IT will be a day for the ladies and fast-paced harness racing action at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Saturday, with the Wairio Trotting Club’s annual Ladies One Mile Day.
Each race on the programme would be a fast-paced one mile contest, and women on-course would have a special event popular Prizes In Purses competition.
Women could drop their losing tote tickets, with their name and contact number, into a special bucket on-course, with draws throughout the day.
Each winner would go to the birdcage, choose a handbag and receive the prize in the bag. Participants had to be aged 18 years or older to enter.
As it was traditional on Ladies Day, the Wairio Club also profiled a woman who had contributed to harness racing industry, this year it was physiotherapist and harness driver Ellie Barron.
Barron was scheduled to be honoured last year, but Covid-19 alert level restrictions meant, with no crowds on course, the club could not do so.
Barron was a personality who had made a tremendous impact on the sport in a very short time.
There no doubt Barron would become involved in the sport, with her father Clark driving and training, and mother Jackie involved as well.
Barron initially became involved in the equestrian world, while also helping clean horse boxes at home.
“Then I started helping gearing up and the like and started working towards my junior licence.
“I graduated from school in 2012 and spent the next four years at uni full-time and I would come home and drive in workouts and trials,
“I enjoyed it and I wasn’t terrible at it, so I went part-time for six months driving and working as a physio.
“But it was just too hard to do both.”
Barron won the New Zealand Cadet of the Year Award in 2018 and the Southland Junior Driver Premiership in 2019.
Another highlight was getting the call-up to New Zealand Junior Championships in 2019.
Barron was also a Team Teal ambassador and had been a huge force in the fundraising effort in the south which saw proceeds go to the Women’s Cancer Foundation for ovarian cancer research.
The first race is set for noon, with free admission. Feature races include the Ladyship Stakes Final, a Free-For-All Mobile Pace plus the first of four heats of a new Southern Fillies and Mares Series.
- Lindsay Beer is the Southern Harness Racing promotions officer