A week ago preparations were well underway for the 2022 NZCIS Wellington Cup day, with early weather forecasts looking good and strong fields of horses in the offing. It was going to be a classic event.
We had spent some time planning for a less than perfect scenario with Omicron beginning to loom on the horizon, and at 4pm last Sunday these were kicked into gear. An immediate pivot occurred from what was going to be a huge public party, into a safety-conscious event that catered for as many people as possible within the Covid-19 red traffic light guidelines. The racing industry also had to be assured that its participants could be hosted onsite without unnecessary risk to future prospects in the coming weeks.
With some logistical juggling and creative thinking we were able to utilise the large open spaces of the Trentham Racecourse on Saturday, and we’d like to thank everyone who made the effort to attend. It’s not easy to sit in a confined space in a mask all day, in the heat of what is proving to be a great kiwi summer, but our 18 pods did enable us to provide a safe place for friends and family to gather to watch the time honoured NZCIS Wellington Cup, Harcourts Thorndon Mile and other great races on the card. All up there was almost a million dollars in prizemoney on the line, demonstrating the importance to the industry of a successful weekend.
To our partners and sponsors who stood by us for what was a successful day in the circumstances we say thank you. To the owners, trainers, jockeys, officials, WRC members, corporate hospitality attendees and other guests who persevered despite the challenges, it was a pleasure to host you. Thank you for working with our large team of hosts, ensuring a safe and fun afternoon of racing.
To the hard working full and part-time staff and committee who pulled this all off at short notice, a very special thank you. It was a challenge and a half to bring everything together, especially with the knowledge that the financial results were never going to hit any heights. But we gave it a go, and the grand old Trentham Racecourse put on an event befitting the 115+ years of history at this site.
We now regroup and begin our preparations for the race meetings on March 12 and 19. The latter has two Group 1 races, the New Zealand Oaks and Levin Classic, and we hope to be able to fill the venue to capacity, or continue as we have done this weekend.
Yours in Racing,
One news https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/01/29/omicrons-spread-sees-events-go-on-under-tighter-restrictions/