Record Season           


A relatively good summer, improved track grooming and the injection of some quality Canterbury horses led to a bumper season for track records in the Southern region.


Forty one track records were broken over all southern surfaces during the 2015-2016 season which wrapped up at Invercargill on Queens Birthday Monday - the highest number for many years. And twenty of those were also Southland records.


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Hamish Hunter.



Hunter 500                    


Hamish Hunter became the first Southland based trainer to join the elite 500 club when I Try won at Forbury Park tonight.


I Try is owned by  Hunter and loyal clients of the stable The What Ever Syndicate. Together, they also own the stable's biggest winner, Franco Ledger.


I Try is a Mach Three four year old. Tonight he raced three back on the rails and found room in the straight to get up and nab Pembrook Harry. 


Hamish Hunters best season was in 2014 when star pacer Franco Ledger was a leading stake earner....


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Williamson Takes No Prisoners 


He was regarded as a certainty beat on debut after breaking but today after a safe getaway Takenoprisoners did exactly that.


The three year old gelding by Monarchy was made a $1-40 favourite at Ascot Park today and trainer driver Nathan Williamson allowed him to settle in fifth place early. He followed up Spur Wing up with 1800 metres to run. At the 1500 metre mark Williamson took the lead and he wasn't extended to beat Jackofdiamonds by a length and a quarter.


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Macca Lodge Sponsor Winter Series (Thursday 9th June 2016) 


Brent and Sheree McIntyre from Macca Lodge, Riversdale, Northern Southland will have overall naming rights to all Trained South of the Waitaki Races held at Addington this year. 

Their Trained South Of The Waitaki Winter Warmer Series will consist of three heats to be held at NZMTC on 8, 15, 22, and the final on 29 July, for total stake money of $35,000.


To be eligible for this series, horses had to be registered with HRNZ in the name of a Trainer(s) based South of the Waitaki River as at 1 May 2016.


The series will be for 3YO and older pacers assessed up to C1 as at the closing of nominations for heat one.


The first three place getters in each heat will have automatic entry into the Final.


The winner of this series last season was the Trevor Proctor trained Tact Tate.



Tact Tate - Photo Bruce Stewart 



Macca Lodge Trained South of the Waitaki River Show Day Race


This will be the second year Macca Lodge will be sponsoring this race on Show Day for 3YO and older C1/C2 pacers.  It will be run over 1950 metres, with a mobile gate start for a stake of $20,000.


Information about Macca Lodge can be found at


Full details and conditions of the up and coming Macca Lodge Trained South of the Waitaki Winter Warmer Series can be found under the Racing - Promotions and Incentives section at or contact Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley at the Addington Racing Department on (03) 338 9094.







Murray Swain New South Island HRNZ Board Member (Friday 27th May 2016)

Bruce Stewart

Murray Swain has always been passionate about harness racing and now heís got the chance at the highest level to put some of his ideas on the table.

Heís not new to administration having held positions as President of the Winton HRC and as a board of Southern Harness.

Although administration at this level has been a passing thought, Swain didnít expect an opportunity to take a position on the board of HRNZ would come so soon.

ďBeing on the board of Southern Harness was a thought, but not Harness Racing New Zealand. That just came about with Alisa (Smaill) retiring. Iíve been asked over the last few years if Iíd give it a go but the timing just hasnít been right,Ē he said.

The Swain name is well known in harness racing in Southland and Murray mixes farming and commercial eeling with horse training on his Roslyn Bush property. 

He farms on 300 acres with mainly dry stock, fattening lambs and cattle.

ďIíll probably concentrate on cattle now as theyíre less labour intensive if Iím going to do this job so itís a bit easier instead of dagging sheep.Ē

Being on the HRNZ board means there will have to be other changes at home.

ďThere are about twelve meetings in Christchurch. I havenít told him yet but Aaron (son) will have to look after the horses when Iím away.Ē

As well as being a breeder, trainer, driver and administrator Swain also likes to have the odd bet and has a very good understanding of racing from a punters viewpoint.

He says the key thing in his new role is to listen to all industry players.

 ďA lot of people out there complain about a lot of things. You just have to sift through it and work out which is worthy or not. I have a lot of ideas I can add to the industry and I think I can pull the clubs together. My intention is to be an asset (on the board).Ē

On the breeding front he currently has nine foals on the ground and six mares in foal with about thirty horses all up. And heís keen to ensure that other owners continue to breed.

ďIf you do breed to a lesser stallion I want you to get a fair return. My main aim is to look after the grass roots, encouraging people to breed horses and race them more.Ē

Over the years heís realised that selling is often the only way to remain sustainable in the industry.

ďIf you sell you go again. If you win a good stake it encourages you to go again. I think weíve got behind (in stakes) and weíve got some ground to make up.Ē




 Murray Swain


Over the years he has also trained and raced a number of handy horses, his best being Scoots a Holmes Hanover mare out of Outspoken which won seven races before she was sold to America in 2000.

ďShe won another thirty (races) in America against the best Free For All mares over there. At one point she was the fastest mare to leave Australasia. She won a half a million dollars in America.Ē

Other good winners from his stable were Radar Installed, the winner of 10 races. Hayton Brain a Sir Vancelot gelding won nine races and a further thirteen in Australia including the Group Two Celebrity Sprint, the Group Three FHRC Members Sprint, Group Three Village Kid Sprint at Northam and the Group Two Mount Eden Sprint. He also ran third in the Group One Australian Pacing Championship.He ended his career having won $369,672.

Mister Kentucky and Oomph were other good winners Swain has trained.

Although he acknowledges thereís plenty to learn about board protocol he says heís keen to offer his services on a number of subcommittees.

ďI think Iíve got a very good knowledge of handicapping. Iím also interested in setting conditions and rules for age group racing including concessions. Iíll see whatís available but I know where I want to be. I donít mind sitting out on the edge as long as itís sustainable. I also donít mind being wrong. Thereíll be some pretty knowable guys up there. You canít be scared to try and canít be scared to fail.Programming is very important too. We need to get every horse on the track every second week with just ten races. Harness Racing is at a very crucial point at the moment and failure isnít an option.Ē  

Murray Swain will assume his new position following the Annual Conference on 30th July, replacing Ailsa Smaill who is retiring after being on the Board of HRNZ for the past 12 years.


















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