Viewed as it can be in Christchurch, there are many things which tend to make it so. In the first - and what is of most importance - it is a much cheaper sport than flat racing, and owing to being decided on a small track the public get more excitment for their money by seeing the horses passing and repassing each other during their races within easy vision. The finishes are in many cases as close and exciting as those of a flat race, and during the recently-concluded meeting some excellent sport was witnessed at the track.

Since last year a great number of important improvements have been effected on the club's course. The track has been banked, and promises to become much faster as it is worked on and settles down. Close on 40 loose-boxes have been erected, and the saddling paddock considerably enlarged, whilst a comfortable looking cottage has been erected near the entrance gates for the caretaker. Many minor and beautifying bits of work have also been carried out, and as they are costs which are not likely to be of annual occurrence it can be confidently expected that some really valuable prizes will be hung up at the track in the near future.

During the past four years over 100,000 has been expended on the grounds, and there is very little room for improvement unless the club is anxious to install a more up-to-date totalisator on the track. The type of horses seen out during the meeting was of a very high standard, and the importation of such quality mares as Norice, Lottie Derby, Miss Vera Capel, Myrtle Dean and other standard-bred stock should tend to improve the stamina of the trotting horse, which has lost favour as a journey horse on the roads.

Credit: Otago Witness 16 Nov 1904

In the event that you cannot find the information you require from the contents, please contact the Racing Department at Addington Raceway.
Phone (03) 338 9094