A jumbo day for Lions Club charity

From our archives: MARCH 1954

Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
Elephant racing

Caption The far right shows a half block from home with Jumbo, right, leading Peggy, Betty and Sue on the outside. At far right is Zara, whose rider, Elizabeth Miller, can be seen above Jumbo’s back. Alice was at this stage about 10 lengths behind Zara.

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The biggest Tay Street crowds during the Queen's 1954 visit gathered on March 15 for the Elephant Charity Stakes.

Six elephants - Alice, Zara, Sue, Jumbo, Peggy and Betty - were touring the South Island, drawing huge crowds for charity races.

Interest was keen, the elephants even had printed form.

"Peggy, a winner at her last two starts in Dunedin and Gore, could make the Invercargill race three in a row. However, at her last two starts she has been ridden by women, and will be at a disadvantage with a male rider aboard.

"Jumbo, who has been consistently placed throughout her New Zealand engagements, would be the one to test Peggy. Jumbo has a passion for ice-cream, and once in sight of the 2 1/2 gallon stake is likely to spreadeagle the field."

As it happened Jumbo, sponsored by The Southland Times and ridden by Garth George, was the winner on the day - "by a head, with a short trunk back to the little-fancied fast finishing Betty."

The real winner on the day was charity with Lions Clubs members collecting £403 from the crowd.

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- The Southland Times

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