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The Gore Racing Club has made pleasing progress over the last decade, highlighted by the successful development of the Racecourse Management Committee to serve the interest of both the galloping and trotting codes.
Mr Robin Archer the newly elected president, made those observations yesterday when reflecting on his 20 year involvement of the club as a member. The fine relationship developed with the trotting fraternity, culminating the new all weather track, and the laying of a fine sand training track is an example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.
Upwards of 80 horses can be trained on any morning and the Gore Racing Club could feel proud of that achievement. Pleasant facilities for the public are of the upmost importance and looking to the future we must never lose sight of the fact that racing has to be vigorously promoted
- whether we like it or not- we find ourselves in a very competitive predicament.
Robin Archer a Gore building contractor and President of the Southland Savings Bank and coach of the Southland Rugby Team brings a lifetime interest in thoroughbreds and nowdays an involved practical interest as he looks forward to his new role.
He started attending Race Meetings with his grandmother (Granny Roberts ) when he was eight and is now breeding from several broad mares, and has several young horses in partnership with his wife, Muriel, who has always been around horses and is a member of the Radio Southland Track talk team.
A committee member of the club for the last 12 years, and vice-president for the past five years, Mr Archer has two strings to how bow in maintaining that public relations, which is of imperative importance to the future of racing.
For the past ten years he has been involved in public relations and his sister in law Marjorie Charlson is widely known as one of the most competent public relations for racing in Australasia. Robin has always liaised closely with her to get ideas for promotional events. Marjorie was also relations officer for the very successful West Australia Turf Club for at least 12 years. Her efforts together with the late Harry Bolton, (secretary) bought about a remarkable revival in racing in Western Australia.
Mr Archer maintains there is plenty of scope for clubs in Southland, even in conjunction with the trotting clubs, to present a more interesting product for the public. Better liaison between all the clubs could well result in greater interest being shown by the public.
During his term as President he is wanting to see his club become an integral link in such a network. A restructuring of racing dates and working together with trotting clubs was the key for success.
The attraction of cup week in Christchurch was an example of the promotional benefits for both racing and trotting.
There was a lot of room for improvement and he said Riverton Racing Club was the ultimate of race day attendances. There is also the option to look at tax relief from the Government. He said that racing clubs were a tax collecting agencies for the Government - and unpaid as well. Although lobbying could fall on deaf ears, we have to try.
Mr Archer is pleased to see the likes of Dennis Brothers, Pauline Wright, Bill Hillis and others campaigning their horses in the North Island.
Spindrift was a winner for him but tragically, died in foal to the Irish, St Leger, winner Reindeer. The Archers are now breeding from Balinese (Talismano-Menaka) and she is due to foal in a few weeks to Reindeer, the sire of their four year old mare, Jingle. out of Miss Rhonda, a lightly raced mare they have with Marlene Todd in the North Island. The Archers area also breeding from Skerrie (Lomond Charlson Lady) who is in foal to Royal Randwick. They have McAngus a two year old filly by Alvaro from Honey Carlyle, in training with Allan Borthwick, Scalloway (by Sovereign Eagle) and Fetlar a two year old Imperial Guard from Skerrie).
Rugby and Racing go hand in hand and it is shown in that many men that have worn the maroon jersey have later made a valuable contribution as racing and trotting contributors.
Bert Crooks is president of the Southland Racing Club, Ray Todd is president of the Southland Trotting Owners, Trainers and Breeders Association. Kevin Laidlaw is past president of the Wairio Jockey Club and Murray Millar is a vice-president of the Winton Trotting Club.
There are many more examples such as Martin O'Shea, life member of the Gore Racing Club, Lex Thomas, former president of Invercargill Trotting Club, Graeme McKenzie committeeman of Wyndham Racing Club, the late Jack McRae, vice-president of Southland Racing Club. Bruce Hamilton, committeeman of Winton Jockey Club., Les George, former president of
Invercargill Trotting Club, the late Bill Hazlett., president of Southland Thoroughbred Breeders Association., the late Eric Fowle, stalwart of Birchwood Hunt Club., Don Forde , former president of Wairio Trotting Club, Ian Galt, former president of Wyndham Trotting Club., Stu Dermody., committeeman of Wyndham Trotting Club and Mouat Ussher, former committeeman of Gore Racing Club.
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