Providing a family-friendly race day experience

5th February 2022

At Banks Peninsula Trotting Club we pride ourselves on being a family-focused club, ensuring there’s something for everyone attending, with plenty of entertainment off the track as well as on it. 

It’s at the club level that harness racing brings industry and customer together, where the sport/industry is put squarely in front of the public for all to see. In adding value by providing activities for all ages, we aim for a positive experience all round.

This is where the community judges harness racing, where families and groups of friends make judgements on whether to return, on whether to increase their involvement in the activity and so be a part of its prosperity.

For club committee and volunteers It’s hugely satisfying when we receive positive feedback on our race days. Especially when there’s an inter-generational aspect to it. We take heart from the knowledge that young and not-so-young enjoyed their day at the races, and it encourages us to keep on working at improving our product.

Following our most recent race day in January, we were delighted to receive the following message:

To the Committee,

I would just like to congratulate the Committee on putting on a great meeting today.  The course was in great condition. We had 4 grandsons plus a friend there today who had a wonderful time watching their grandad’s horses race but spent most of their time on all the trampolines etc that were provided for them.

I just wish more clubs would do this and encourage families to race meetings which can be made fun for all the family and no one can complain about paying $10 for all that entertainment.


The Telfer family after their win with Szybka Lane at Motukarara

Caryl Telfer

As it happens, the family had a great day on the track too!  A win and two placings on top of an earlier placing shot Grandad to the top of the club competition UDR standings. What a great result and how good to see the boys there to share in the excitement, all decked out in the team colours!

Here too we see that the enjoyment factor is just as important to the harness racing participants as to the attending public. Harness racing is a family affair, sport and recreation at one level requiring a commercial approach to exist. As a club our philosophy is to do what we can to fold all aspects of racing into a great day out for everyone.

We welcome constructive criticism too of course. We all know there’s work to be done, improvements to be made, and feedback plays an important part in helping us sort our priorities.

Covid restrictions provide just one more challenge to doing what we believe we do best: project harness racing as a positive component of local and regional community life. These times will pass, and we look forward to another day when we can welcome everyone in to enjoy all that The Trots at Mot are about.