Dates For Southern Harness Released
5th June 2020
After much debate over dates and venues RITA released the final 2020-2021 calendar on Friday.
From the original date drafts in which Southern Harness was allocated 50 dates, 5 dates have been reallocated to Forbury Park with the majority of these race days falling in late June and early July.
In the current season (2019-2020) Southern Harness had 44 dates and in the new season 45 have been allocated.
In the current season Invercargill raced 15 times, Gore 6, Wyndham 7, Winton 7, Northern Southland 3, Wairio 2, Riverton 1, Roxburgh I, Tuapeka 1 and Central Otago 1.
In the final draft Invercargill HRC has been allocated 17 days, Winton HRC 13, Wairio TC 4, Northern Southland TC 3, Riverton TC 3, Wyndham HRC 1, Gore HRC 1, Central Otago TC 1, Roxburgh TC 1 and Tuapeka HRC 1.
22 race harness meetings have been programmed to be run at Ascot Park (up 3), 18 at Winton (up 9), 1 at Roxburgh, 1 (same) 1 at Gore (down 5), 1 at Omakau and 1 at Cromwell. The Wyndham course has not been granted any dates.
Twenty of the new dates have been programmed to run on Wednesday’s or Thursday’s. Once daylight saving kicks in some of these meetings will start later in the day and clubs will have a better chance of attracting punters on-course.
A Presidents meeting is schedule to be held at Gore next week and there could be some reallocation of dates within the Southern Harness group.
There are still plenty of work ahead for Southern Clubs but RITA has set the frame work with dates and venues and the clubs performances within the new calendar will be closely scrutinised before the dates for the 2021-2022 season are allocated. RITA are also requiring a Regional Development Plan from Southern Harness which needs to be submitted by the end of this year.