Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All Blacks, frocks and shocks at the races (nz herald)

Tuesday November 13, 2007

The threat of wild weather has not deterred thousands of punters from the country's big day of horse racing in Christchurch today.
A crowd of 25,000 had been expected as the well-dressed throngs packed into Addington Raceway for New Zealand Cup Day - the biggest on the calendar in Christchurch's Cup and Show Week.

After a fine start to the day, dark clouds rolled in and brought brief squally showers and some strong wind gusts, which knocked over umbrellas this afternoon.
Many of the punters briefly sought cover from the elements, but soon re-emerged as the clouds lifted.

Last year, more than 125,000 people attended the 10-day festival, putting $27 million into the local economy.
Of the 51,000 who attended racing events, new research showed about 14 per cent travelled from the North Island or overseas. About 40 per cent of visitors to the Royal New Zealand Show were from "offshore locations".

"It's the quintessential Canterbury festival," said Christchurch City Council events development manager Jo Blair.
For well over 100 years it's been very established and firmly planted on the social calendar. We knew it was loved by the local people, but we didn't realise it would have such a pull for North Islanders and Australians as well."

This year the council was marketing the carnival week to North Islanders, telling them "it's not just about the sheep and horse-racing, it's about celebrating the uniqueness of Christchurch, and the produce, and the nightlife".

Auckland was trying to emulate Christchurch's carnival atmosphere with its annual Auckland Cup Week Carnival in March, which Mrs Blair called a "real compliment".
"Our event will always be that much more authentic, though."

Addington Raceway is expected to host 25,000 people for the New Zealand Cup Day today, and more than $2 million is likely to be wagered by the punters at the racecourse.

"The week after the Melbourne Cup, everyone wants to get rid of the winter blues, especially those in the South Island," said raceway chief executive Mike Godber.

Keeping tens of thousands of visitors fed and watered is no small task.
The raceway has stocked 30 pallets of beer, 20,000 bottles of wine, 5000 pies and 4000 hot dogs, and 100 portable toilets will be on site.
The carnival week is not all fun, however. Police warn that lots of people and too much drink can be a dangerous combination, and the carnival week also provides "easy pickings for the burglar and car thief".

Police warn that some burglars specialise in Cup and Show Week and target packed motels.
"Motels are often an easy target for thieves who know that doors tend be left unlocked for latecomers to get in," said Senior Sergeant Peter Laloli.

Photos :


Siska said...

hahaha... richie looks so funny with the 'tache. but i'm so glad to see that he joins the movember fundraising campaign. v cool.

MaryL said...

forgot to ask : what is movember???

leene said...

what is that moustache richie ??!!

Rudy said...

I loved the video. I will reserve my catty comments about women running around in bikini bottoms and paint, though. ;->

Adeline said...

qu'est-ce que c'est que cette barbe/moustache? c'est pas beau ;)
Enfin, s'il s'amuse comme ça, c'est qu'il va mieux, tant mieux!

caroM said...

he makes me laught with his funny moustache! a new style?? i hope he will shave off soon! lol

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