All ages pack the race day stands
A huge crowd sat in the sun and tried to win big at New Plymouth's Pukekura Raceway yesterday.
Thousands of people showed up to the Taranaki Daily News Family Fun Day to watch and bet on the day's eight races.
Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Carey Hobbs said the races were again proving their popularity, especially considering the timing of this year's event.
"We weren't sure how it was going to go this year, not being a holiday, and we don't have the exact numbers but I'd say the number of people here is equal to last year."
He said the day had been relatively trouble-free and fantastic.
"It's the typical post-Christmas relaxation day," he said.
And it was mostly a family affair - many punters were seen with a beer in one hand and a child, desperate to visit the bouncy castle or the icecream truck, hanging off the other.
Mr Hobbs said crowds at the summer races were growing progressively younger, and the racing club attempted to cater to all ages.
"If the young people weren't here we wouldn't have all the lovely ladies in Miss Taranaki here, or the kids' entertainment or the DJ in Crowded House Party Central."
Some racegoers were at the raceway as part of stag or hen's parties.
One groom-to-be was Gareth Goodin, due to get married next month, who was staggering around wearing a bright green wig and a dress after being put through the wringer by his friends.
Mike Rubick, a friend of Mr Goodin, said the carousing had begun at 9am and the boys had put him through his paces. "Every time a grey horse won he had to chug. He had to kiss three gingers and do a haka in front of the main stage and he did it." More coverage: Page 13
Taranaki Daily News