One of New Zealand’s quirkiest race days is making its 62nd return early next year.
The annual Glenorchy Races is being held on Saturday, January 6, at the head of the lake’s rec ground/golf course/rugby field/cricket pitch.
Organised again by the Lakeside Rugby Club, its secretary Brylee Percy says punters will be entertained by the usual races, including a walk, trot and gallop, a relay, double-banking, the stockman’s race and a quarter-mile sprint — and they can have a punt.
The Equalizer will be back in play, allowing people to place a bet, but, per usual, they can’t pick their horses.
Percy’s expecting a few out-of-towners on the start lines this year, ‘‘which is really cool, ’cos we kind of need more horses’’.
Next year’s event will feature a lot more stalls, including different food options, but those hankering for a whitebait patty will again be out of
luck, with no applications to run one received by the November cut-off, Percy says.
And after the day’s racing’s complete, Dunedin band The Sea Beast will entertain the crowd — which usually numbers about 3000 — at the
Entry fee for adults is again $20 — the money raised goes towards a variety of causes in the local area.
‘‘I don’t know exactly how much we raised [this year], but we donated quite a lot of money to the local first-response team here in Glenorchy and to the [rescue chopper] and a few smaller local organisations.
‘‘The golf club got quite a bit of money from us this year, we’ve bought sporting equipment for the local cricket [club] and I’m sure we’ll
donate more to different places after this one.’’
As to the event’s continuing popularity, Percy puts that down to the fact it’s a fun, affordable, family-friendly event — the likes of which are in creasingly hard to find in the Whakatipu.
The first race will run about 11am.