Horse racing spectators enjoy dressing up despite rain

NElson Harness races january 2018

Kim-Marie Satherley, left, Belinda Mintrom, Meschka Illing and Edward Underdown cheer on the horses in the first race of the Nelson Harness Racing Club, Interislander Summer Festival at Richmond Park.

Umbrellas were a necessary accessory at the Nelson races along with fascinators and fancy clothes.

Cheers spilled from the covered grandstand as the first horse race of the weekend started.

Spectators didn't seem to mind the wet weather as they urged on the horses at the Nelson Harness Racing Club Interislander Summer Festival at Richmond Park.

Kim-Marie Satherley and Belinda Mintrom said the weather didn't bother them, as they sheltered in the covered grandstand while the curtain of rain became thicker.

This is the third year they have attended the festival and they enjoyed dressing up and taking a punt on the horses.

The wet weather didn't faze Christine Guy and Rosanne Guy either. They came prepared holding umbrellas.

They didn't come to the racing every year, but when they did it was a "special treat" and they enjoyed dressing up and watching people.

Event manager Chris Butler said they usually expected about 6000 people to visit the event over the two days of racing on Friday and Sunday.

"Obviously, today is going to be a lot lighter because people are going to be put off the by the weather so who knows."

They were expecting Sunday to be a bigger day with an estimate of 2000 to 3000 people attending the races.

However the turn out would be less if the weather stayed grey and wet.

"I do expect a big crowd on Sunday because the weather looks good, people would be looking forward to it.

"You can never tell until it's all done."

The Fashion in the Field award would be presented on Sunday.

Racing Day secretary Jason Broad said there were 102 horses racing on Friday.

There was to be nine races on Friday and 10 races on Sunday. 

The purse for the Nelson Cup was $15,000.

For the first time this year the event didn't have the numbers to do a prelude-race on Friday ahead of Sunday's main race the Nelson Cup.

"I've been coming here for about 10 years and it's the first time in my time that we don't have a prelude."

The number of horses racing was down as there were competing horse races happening around the same time.

Article courtesy of the Nelson Mail: read full article here