Waimate Racecourse rebuild looks on track

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:47 27/02/2014
waimate racecourse
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

DEMOLISHED: A building damaged at the Waimate Racecourse after a wind storm in September 2013.

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Redevelopment of the damaged Waimate Racecourse looks set to go ahead.

Demolition of the stands has been completed and the racecourse trustees have reached a settlement with insurers. The stands' roofs were blown off during high winds in September.

Racecourse trustee Robbie Crawford said concept plans were being discussed, with trustees working towards replacing facilities.

"We are pricing those through and coming up with what's realistic. The idea would be to replace a fair portion of what was damaged, and a new stadium is what we are heading towards."

The racing club usually hosts meetings twice a year and the trotting club once, with the next meeting scheduled for July.

Mr Crawford said the July meeting would be dependent on planning.

"It's all going to come down to timing and what we can work towards. Until we know what our time lines are it's too early to make decisions."

According to Harness Racing New Zealand, the Waimate Racing Club came into existence in 1880.

It arose out of a merger of the Waimate Steeplechase Club, which was formed after the running of the first Grand National Steeplechase at Willowbridge near Waimate in 1875, and the Waimate Hack Racing Club.

The Waimate Trotting Club was formed in 1925, but being unable to obtain totalisator permits, held non-tote meetings in 1925 and 1926 before it went into recess.

The club staged its first totalisator trotting meeting at the racecourse on December 9, 1950.

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- The Timaru Herald

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