Horses and walk­ers to go sep­a­rate ways


Cy­clists, walk­ers and their dogs will be barred from pass­ing the sta­bles around the back of the Awa­puni Race­course this sum­mer.

The Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil has started work ex­tend­ing the Man­gaone Stream path­way along the wa­ter­way so users do not have to cross pri­vately-owned race­course land.

Coun­cil leisure as­sets of­fi­cer Brian Way said the move would over­come safety con­cerns about con­flicts be­tween path­way users, es­pe­cially those ig­nor­ing the early morn­ing re­stric­tions, and horses be­ing ex­er­cised near the sta­bles.

Rac­ing at Awa­puni Com­bined En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive Alas­dair Robert­son said public use of the race­course lane had been tol­er­ated, but he was pleased the coun­cil was mak­ing the shift.

‘‘The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween horses and peo­ple at times has been an is­sue.’’

While there were signs out re­strict­ing public hours of use, ‘‘peo­ple just go charg­ing through’’, he said.

The rules were that dogs should be on a leash through the race­course area, and there was no ac­cess through the race­course be­tween 5am and 9am daily.

Peo­ple were asked to en­sure dogs were un­der con­trol at all times and did not dis­turb live­stock.

Safety con­cerns around the race­course were height­ened in 2007, when two horses bolted and made it out on to Pi­o­neer High-

‘‘The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween horses and peo­ple at times has been an is­sue’’ Alas­dair Robert­son

way where one col­lided with a car, killing the driver, Chris Ni­cols.

The race­course also had plans to in­crease the num­ber of horses train­ing at Awa­puni from about 310 to 450 as part of its five-year master plan.

Way said it was prov­ing to be quite a big job to clear the area for the path­way.

‘‘It was a bit of a jun­gle down there, over­grown and with black­berry grow­ing wild.’’

Some prepara­tory mulching and spray­ing had been car­ried out.

The goal was to have the new link ready for use some time this sum­mer.

The work was be­ing paid for from a $71,000 bud­get for walk­ways.

Way said the path­way could be ex­tended fur­ther along the Man­gaone Stream so peo­ple could fol­low it all the way down to the Manawatu River.


Work has started on a new piece of walk­way along the Man­gaone Stream at the back of the Awa­puni race­course.

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