Storm Damage at Taranaki Racecourse

Tuson Stand at Taranaki Racecourse Damaged in March Storms 2012

  Racecourse 157(copy)

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Article in Taranaki Daily News:

Wind causes havoc at New Plymouth racecourse


Last updated 13:29 21/03/2012
Tuson Stand
HAVOC: The damaged Tuson Stand at Pukekura Raceway.




Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing officials were busy adding up the damage, but not the costs, of yesterday's gale force winds.

The severe southeasterly blast forced the club's planned eight-race programme at the New Plymouth racecourse to be abandoned.

A section of the roof of the Tuson public grandstand was ripped off and lengths of the aluminium running rail on the main track were scattered. Trees in and around the working areas of the racetrack were uprooted.

TTR chief executive Carey Hobbs said the costs of the abandoned meeting would be met by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's "raceday payment" policy, which covered such events. The damage to the building would be covered by insurance.

Hobbs was busy early yesterday ringing trainers who had entered horses to tell them the meeting had been canned.

"It's so much better if you can make an early call, which we did," Hobbs said. "That saves a lot of inconvenience to owners and trainers.

"You have to be sure it is safe to run a meeting and, for us, the answer to that this morning was no," he said.

"Safety for the public and the participants is paramount in situations like this.

"In the 25 years I've been in the job here, this is the third time I've had to abandon a meeting and the first time due to wind."

Surface flooding was the reason for the other cancellations.

Hobbs said that because of the compressed nature of the racing calendar this week, no consideration was given to postponing the meeting.

The $12,000 feature race for rating 65 fillies and mares will now be transferred to TTR's next meeting on the course on June 7.

Hobbs said the Central Districts race programming subcommittee would consider adding an additional race or races to the card at next Thursday's Wanganui Jockey Club meeting to cater for horses that lost racing opportunities because of yesterday's abandonment.

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