The Bay of Plenty Harness Racing Club is holding its 23rd annual family picnic meeting on the grass at Tauranga Racecourse on Sunday, January 28.
There is a full, 10-race card of capacity fields starting at midday. The feature race, the Gartshore Group Tauranga Grass Cup, for a stake of $10,000, starts at 4pm.
The ever-popular Kidz Kartz miniature ponies, driven by six to 15-year-olds, will also be racing with all the competitiveness of the professionals.
Grass track harness racing has become so popular that trainers from all over the North Island have prepared their horses for these events.
The fields reflect this, with more than 130 horses starting, and punters are urged to study up the grass track form, because the dividends are often huge at this meeting.
This year has attracted horses from some of the strongest stables across the North Island.
All of the children’s entertainment is free, including a huge range of Kids Go Racing events, a scavenger hunt, a lolly scramble and a bouncy castle. The Kids Go Racing caravan will also be there with prizes to be won.
An Interislander $500 prize pack is up for grabs, consisting of a return family pass for two adults and up to three children, including a vehicle.
People are welcome to bring a picnic, but there will also be a wide variety of food available. People should also bring sunscreen and hats.
“Make sure you get there early,” says club president Garry Hardaker.
“This event has grown so much there will be people covering the grass with their picnic gear in front of the stand.”
It is a family event, so a BYO policy is in place for half-a-dozen stubbie beers or one bottle of wine per person.