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Are females keeping the Junior ranks alive?

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Just acknowledging the girls or females in the harness racing industry nowadays.

It took a long time to even allow females to be able to drive in tote races in N.Z.

I am now thinking that if we didn't have so many young females working in harness stables and with junior licenses, then I feel we might struggle to be able to hold junior races at times.

Take last Friday night at Addington.

The junior race had 10 starters and of that number, 6 of the horses were driven by female juniors and obviously only 4 males.

Is this the way the industry is going by having less males prepared to make a career out of harness racing?

As we know the Juniors come and go if they can't make a financial go of it, so we are lucky that the girls are getting involved.

Working in harness stables as a career is very hard work and you need to be very dedicated so the girls efforts need to be appreciated.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brodie said:

Just acknowledging the girls or females in the harness racing industry nowadays.

It took a long time to even allow females to be able to drive in tote races in N.Z.

I am now thinking that if we didn't have so many young females working in harness stables and with junior licenses, then I feel we might struggle to be able to hold junior races at times.

Take last Friday night at Addington.

The junior race had 10 starters and of that number, 6 of the horses were driven by female juniors and obviously only 4 males.

Is this the way the industry is going by having less males prepared to make a career out of harness racing?

As we know the Juniors come and go if they can't make a financial go of it, so we are lucky that the girls are getting involved.

Working in harness stables as a career is very hard work and you need to be very dedicated so the girls efforts need to be appreciated.

 

 

Many young women are horse mad. Woman have always worked in harness stables but formerly many of them did not take out driving licenses. But positive role models like Natalie Rasmussen, Nicky Chilcott, Philippa Wakelin and Samantha Ottley show young women that they can be successful drivers and make a career of it. Good luck to them.

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7 minutes ago, eljay said:

For those with long term memories - who was (were) the first lady(ies) to drive at tote meetings?     I have three in mind (in the north) but let's see who you guys come up with.

Lorraine Watson, Eric Ryan's wife

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HRNZ website shows Denise Nyhan driving in 1972, Ann Cooney 1973, Lorraine Grant in 1975, Belinda Holmes in 1976 and of the ladies holding a present day licence Susan Branch 1980.    Of course the website records only go back a certain period of time and could still be others we have not recalled as yet.    Others from the early days I have brought to mind are Julie Fraser 1980, Sally Fenning 1982.     I'm sure other names pre-1983 will arise.   Being a North Islander names from the South don't spring out to me.

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Extract from HR Weekly 21 Jan 98

Lorraine Grant (formerly Watson), one of the early pioneers to develop the role of women on the racetrack, died earlier this week. Based in Mid-Canterbury, Grant was 54 and had been in ill-health for the past year or so.

Grant was involved in all aspects of the Industry, breeding, owning, training, and more recently standing the stallion Happy Chatter II, and along with Dorothy Cutts and Anne Cooney, was the first to be granted a licence to drive against men. 

Cutts was the first to succeed in this domain, winning with Kenworthy at the Matamata on-course only meeting in February, 1979. Grant, then Lorraine Watson, had her turn on 21 March the same year, winning at Methven, she repeated the dose on the first night (6 April) of the Met's Easter meeting winning, on both occasions with the Butler Byrd horse, Hydro Byrd.

A very capable and patient trainer, Grant had more success than most with sons of Lord Module. Flashing By and Burgundy were sons of the Lordship horse to win four races. Hydro Byrd won six, Jay Ardee seven, but the star of the stable was Rainbow Patch, a striking chestnut by Main Star who won 10 races. 

Grant has the honour of being the only woman to drive in the NZ Cup, driving Rainbow Patch in Il Vicolo's Cup two years ago. Grant was a member of the Silks and Satin Club, a supporter of harness racing in the Mid-Canterbury district, and a polished entertainer in the Methven Choral Society. . 

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13 hours ago, Value Bell said:

Anso or Unso was one of the first woman.

I see she listed as 1973 also - probably this date as far as HRNZ records go back.    Name is Una Anso - if I remember right trained out of Te Awamutu or Otorohanga.

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Wonder why clubs don't run races for women only like Timaru does once a year?

There would be enough around in Canterbury.

Wont be better than punting on the amateurs I would say!

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Pretty sure that there were quite a few Ladies races around in the early 70,s but it wasn't until late 70,s that Ladies could get liscenced to drive against the men.Some of the early ladies were Noeline Ferguson and her ill fated daughter Stephanie Cromie,who was very well known in Show jumping circles.Indeed it was a fall in a showjumping event that caused the passing of Steph.Noeline was married to trainer Jim Ferguson and they were dab hands with trotters,having many that reached open class.As well as a number of top pacers.

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18 minutes ago, richie said:

Pretty sure that there were quite a few Ladies races around in the early 70,s but it wasn't until late 70,s that Ladies could get liscenced to drive against the men.Some of the early ladies were Noeline Ferguson and her ill fated daughter Stephanie Cromie,who was very well known in Show jumping circles.Indeed it was a fall in a showjumping event that caused the passing of Steph.Noeline was married to trainer Jim Ferguson and they were dab hands with trotters,having many that reached open class.As well as a number of top pacers.

Bachelor Tom for one.

White with red Shamrock?

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Correct Brodie.Was actually Maltese Cross.I worked  for the stable for a number of years,most of those years part time but we used to have some big numbers in work at times.A lot used to get sold,it wasn't uncommon for 10 a month to be sold to USA or Aust. through Mike Stormont or Peter Larkin.Was a lot of fun but just not enough money working in stables when trying to bring up a family.

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After doing some enquiries women were aloud to start driving in tote races in the 78 -79 season.The ladies that drove that season were D Cutts,A Cooney and L Grant (Watson) at time.L Grant won 2 races that season both with Hydro Byrd but D Cutts won her race first on the 2/3/79 with Crafty Beau at Northland trotting club which means she was the first woman to drive a winner

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52 minutes ago, Racey180 said:

After doing some enquiries women were aloud to start driving in tote races in the 78 -79 season.The ladies that drove that season were D Cutts,A Cooney and L Grant (Watson) at time.L Grant won 2 races that season both with Hydro Byrd but D Cutts won her race first on the 2/3/79 with Crafty Beau at Northland trotting club which means she was the first woman to drive a winner

Pretty sure they were allowed to drive at trial equalisator metings e.g Gymkhanas etc before that which you could bet on but got random horses.That  date sounds right for Tote races.I think Lynn Neal(nee Bebbington)was a couple of years after that.Also think maybe Jan Sutherland,think that her name,was about same time.

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At Alexandra Park on May 16 1970 the woman had an exibition race called the Cosmetic Derby.

The winner was driven by Dorothy Cutts, 2nd was driven by Margaret Gillies, and 3rd driven by Rosemary Primmer.

The following year1972 Uno Anso won on Single Hal in race called Eyelure Derby (n/tote)

The first licences issued to woman for tote races was February 1979 and there were 50 registered woman licences as at Sept 1979.

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