Quake fund added to

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

Mata­mata race­course on Satur­day, jam-packed un­der per­fect sum­mer skies was a far cry from the dev­as­ta­tion be­ing en­dured by the peo­ple of Christchurch but amid the ex­cite­ment of J Swap Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes day sen­ti­ments were still able to be di­rected south.

A col­lec­tion by Mata­mata Lions Club mem­bers among Satur­day’s race crowd com­bined with other do­na­tions raised more than $8000 for the Christchurch earth­quake fund, while 18-year-old Lucy Sar­gent’s lovely ren­di­tion of the na­tional an­them could not have been more poignant.

But the clincher was the an­nounce­ment by Chris Grace, the owner of Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes win­ner An­a­ban­dana, that he would do­nate half of his share of the stake to the earth­quake fund.

That mag­nan­i­mous ges­ture was matched by the owner of the run­ner-up Bee­jay Belle, mean­ing that some $40,000 of the $100,000 stake would find its way to the peo­ple of Christchurch.

Mr Grace, who op­er­ates the Te Rapa New World su­per­mar­ket, later ex­plained that he was mo­ti­vated by a con­ver­sa­tion he had late last week with his brother, a po­lice of­fi­cer in Hamil­ton.

‘‘He told me some of the tragic sto­ries that haven’t made the me­dia and when I heard the one about the res­cuers do­ing the rounds of houses and com­ing across an 11-year-old girl who had been wait­ing alone for three days for her mother to come home . . . I mean to say, how could you not be moved by that?

‘‘I said to my wife be­fore the race that if we were lucky enough to win we would do­nate half the stake to church.’’

Rac­ing Mata­mata pres­i­dent John Moore echoed the thoughts of many when he de­scribed that re­ac­tion plus the gen­eros­ity of race­go­ers as very hum­bling.

‘‘We’re see­ing it all around the coun­try and we felt that as a club we should play our part. The gen­eros­ity of in­di­vid­u­als like the own­ers of the first two fil­lies home

the

peo­ple

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Christ- in the Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes was sim­ply awe­some, plus we were able to top up what was do­nated by race­go­ers with money raised at Fri­day’s golf tour­na­ment and our spon­sors’ func­tion at Waikato Stud.

‘‘All in all we’re very pleased with how our big day of the year went. It’s great to see the com­mu­nity get be­hind us and a huge crowd turn up, at­trac­tions such as the Fash­ion in the Field proved very pop­u­lar and of course the qual­ity of the rac­ing ac­tion was once again right up there.

‘‘Af­ter all the hard work that goes into mak­ing a day like this hap­pen, it’s very sat­is­fy­ing when it all comes off.’’

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