Wairoa's last day of racing?

  • 24/02/2019
horse racing
Nothing has been decided yet.

It could be the end of an era for Wairoa racing on Sunday - this could be the last time it holds its annual carnival.

Thousands are expected at the Te Kupenga Racecourse for the horse racing event, which was among those proposed to be scrapped in a New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing report last year.

Wairoa Racing Club chairman Paul Toothill says it has been going for over 130 years.

"I can't see why we cannot keep racing here. There's no costs - we're a voluntary club, we're a freehold club. We basically support our own racing here.

Mr Toothill says ending the event would rip the heart out of the community.

"I can't see why it cannot continue… it's an isolated area, I know it is, but we have great support from the trainers. There's a lot of food support."

Nothing has been decided yet.

The report, released last year, recommended closing 20 tracks over the next five years, beginning in August. Wairoa's track is slated to be among the first to close.

The report said Wairoa was in a "poor location" and had "below-average infrastructure", the Gisborne Herald reported.

"You'll break the heart of the community if we have to move or close this carnival, which has been going for over 130 years at Te Kupenga," said Mr Foothill.