BACK ON TRACK
MUCH-NEEDED maintenance work on the New Norfolk pacing track has made life easier for local trainers and led to a push for the town to re-establish an annual track meeting.
Tasmanian Pacing Club chief executive Steve Devereaux said the track had started to become run down since the New Norfolk Pacing Club folded about 18 months ago.
“Trainers were still using the track, but it hasn’t been maintained, so the Tasmanian Pacing Club took on the job to get the track up to standard again so that people could use it,” Mr Devereaux said.
Tasracing took its equipment from Elwick to New Norfolk late last month and resurfaced the track.
“The idea is we [the TPC] will keep it going for as long as we need to until we get a new club up there,” Mr Devereaux said.
“We’re just going through the process now of getting one of the locals to work on the track one or two days a week just to keep it in good condition.”
He said he hoped it was possible to re-establish an annual track meeting on Australia Day.
“New Norfolk has had a pretty long history in harness racing and a lot of good horses have come from up there over the years, so it’s fantastic to see it back up and going,” Mr Devereaux said.
“Hopefully everything goes well with the race meeting and we make it a pretty big event up there.”
Magra trainer Juanita McKenzie said all the local trainers were happy to see the maintenance work being carried out.
“If it didn’t go ahead, it meant that I probably would have had to have given away the training,” Ms McKenzie said.
“I can’t really travel to other tracks out of New Norfolk, [because] it makes it really hard having a family.”
She said she supported the push to re-establish an Australia Day race meeting.
“It is a local tradition and we normally get a really big crowd here,’’ Ms McKenzie said.
“The whole community supports “It’s just a great family day and a great atmosphere.”
ACTION STATIONS: Derwent Valley trainers Kerry Hill, left, and Juanita McKenzie take their horses around the resurfaced New Norfolk pacing track.